Oh sure, I could talk a good game, I could stand up for women’s rights and I do. I’ve spent whole years and more of my life devoted to arguing for and writing about women’s issues, particularly defending women in the porn industry and looking out for what motivates them and making sure they are not being abused. I’ve gone so far out of my way to read MacKinnon, even Dworkin for chrissakes, and yet here I am writing an article about the various etiquettes of bikini waxes and pubic hair trimming and styles because I think it says a lot about what has happened to us.
Now understand. I’m not saying that because we wax or shave or dye or trim or whatever that we are any less of a feminist. I think there are loads of strong women, maybe even in Congress or the Senate or the White House or the movement who go about getting bikini waxes and maybe even dying their eyelashes a deep black to appear more attractive. Since I started writing this article, I cannot help but look at various celebrities and famous women and wonder which type fall into. Never mind the obvious drones, like Paris Hilton and the like – they’re all Barbies and we know it.
I asked Edith, the best waxer in Boston, Massachusetts, bar none, what are the various styles that women ask for and what are the most popular. I lay on her table with my little tape recorder running and my notebook balanced on my chest. After telling me that I was “pretty tame” and “simple”, we moved on to what one of America’s leading waxers had seen in her career. Who would imagine that anyone could be famous for their wax technique, yet there she is, and others too, who have made whole careers, lives on their technique. Who knew that waxing is considered a real art? Certainly not I, but there you have it. Getting an appointment with Edith is often a sixth month ordeal, so book damn early (she was last at Salonpini on Newbury Street)..
As I lie on her table while Edith applied the warm wax to the sounds of the rainforest and a tinkling stream that made me want to pee the whole time, she told me about her most popular requests. There was;
1. The Valentine’s Day heart in which women come in and request that their public hair be shaped into a heart and some of those people also want it bleached up and then dyed bright red for greater effect.
2. The Landing Strip, which is a narrow strip of hair about the length and width of your thumb that runs from above the area (all other hair is removed ). This is common in Playboy or Penthouse etc.
3. The Brazilian in which all hair is removed and I do mean all from the labia to any strays on the bottom and any hair anywhere else. By far, I’m told this is the most painful and not every salon will do it because they think it’s “icky” or are put off by it.. Edith does it because she’s a professional and if that is what the client wants – sixty dollars to have their pubic hair removed, who is she to argue. It’s all very hygienic and lacking in any sexual or erotic tension, which you well-know if you’ve ever had a wax job.
4. There is the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock – like valentines’ day only shamrock shape and green.
5. The Leopard – a larger area of hair left but with circles of bleach used to create a dappled and dark/light effect like a leopard.
6. Arrows too are common, with the arrow, bien sur, pointing downward as if any guy needed that much direction, but hey, if he does, then I’d say get rid of him right away because if you’re the kind of girl who cares enough to get a bikini was, you’re not going to tolerate a lover who is less “with it” than you are.
7. There is the super-thin line of hair, barely there, in which all hair is removed from the labia and a superfine line is left above; sort of like the Landing Strip but much, much finer.
8. And, of course, there are boyfriend’s initials and symbols of all kinds (including several women who have asked for a Mercedes Benz logo in their area).