There are few things on earth more annoying than enduring a couple of hours of intense discomfort (or agony if you’re fool enough to try it during menstruation week) in an attempt to render oneself more attractive than God really intended – only to get home and have the man in your life greet you with a puzzled: “But you look exactly the same! What were you doing there for three hours?”
Contemplating ways and means for your early demise, probably. Where do you keep the knives, again?
Men think women are being unreasonable with all this prettification business. So you went to the salon and did your little routine. What’s the big deal? Why should they notice? Well, remember that the next time you run into a woman with a mustache, won’t you? It’s just a little facial hair. So she didn’t feel like going to the salon and doing the same old, same old. You don’t mind, do you? What’s the big deal? Why should you notice?
I can’t remember when I noticed the fact that I had mysteriously spouted hair on body parts that weren’t supposed to have any (my TeeVee said so!) but it must have been shortly after I was thirteen when this leggy young thing from Section C started pulling her hemlines higher and higher, the better to show off that wax job. Sadly, with a stuffy mother like mine i.e. one who strongly disapproved of minors yanking their hair out by the roots in an effort to look more sexy, I wasn’t about to join that club anytime soon.
But as I discovered when I turned eighteen and finally moved into the grown up section of the salon, things were neither as simple as I had imagined them to be nor was I as badly off as some other unfortunates the salon-girls liked to mention.
“You know that girl, Chandramukhi**?” the friendly young thing asks as she busily scrapes molten wax over my half-cooked flesh. “She comes in here to get her chest waxed.”
“Her chest waxed?” I gape as visions of the lovely Chandramukhi transforming at night into a man named Chandru race through my mind. “What do you mean?”
“Some women,” she says darkly, “have hair all over. You’re lucky you don’t need so much work.” She glances disapprovingly at my modest “salon-work” bra (go ahead, punk, drip sticky wax on it. See if I care!), currently hiding much of my non-hairy chest from her inquiring gaze.
Now I may not be exactly hirsute, especially by Chandramukhi standards, but let’s face it: Indians, in general, have more than their fair share of hair. Body hair, facial hair, so much hair that some of us donate the stuff at temples, which then make expensive wigs out of it and sell it for mucho moolah abroad. Waste not, want not.
“Of course,” she continues quickly, pushing the party line of salons all over the world, “if she keeps waxing then it will only lessen as time goes by. Eventually, it will stop.”
That’s true – my aunt doesn’t have any body hair. Of course, she didn’t have much hair to begin with and it only took her fifty years to get to that point. A point, incidentally, that coincided with partial baldness. But hey, the hair growth did stop! Eventually.
You know, 30 isn’t all that far away from me, this isn’t my first brush with wax, and I’m still coming back – you can give it a rest. I’m obviously in this for the long haul. I don’t need the hard sell. In fact, I like waxing.
That’s right – I said I like it. I find it soothing, especially when somebody else is doing all the work. Mind, if my hair came equipped with the kind of extra-strength roots God saw fit to bestow upon my best friend, it’s likely I’d be singing a different opera. But as things stand, I like it just fine. In fact, if I were to compare it to, say, threading I’d say I positively love to wax. If only my face didn’t erupt into angry rashes every time I introduce it to wax, I’d probably stop ferreting out those dreaded threaders in every city I go to.
Waxing is probably not doing my skin any favors but it leaves me feeling fresh and clean whereas shaving just leaves me feeling frazzled and angry. And occasionally dripping blood, but that’s another story. I don’t even mind contorting myself into unnatural positions when I have to do it on my own – at least I can buy my wax in a tidy little container at the supermarket instead of making do with dough, unlike the housewives of Jerusalem in that Tom Hanks movie.
Progress – I’m all for it.
** not her real name. Duh.