Tag Archives: wax

Body Hair: To Wax or Not To Wax?

Alright, so I have this dilemma—that’s probably a bad way to start a post about body hair, but stick with me, the problem is I’m wearing a tea length dress at my wedding and my legs will be visible. So, for the first time in my life I’ve been thinking of getting my legs waxed, which I find terrifying. Being forced to think about this dilemma has really gotten me thinking about body hair in general, and all the painful, expensive, decisions that go with it.

I’ve only ever had my eyebrows waxed and I can’t say that I loved it, with the lasting redness and localized breakouts it caused, I’ve mainly stuck to tweezing. I can only imagine that waxing large areas of skin is far more painful, and also pricey, but for my wedding it does seem somewhat appropriate. My main goal for my wedding day is to not have to think about too much, low-stress is the goal, so even something stupid like shaving my legs could become a disaster.

I know there are people out there who wax on a regular basis, some who wax everything all the time, and I have to say I find the subject both fascinating and unnerving. What it makes me wonder about specifically, is why our culture feels so strongly about ripping all hair out from the root in what can be a sometimes excruciating procedure.

I totally understand that we have hair in places we might not want it, and that eliminating it, or shaping it, can lend to the attractiveness of our appearance, but I think when all body hair (and other people’s body hair) becomes cause for ridicule, things have gone too far. I shave my armpits, maybe not as thoroughly in the winter, but I prefer it. I’m not sure if it’s due to a real personal preference, or a result of habit. From the time I’ve had hair under my arms I’ve been shaving it off. Sometimes I think about what it would be like to let it grow in all the way, but frankly, when it gets past an inch, I feel compelled to shave it down again. Women who don’t shave their pits usually get some absurdly generic label slapped on them, like “hippie”, or “feminist”, or “European”, but why should shaving your armpits (or your legs) be any different from filing your nails, it’s simply a personal choice.

For most women, the act of hair removal is as commonplace as shampooing, it’s expected to the point of annoyance. I completely understand women who have laser treatments and electrolysis to remove hair so that they don’t have to worry about it anymore. Because that’s my main issue with hair removal—having to worry about it at all. I have a beauty routine, I moisturize, I exfoliate, I deep condition my hair, and I don’t really mind any of those things, I actually enjoy them, but for me, excessive hair removal has always been where I draw the line. It’s not just the pain, I can handle the burning wax, the awful sneezing that results from eyebrow plucking, and the inflamed skin, it’s the upkeep that makes me crazy. It’s the fact that the hair grows back, sometimes so quickly it’s shocking that nature could be so cruel.

When a celebrity dares to neglect the removal of visible body hair, they’re not only ridiculed, but added to photo galleries to be remembered for their foolish transgression for all internet history. For this reason, it’s become quite clear that body hair is disgusting. To show body hair is to demonstrate a flagrant disregard for your own hygiene, despite the fact that it naturally, and persistently, sprouts from all of our bodies. While looking for images for this post I was shocked at how offended some were at a celebrity’s follicular “neglect”.

Not shaving your legs or pits isn’t like deciding not to brush your teeth or wash your hands, there isn’t anything un-hygienic about having body hair. In fact the removal of hair is far likelier to result in “un-hygienic” results—such as rashes and infections, so why all the hatred?  When I saw Mo’Nique at the golden globes instead of thinking it was disgusting I thought it was awesome that she could stand there looking gorgeous, happy, and confident, hairy legs and all. It wasn’t one of those “Celebrity Oops” moments where they catch a starlet in pimple cream, this is a woman who just doesn’t like to shave her legs, and says “so what?”, pretty admirable if you ask me.

Despite my admiration of Mo’Nique, I don’t think I’ll be going the hairy legged route on my wedding day, call me a conformist, but I’m not there yet, maybe one day though. For now, I need to decide whether a leg wax is in my future.

I’m curious to know how other women feel about hair removal. I’m not condemning or condoning either practice, but it seems important to understand why we do it, why we suffer the pain or choose to avoid it, and why either choice should be the business of anyone else but you. So share your opinions—oh, and if you have any advice or experience on the leg waxing dilemma, I’d love to hear that too!

9 Comments

Filed under acceptance

Bathing beauties

It’s bathing suit season, and if you haven’t already heard, it’s time to go out and flaunt that body in the hot sun, have fun, play volleyball, eat some ice cream, lounge, do all that summery stuff. Unfortunately if you’re like me, feeling comfortable enough to do any of that stuff in a bathing suit is incredibly hard. I’ve already posted on how I feel at the beach, and how I try to move past it, so this is really about finding that perfect suit.

Making up the holy triad of painful clothing to shop for, we have jeans, bras, and bathing suits. It’s debatable which of the three is worst, but since bathing suits require you to wear the least amount of clothing that isn’t considered an undergarment, I think they’re pretty bad. Once Fall comes around I’ll go back to dreading jeans shopping, but for summer, it’s the bathing suit that has me stressed. I actually haven’t bought a new bathing suit in years, first off they’re really expensive, secondly you don’t really wear them all that much, (especially if you cover them up with shorts, t-shirts, or sun dresses) and thirdly it’s so hard to find one that will look good and stay current for at least a few years.

I like to think that summer wouldn’t be as stressful if I looked like this:

If I had that body I wouldn’t choose that bathing suit, but I would certainly rock a bikini, probably all the time. Sadly for me, I have nowhere near the ideal tan, thin, bikini wield-able body. I used to buy bathing suits purely on the patterns and didn’t really care about the cut since no one ever saw them under all those layers anyway.

Now, I live a block from the beach, I spend a fair amount of time there during the summer, and I’ve gotten really sick of being hot and uncomfortable in my protective layers, and also dealing with sand-covered cotton shorts or other clothing that was not meant to be worn in the ocean is a total pain. So, how to choose a new bathing suit?

I haven’t worn a bikini since I was a very small child, I’m still learning to love my stomach, it’s a constant battle, and I’m not ready to unleash it on the world just yet.

A lot of women, myself included, have the extra trouble of finding a suit with support in the chest area, especially without looking really athletic which always seems impossible.

Why are bathing suits always so high cut? What if I don’t feel like/can’t afford to get bikini waxes constantly?

Since it’s figure flattering, my first instinct is to go for black. This one from j.crew seems nice and timeless.

Tulle underwire tank from J.crew.com $125.00

But, I know j.crew suits are always lacking in both boob and butt coverage, so that’s a no. Also, I’m kind of bored by black, I like some color in the summer!

This one from Marc Jacobs is super cute!

Marc by Marc Jacobs Little Blaze One Piece Swimsuit from Piperlime.gap.com $173.00

I don’t think it will stand the test of time though, and I know I would get confused by those wrap around ties too.

A tankini perhaps?

Push-up tankini top $44.50 & scoop bottoms $28.50 from Victoriassecret.com

I’ve found that tankinis ride up, but I haven’t tried one in a while, this one is cute. Again, not so sure about the coverage here.

Wait, stop the press—I’ve finally I found a bathing suit with some real coverage that still looks sexy!

Bathing Beauty One Piece in Violet (and the name matches the title of my post—it’s a sign.) $89.99 from Modcloth.com

I think I might have found it, this suit gets tons of great reviews, and comes in a bunch of other colors and patterns too!

Also comes in plus sizes. HOT!

Gosh darn, they are out of stock in my size in the purple, I will either have to choose another color or wait it out. Does anyone have other suggestions of good places to look for suits? Or have you found your perfect suit for summer? How do you deal with waxing, support, and any other swim suit issues that tend to arise?

Here are some of my family photos from the early 50’s. Family members having fun, strutting their stuff and enjoying the sun and sand! I hope to be as care free as they all seem in these photos!

Great Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather.

Aw, Grandma and Great Grandma.

A cousin wearing an adorable beach get-up.

Great Aunt and Uncle, I love this pic!

4 Comments

Filed under shopping