I was sixteen years old the first time I ever got a bikini wax and I was so nervous that I went in there, took off my clothes and asked for a Hawaiian.
Obviously, I wasn’t after a pizza topping, I was hoping for a Hollywood, but the whole idea of somebody lathering my private parts in hot wax and plucking my fanny follicles one by one must have thrown me off completely.
That was the first of many bikini wax disasters to come.
WAX ON WAX OFF
The clever construction of our human anatomy hurts my human head to even think about; not one single feature is purposeless, and our five million hair follicles are no exception to that rule.
First of all it helps regulate our body temperature; when it’s cold our hairs stand on end to trap more heat in and keep us a little bit warm. The hairs in our nostrils protect our nasal cavity from things like smog snot and other bacteria, our eyebrows and eyelashes keep beads of sweat from stinging our eyeballs and the hairs on our arms and legs protect our limbs from friction.
Our hair down there has a purpose too; keeping us clean, keeping us protected and hosting pheromones to lure a potential partner in.
But if it’s all so important to us, why am I not the only one waxing, tweezing, shaving, plucking, lasering and threading it all away?
Whatever it is, I jumped on the bikini wax bandwagon back then and have never got off.
The pubic pizza topping incident I mentioned earlier was nothing compared to my second wax where I was left with can only be described as a miniature Adolf Hitler in my knickers.
But despite decorating my nether regions with the face of an infamous world dictator, I decided that I’d started to build some sort of a rapport with Cathy and knew she would go easy on me if I dared come back for more – so I did.
On my third visit to the salon, I was a little bit alarmed to learn that Cathy had called in sick and her new assistant was stepping in.
She was young, nervous and I’m not sure where she was from but could barely speak a world of English – a potentially deadly combination when somebody is about to throw a burning hot substance all over your most sensitive surface area.
Her anxiety was palpable as she darted around the room flicking various switches and moving pots around with wax strips stuck to her fingertips. She laid everything out on the metal wheeled trolley like she was about to perform major surgery and came at me with a wooden scalpel dripping in wax.
She hadn’t left it to heat for long enough, so the wax had its usual honey-like texture but the stickability of PVA glue and when she tried to whip away the strips, they were just getting stuck.
It was pussy persecution of the highest level and her floundering facial expressions didn’t help the situation at all.
After twenty minutes of sticky torment, I was still left with a few strips stuck to my skin so she took out the scissors and tweezers to finish off. And that’s when I morphed into Steve Carrell in 40 Year Old Virgin, shouting out Kelly Clarkson and plenty of other obscenities.
After that experience you’d think I’d be put off for life, but a few years later I hit up a dodgy-looking salon in Hammersmith, London armed with a Groupon voucher worth a tenner and a sign on my forehead saying IDIOT.
Picture a backstreet sunbed shop that is purely a facade for money laundering, garishly painted with candy pink walls and patrolled by middle-aged women who’s bouffed up hair hasn’t realised it’s no longer the 80’s. They’re wearing thick black false eyelashes and eyebrows that look like they’ve been drawn on by a toddler using a brown crayola pencil and their skin is so orange and leathery, it’s quite possible they sleep on those sunbeds overnight.
Near the front window there’s a black plastic office chair on wheels in front of a floor-length mirror and on the cabinet next to it is a comb and a hairdryer; because obviously this is not just a sunbed shop, it’s an up-and-coming hair salon too.
So who in their right mind would not turn around and run away but instead hand over that Groupon voucher and willingly be led to the beauty treatment dungeon downstairs?
ME – that’s who.
I was taken into a small room at the back of the basement and lay down on the bed with my eyebrows tensed; they knew I was about to experience something ridiculous, and they were right.
After grabbing my ankles with one arm and lifting them into the air, like you would when when changing a baby’s nappy, she insisted I bend over doggy style while giving me some sort of an unnecessary back, crack and sack.
All of this took place on a rickety old bed I thought would give way any minute, under horrendously bright fluorescent lighting and in front of a huge mirror so I could watch my own discomfort as a spectator as well as feeling the violation from within.
I’d have to say that’s the worst it’s ever got but I am about to go in search of my Bush Bae in Chiang Mai. So I guess what they say is true; there’s a very fine line between vanity and insanity.