A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the relationship I have with my body hair, a love/hate one to be exact. I left off with finally being allowed to shave my legs. I immediately began to hate the whole process of constantly shaving my legs and arm pits. Unfortunately, this obsession with hair indeed continues.
As a late-blooming, not part of the “in crowd” yet not quite an outcast, and overall average girl, life in high school felt extremely difficult. Whether I was battling my mom on the functionality and affordability of UGG boots or complaining to a teacher about the date of our next Biology test being right after a dance, high school seemed like a constant battle. It felt like living in a video game where new obstacles kept popping up the moment I would overcome the current hurdle. One thing I definitely did not need was people judging my body hair on top of all of the other things I felt like I was up against. In order to avoid this potential humiliation, I was constantly shaving my legs and my armpits. I would shave every day, all summer long. When winter came around, I just kept on shaving. I was fearful that the girls in the hockey dressing room might somehow notice a day’s worth of leg stubble in the total 27 seconds between my jeans coming off and my spandex athletic pants going on. It was a continuous process and, although an annoyance, one that I was finally getting comfortable with.
In the spring of Grade 11, I met a super cute guy at a get together at our mutual friend’s house. The only two people at the “party” who were anti-Red Wings, we were happily watching Detroit lose in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. I acted like a fool and teased him for not liking guacamole. He was a complete gentleman towards me in return. A couple of weeks later, he picked me up in his rusty white minivan and we went to the movies. We fell madly in love, as teenagers do. By the end of the summer I had decided that there was another patch of body hair that desperately needed to be dealt with.
I was fairly certain from research and a variety of highly reputable ‘sources’ (one friend in particular that had several older sisters) that I needed to remove all the hair possible from my fun bits. Apparently guys prefer that area smooth and hairless, or so I’d been told. Now I had never had a conversation with my mother about how to manage the patch of hair in question. I definitely recall googling it. Tips included shave in the direction of the hair growth, use a sharp razor and avoid any soap with lots of scent. Feeling adequately prepared, I blazed on ahead. I don’t recall much from the actual experience of shaving, other than that I most definitely was not adequately prepared. What I DO recall from the whole experience is how incredibly uncomfortable I was in my nether regions. Prickly, itchy, sore, overall just BAD. I swore I would never shave down there again. BAD NEWS BEARS. It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.
This left me with quite the dilemma. I still had it in my head that smooth and hairless was the cat’s meow. I had to remove my hair somehow. Clearly shaving was not going to work. I decided to try a Brazilian wax. (Now I wasn’t exactly clear on what that meant but Brazilian women seemed pretty beautiful to me. I decided to just go with it). I went to the appointment terrified. The woman responsible for clearing the forest fit every waxing stereotype in the book. She was European, had a strong accent, and was anything but gentle. I left the appointment more terrified than when I had arrived and in a significant amount of pain. Again, I swore I would never wax down there again. My options were becoming limited.
I was still on a mission to remove that “problem area” of hair, convinced it was necessary to be desirable to men. Thankfully, the pain and fear end here as I found Sara. I had a co-worker recommend her, a “certified body sugaring esthetician”. For anyone who doesn’t know (I definitely didn’t at the time), body sugaring is similar to waxing, though is supposedly more hygienic and less painful (this is key). Sara was young, professional, friendly and, most importantly, good at her job. I finally found an avenue for managing that last bit of hair. It was more than tolerable, in fact I almost looked forward to the conversations Sara and I would have during my appointments. This seems odd looking back at it. Anyways, I continued to see Sara every 6-8 weeks for almost 5 years.
Interestingly, I never asked my high school sweetheart how he felt about the hair situation. The relationship ended after a few years, as many do, but I still maintain to this day that he was a pretty awesome quality guy. I’m fairly certain now that if I had asked, he wouldn’t have cared at all what was going on hair-wise, as long as I was happy with it.
Next week, in Part 3 of The Love/Hate Relationship with My Body Hair, I’ll talk about what changed for me to stop my years long ritual with Sara the Body Sugarer.