Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stuff I've been wondering about

Why are Brazilians (the wax jobs, not the people) called Brazilians? I know Brazilian beaches are famous for the proliferation of the dental floss string bikini, but Brazilians (or most Latin Americans, for that matter) have never struck me as being obsessive about body hair. Americans are. So why isn't that particular grooming technique known as a "Miamian" or, perhaps even more accurately, a "Pacoima," Pacoima being the heart of the porn industry and almost assuredly the birthplace of the shaved beaver in America?

Personally, I've always thought it was a little strange that people would willingly submit themselves to having their hair ripped off any part of their bodies just for the sake of aesthetics, but it's not any odder than most of the other things people do -- and as a person who went through the gold eye shadow stage back around the time the movie Cleopatra came out, I'm not in a position to question anyone else's choices in personal modification/enhancement.

I do, however, wonder a little bit about the aestheticians who get to do the ripping. I'd like to think the poor saps who are earning a living by getting up close and personal with strangers' coochies are earning a decent wage, but I doubt it. An aesthetician in training had an essay on Slate a few months ago. From what she said, waxing someone's crotch is remarkably time consuming, and the pay received seemed pretty low. She also noted that, believe it or not, the clients as a rule are remarkably poor tippers. Her theory was that by allowing her to work on the most intimate part of their bodies, the clients mentally transformed her into a friend -- and you don't tip friends. Bizarre. If I were still in the demographic that feels the need for a hairless crotch, I'd be tipping big -- because for sure I wouldn't want any lingering resentments about cheapness on the last visit to influence just how the wax gets applied the next time.


  1. Here's my input as a some-time waxee: it's mostly about comfort. I HATE having nether hair. It tickles and drives me crazy. Generally speaking, I just keep it trimmed really short, but when I'm going to be appearing in a swimsuit, that's just too fuzzy yet. So that's where the wax comes in.

    It's quite painful to get it done, but the pain doesn't last very long and the end result is vastly more comfortable than the natural state. And forget about shaving--between the ingrown hairs and how devilishly it itches while growing out...*shudder*

    There you have it.

  2. Here's a scene from "An Idiot Abroad" in Brazil getting a back wax.

  3. Here you go. Explains all. Hope you like British humour.

  4. Etymology: if I'm not mistaken, the process was introduced to the NY scene at a salon operated by seven Brazilian sisters. New York being the center of the universe, the local term took hold.

    I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the subject-- honest- but a quick google produced this:

    I didn't read past the opening page. There are some topics I prefer to remain ignorant about.


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