Waxing will never be a totally feminist act – but here’s how you can make it a little more consciously female-friendly. Questions to consider before you wax:
1. Why are you doing it? Is it because your partner asked you to, because all of your friends are doing it, or because Gwyneth Paltrow is doing it? Or just because you prefer it? (Hint: We’d only declare you cleared for the landing strip if it’s the latter, whether it’s because it improves your sex life or simplifies your everyday shaving routine.)
2. Is it in your budget to spend $60 to $100 per month on this extra service? Can you maintain it?
3. Can you have a no-nonsense conversation with your waxer about how much of your hair you’d like to keep? Because if you can’t bring yourself to talk about labia—even in coded terms like undercarriage (our personal favorite) and front-to-back—you aren’t ready to go Brazilian.
4. Do you have an impeccable, upscale salon or spa—as recommended by many, many friends and reputable publications—to which you can go for your wax? If not, forget it. Please. We beg you.
5. Does waxing make you want to vajazzle? If so, sorry, you’ve lost us.
6. Does waxing make you want to get labial plastic surgery or rehymenization? If so, sorry, we cannot support you on that, either. Lines must be drawn.
7. Does your own waxing regimen inspire you to take your 8-year-old in for a similar procedure? In the name of sisterhood, we must stop you there. Let her grow up and decide for herself.
Six steps to making your waxing a little more feminist:
2. Watch some porn online. Realize you don’t want to do most/all of what those women are doing.
3. Learn the lingo and research good salons if you do decide to go.
4. Talk to your lover about what he or she prefers and why. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything he asks for; it just means you’re getting his expectations out in the open so you don’t find out at the wrong time (like when you’re watching porn together and he says he wishes you looked more like the chick onscreen) or find out the hard way (like when you undergo the pain of your first Brazilian as a surprise for him only to find out he hates waxing as much as you do). Also, feel free to tell him what goes into making your ladyparts so smooth—go ahead, be dramatic about the $80 cost and every bit of the pain. He should know what you go through, and he should be just fine with seeing you between appointments. Then talk about what you prefer and why. This is your chance to tell him you’d love to go certain places on him if he could, perhaps, take a trimmer to them. Or to tell him you love his hairy, Tom Selleck chest and hope he’s never inspired to visit a salon after a late-night viewing of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
5. While you’re at it, ask your lover what he or she likes about your vagina. Straight men and gay women tend to like them more than some of us do, and can help us love ourselves a little more.
6. Talk to your girlfriends about waxing. You’ll find out what other women are doing and not doing, and you’ll have much more fun than you would having your 732nd conversation about your annoying boss and your friend’s non-committal boyfriend.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jenmarmstrong