Monday, August 25, 2008
BETHANY CONQUERS HER FEARS! Part 1: Bikini Waxing
Welcome to the fun new blog segment where I CONQUER MY FEARS one fear at a time and then write about it. Because we all have fears. Some fears are really, really big, like jumping out of an airplane into a half-pike, landing on skis, skiing down the side of a mountain and over a crevasse, catapulting yourself onto a helicopter, taking the controls from a man wearing an eye patch, and landing it safely in time to diffuse the bomb. And there are little fears too. Like popping balloons, reptiles, and forgetting to Tivo something. And while I think that some fears are completely founded (vampires), others are kind of silly (diaper rash). This is why I seek to take on my own silly fears one by one. Because most of the time there's nothing to be afraid of.
First stop...bikini waxing.
Now, before we talk about the actual act of bikini waxing, let's talk about the why. Bikini waxing is a very personal choice. Why, you ask? Because someone is going to pour hot wax on your cooter and then rip it off, taking a bunch of your hair with it. That, to me, seems like a pretty bad idea. If some random stranger on the street started chasing me with a pot of steaming wax, I would run away. Wouldn't you? It's painful, and it's on a very personal area of your body. And things could go wrong in so many different ways. And yet, women do this every day without fear. They see it as just another process of grooming that we have to go through to keep ourselves tidy.
For years, I've been kind of fine with not feeling the need to be tidy. Because who cares? Anybody who gets to see my untidy little garden needs to be a good enough person to not mind. I don't just hand over the key and tell the gardener where I keep my shovel. I need to see at least a resume and a few references first.
Also, for some women, I feel like waxing is done to please a sexual partner. You know, like cleaning for your guests before they arrive for a visit. And I'm not down with that idea. Because what right does someone else have to like or dislike something about my body? Therefore, I did not come to the decision to wax lightly.
Honestly, I just got really tired of feeling awkward in my swimsuit. And having to do the casual, "Oh, my hand is just here. I'm not hiding anything" walk to the edge of the pool. I'd really much rather just know that no one is noticing that I'm hiding Sasquatch in my pants. So I decided to just put my fears aside temporarily and make the waxing appointment.
Now, going back to the garden analogy, let's be clear that I like my garden. I'm an adult, and I have no desire to revert my hairless pre-teen state. Nobody should resemble a bald oyster after the age of 12. So, when I arrived at my appointment, I was very insistent that most of the vegetation be left intact.
Nobody prepares you for the indignity of holding your own leg over your head while someone you've just met examines your pubes. But you do it anyway and keep reassuring yourself that it will all be over soon and you can skip home a new woman.
I'm not going to lie to you. The waxing part smarts. And it's awkward. And you begin to wonder if it will even be worth it. Because, really, what are you so afraid of people seeing in the first place? A little bit of hair?
I went through with it anyway. I went home. I put on my swimsuit and went to the pool without any fear of embarrassment at all. And I marked it off on my list of fears to conquer. Just another thing to tick off the list. Another fear conquered. Garden: weeded.