August 19, 2010
The male Brazilian: a country with no boundaries
Male waxing is nothing new. Over the last decade or so (or last century for gay guys) more and more men have gotten some various part of their chest, back, shoulders, or legs waxed, gaining a personal understanding of suffering for beauty, and perhaps a new way to bond with women.
The new frontier: Brazilians for men. Christopher Hitchens did it a few years ago, and today Salon has a first-person account, "Why I got the male Brazilian wax" by a brave fellow who sounds like he was bullied into it by his girlfriend's waxing technician, a brusque Russian named Irena.
Hetero male waxing of the nether regions isn't exactly new territory (Newsweek reported that "it's the straight guys who seem to be doing the more extreme waxing" back in 2004) but now that it's become as common as flossing, I started to think about it. Like, what a male Brazilian actually means. I understand it for the ladies. It means everything is gone.
For what about for men? For most women, hair in tender areas tends to stop at some point. If you're going to remove all of it, there is a somewhat clearly-defined area with boundaries that "all of it" lies within. But a lot of men out there have hair that just goes on and on like an endless follicular ocean. There's no hair horizon. If you're going in deep around the entire crotchal area, that's fine, but where do you stop? Clearly, balls are involved. I don't want to get too graphic, here, but I can imagine situations where once you start waxing down there, you wouldn't necessarily encounter a natural stopping point until you reached the soles of the feet.
I really wish at least one of these articles was a lot more explicit about the parameters of the male Brazilian. I want to know.
Anyway, there are some wonderful moments in today's Salon article, like the response the writer got when he asked his bros about getting Brozilians--"they were, in a word, appalled. They became almost angry at my suggestion that it had ever been a trend."
Also: a story about tazing an inappropriate customer, and the no-nonsense Ukrainian spa aesthetician who says: "We hire only older women for the waxing, like your grandmother. We don't hire the model drop-dead gorgeous girl. Otherwise men become uncomfortable and afraid." Makes sense. You're pretty vulnerable down there with your legs up in the air, though a Ukrainian grandmother brandishing a pot of hot wax sounds terrifying enough.
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