During my research for this blog entry I learned that a “Brazilian Wax” means different things in different places. One site said that the definition of a Brazilian Wax was to remove all pubic hair leaving only a patch at the top for decoration. Another site said that the Western definition of Brazilian Wax was more of a description of a service in preparation for the type of bathing suit one would wear after having such a wax because there would be no hair visible around even the slimmest of bathing suits.
Since neither of definitions described what my intention was for my wax or what my plans were after my wax moving forward I will refer to my Brazilian Wax as the “Bravery Wax” because that speaks to exactly what I had to muster to collect the data for this post.
A few weeks ago I was reading an article about women of size not purchasing certain spa packages at the same percentages as smaller sized women. Frankly this irked the shit out of me. Like you, I’m witness to the increased amount of clothing options for women of size but I have not seen the same push from beauty retailers to encourage big girls to patronize their businesses. Why is this? Who really owns the wall between lovely luscious curvy women and beauty retailers? And what do buxom beauties need to feel comfortable researching, booking and undergoing services that these retailers offer? Welp! I planned to find out.
When it comes to relaxation, I could give two shits about someone else’s comfort level with my size. I float anywhere between a size 20 and 24 so I’m a big hunk of caramel woman. I snore and drool during my Asian reflexology sessions and don’t hesitate to speak up when the pressure is too hard while getting a massage.
SIDE NOTE: Why do some massage therapists feel like they have to beat you to death when you have extra meat on your bones? That’s so annoying.
But to be honest there was something about getting any sort of bikini wax or service that focused on my vagina that scared the hell out of me.
I had plenty of reasons for not getting a vaginal beautification service:
1. You love your vagina. She’s been good to you. Waxing hurts. Why would you hurt her like that?
2. You sweat like crazy! What if you get in there and you smell like sweat!
3. You have rolls. Who wants to deal with that?
4. He likes her as is why mess with a good thing.
5. Your personal trimmers work great! Ouch! Shit! Except for that time you left the guard off and almost performed a home labiaectomy.
You get the point. I had reasons coming out the wazoo. But I also had a need. I’m super busy. Who has time to maintain a forest with 50 hour work weeks, kids, home and a man. I swim. And not in no shorts and a t-shirt either. I’m giving my fellow swimmers a show with all this body at the pool. Also, as a woman of size I am obsessed and meticulous about how I smell. So I was spending a lot of time I didn’t have grooming my flower and her surroundings.
So I made a decision. Fueled by curiosity, my need and a mission to put some fact around this mystical service, I set an appointment for my first Bravery Wax.
I called my local waxing parlor to make an appointment. Was given very few pre appointment instructions, like no shaving before the appointment (longer is better), wear loose clothing and come as clean as you can. All of this made perfect sense to me until, 30 minutes before the appointment. I was freaking the f out. In the shower, I must have washed and rewashed maybe 10 times. And I can’t even tell you how many times I reached for my waterproof trimmers. No no no. I told myself that years of self-inflicted body shamming had made me this nervous but today I was taking a step forward in fully stealing my life back. And that after this experience I would write my blog post and maybe someone else could identify and it would help them be brave too. That made me feel better. I got out the shower, put on a sundress, went commando and headed out.
I don’t know if it was the hot shower or my nerves but I was a wet mess by the time I made it to the salon. Shit! This was one of my reasons why not to do this. I was checked in and soon after my aesthetician Sarah, came and got me.
First impression: Sarah was a nice petite lady dressed in scrubs, which further enhanced my size anxiety, hitting on another one of my reasons: was she going to be ok navigating around all this body? I told Sarah I was a nervous sweater and she gave me a whole pack of baby wipes to freshen up with and told me to take my time and calm myself. I did and both directives worked. I stopped sweating. When Sarah returned to the room she handed me a large sheet to cover myself. She told me that there was no need to try and cover up with the little hand towel because we had work to do so we both needed to be comfortable. My thought was ok so she gets it. Unfortunately, there were moments throughout the appointment that I would grow to hate this woman with a passion. Like a deep hate. But I digress.
The room was clean, really well-lit and slightly clinical. On the counter there were strips, sticks, lotions, potions and a crock pot full of hot wax. Triple shit!
Sarah had me lay on the cushy waxing table with one leg bent in a half butterfly. She explained that she would do the top first, bilaterally and then we would move down to the labia. After a moment or two of examination, she decided the trim me up a bit.
So here’s the thing, I guess you need about half an inch of hair for a good peel. Like I said before I’ve been busy so I had a bit more than what was needed. That was awkward, getting trimmed up by someone other than myself or a nurse prepping me for a c section. But it helped to address the “weird” in the room. Sarah had me hold my folds as needed. But she also held stuff when my hands were full. Again, she was very professional.
Once I was all “carved up” as my late father would say, she began to apply the wax, which ended up not really being wax at all (it’s a soy product). Sarah explained that she had both a hard wax and a soft wax but today we were using the soft stuff. This gooey substance was like thick honey and its temperature was someplace between warm and mildly hot candle wax. Totally tolerable. But I knew it was there.
Shit shit shit shit shit! That was me after the first, second and third strips came ripping off. I must have mumbled “What the fuck am I doing here?” because Sarah said, “That’s a great question. What made you decide to get a Brazilian?” I told her that I write a blog that no one reads about stealing my life back after years of giving “me” to everything and everyone else and this experience was my attempt at an expose’ on bikini area beatification services for women of size.
Sarah stopped right in her tracks and put her head down.
Sarah explained that though she herself had not ever been plus sized, she admired the basis of my blog. See Sarah was a single mom whom struggled a lot in the early years of her motherhood. She said it wasn’t until she got into her 40’s that she stole her life back, went to college and eventually graduated. She said her only child, a daughter, had also recently graduated from college, gotten married and was expecting her first baby. Additionally, Sarah is an instructor at the local aesthetician school and just opened her own business. Sarah was rightfully proud. But what she said next stayed with me. Sarah said that she wasn’t content, she was happy. Whoa whoa whoa. What a revelation to know the difference between the two.
Before I knew it, all of the top part of my bikini area was hairless. But now, we had to move down to the labia.
Remember when I told you that I would grow to hate Sarah? This is that part.
Most of the hair removal in and around the labia was tolerable. I had even stopped cussing. Were there rough patches? YES! Mostly when I had to pull one lip or the other to the side so Sarah had the access she needed. Ladies, just so we are clear, to get a full Brazilian your aesthetician will need to wax the inner labia. There is no way around it. Furthermore, he/she will likely get within a foot or so of your vagina. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE OR GET OK WITH THIS OR YOU ARE WASTING EVERYONE’S TIME.
I guess after years of tight jeans and thongs, I’m not as sensitive as I assumed I’d be because the pain was manageable. That was until we got to the top fold of the labia, where the pubic hair becomes the labia lips. Holy hell! I actually wanted to get up, pull my dress down and walk out, no BS. Sarah worked on that area a while and I guess between the stress and my body temperature rising I began to sweat profusely. I hadn’t really noticed until Sarah had me lay on my side to give her access to my perineal space and anus that she handed me the baby wipes and suggested I freshen up again.
Ok now I know you’re thinking “I would have just died!” And yes, I was in that same place for a brief moment. But then Sarah assured me that my body was being very normal and I needed not feel any sort of way about the suggestion. So I let that shit go.
1 2 3 4 done. The backside was a cakewalk.
Throughout the appointment Sarah showed me the strips of hair she was removing. She pointed out the follicle on the hairs and provided some education on growth patterns and maintenance. At the completion of the appointment Sarah used an oil based solution to remove any remaining wax and gave me hot towels to further wipe down. She also applied this antiseptic lotion that tingled a bit but was a nice opposite to the hot wax and my now slightly sensitive skin. Before she left the room the final time, Sarah gave me a mirror to inspect her work.
In earnest friends, I didn’t even recognize my old friend. She was smooth, had a few freckles and was just adorable. Sarah, the very professional aesthetician, did a great job. Upon leaving the parlor, I purchased my own bottle of the antiseptic cream. It costs $10 and in the days following I believe it to be the best $10 potion I’ve ever purchased.
A few closing notes: I feel like a total badass, even if no one but my partner and Sarah know why. Sarah wasn’t tripping over my size or my sweat or my rolls so once I got over myself, there was no problem. I’m not sure if I need a full Bravery Wax for what I use my bikini area and vagina for but it’s nice for now. I think, asking questions and finding a seasoned professional is key to being a woman of size and getting personal beautification/relaxation services done right. And lastly EVERYONE is pleased with Sarah’s work (wink wink).
So there you have it. I came. I waxed and I survived. I believe I am one small step closer to bravely stealing back what’s mine and I hope you are in some way inspired to do the same.