Some primitive procedures in the 21st century
November 22, 2005
Warning: This column may offend someone, though I’m not sure whom.Although I am in the advertising business and am well aware that marketing is a powerful force to convince millions of people that they desperately need things they never knew they wanted, I am still amazed that a large chunk of our society has allowed itself to be convinced to undergo the torture of body waxing.I’m not talking about a little upkeep of an unsightly female mustache or the aesthetics of separating a Lemony Snicket across-the-face eyebrow, I’m talking about a whole new industry designed to make already beautiful young people feel they have to be even more beautiful in order to stay in the running.Even the men are doing it, paying good money, and lots of it, to have their chest and back hairs ripped out by the roots to make themselves more sexually attractive, a false premise intentionally implanted in their (and their partners’) minds. Have we gone mad? It’s like the 21st century version of foot-binding.I trace part of the trend to the introduction into the fashion world of the high-hipped women’s bathing suits, which redrew the line of the suit from across the upper thigh to a new line going up to the waist. This made women’s legs appear longer and thus was a big hit, but it also ignored the laws of nature and led to a new phenomenon: the bikini wax. Because for godsake you couldn’t wear one of those long-legged bikinis with any p-word HAIR showing, could you?Society flocked to embrace the pain.Consider this if you’re wondering how the whole nation could have gotten behind the war on Iraq. We will buy into anything if it’s marketed well enough. The bikini line morphed into another fashion statement. Believe it or not, it is now fashionable (YIKES! OUCH! SCREAM!) to apply hot wax to defoliate (rippity tear) the entire nether area!It is ironic that when we’re young we battle the hair and when we get old we wish we had some of that protective covering. The armpit and leg hairs disappear – that’s OK – but no one told us that other hair would turn gray and fall out, leaving us looking like dried-up versions of the pre-pubescents that today’s young adults are so trying to emulate.The more we age, the more we return to infancy: hairless, drooling and diapered. Why speed up the process?Love and nurture your body hair – it doesn’t last forever! You don’t know what you’ve lost till it’s gone and you miss it. Su Lum is a longtime local who thinks you should also just say no to curling, straightening, dyeing, highlighting and otherwise messing with head hair until you’re at least 50. This column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.