“Do you have to cook anything for Thanksgiving this year?”
“Well, I think I'm going to make some stuffing – someone else is doing the turkey”
“Oh, do you have any tips on how to make stuffing more flavorful? I feel like mine last year was a little bland”
“Spread your legs apart a little more.”
The Brazilian wax. Removes all the hair down there. Front and back. Cooch and bum. Bare as a baby's bottom.
I Googled for waxers in my area, and then asked a few people. Google and EVERYONE I asked pointed me to one lady in particular. Brazilian's are her specialty. I came to learn she regularly sees the vag's of at least 12 people I know.
I was terrified of going, and I'll explain why a little later – it had nothing to do with the pain. A friend offered to go with me, and that sealed the deal. I made the appointment. I nearly backed out at the last minute, but then realized it was too late to cancel on my friend. She was waiting for me when I got there. The waxer called me back into her room, and my friend followed me and proceeded to sit down in the chair in the corner of the room. “What are you doing?” I asked. “You said you wanted me here,” she replied. “Not IN here, in the lobby!” I shrieked. “I won't look!” she said. I didn't need an audience, but that was sweet of her. Off she went.
When the waxer closed the door and looked at me, I expected her to do this:
I was so convinced she's never seen a body like mine, and wouldn't know how to react or how to handle, um, my situation (down there). I have made a good amount of progress as to how I feel about my body, even though my lower stomach is the thing I'm most insecure about. I was so worried though about how SHE would feel. Would she be embarrassed or uncomfortable working on me? Has she seen anyone as big as me before? Would I be able to hold all the yoga poses she must need me to get into to get all the nooks and crannies?
Instead, she casually told me to take my underwear off, hike my dress up, and hop on the table. I had a momentary freakout.
I was able to form the words as she gave me a stare like “why aren't you moving?”
“I know I'm a larger person and I have panniculus, which is more abdominal fat in my lower stomach. I want to make sure you're comfortable with that, and let me know if you need me to pull things tight, move a different way, or whatever. I'm okay with…”
She stopped me, poked at her stomach (not nearly as large as mine), and said “I've got it too! I've seen EVERYTHING and you have nothing to worry about.” Then she gave me a stare like “get on the damn table already.” (She's legendary for her efficiency.)
Up on the table I went, and she asked me to put my feet together and separate my knees. You know how you sit on the ground and butterfly your legs? Do this, but laying down. Instead of demonstrating this myself, I bought a stock photo. You're welcome.
I helped by holding my stomach taut. She just went right in there. Warm wax, strip, rip. Repeat. Yes, it hurt. But honestly didn't seem to hurt worse than getting my upper lip waxed. It was just awkward.
There are 2 types of wax, soft and hard. Soft is what is used with the strips like most people associate with waxing legs or eyebrows. Hard wax is removed without strips, and is used on more sensitive areas like the labia. Some people prefer to have all hard wax. I don't mind the soft wax and hard wax combo.
After rips and grimaces and trying to hold that conversation about Thanksgiving stuffing, she told me to turn on my side and bring my top leg up to my chest, and to grip the top cheek to pull it up. I froze. “I don't think I need that done. It's okay. I'm done!”
“But that's the easiest part! It just takes a second.”
Hesitantly, I got in position. Cue stock photo:
The photo isn't perfect, but imagine she was rolled on her side, and had the knee on top pulled to her chest. Half a fetal position. Or like in the 1980s when you did those inner thigh exercises where you lifted the bottom leg up and down.
A couple strips took care of that area, and it really wasn't painful. I will say though, the wax feels the same temperature as a warm liquid coming out of your bum. I had that “did I just have a liqui-poo” feeling until she ripped it off and I realized it was wax. Yep.
When she was done, I rolled on my back again and she took out a small spray bottle that she said contained a mixture of witch hazel and alcohol. She proceeded to spray it over the waxed area.
Lady bits ON FIRE!!! Yikes!!! It's to disinfect the area, but oy mama – it is a BURN. It didn't last long – maybe 20 seconds. But those 20 seconds were worse than the entire wax. She then used a cream over it to soothe and advised to prevent ingrown hairs, to make my own little spray bottle to use after every shower. Since ingrown hairs are the worst, I followed her advice and found it really did help prevent them. It never burned like when it was freshly waxed. If you'd prefer, you can use a product called Tend Skin, which I also ended up buying after my 2nd wax because I had a couple ingrown hairs that weren't cute. It's really great stuff.
I was in and out in 15 minutes. Fast enough for me to go, “wait – that just happened?!”
Then when it's all done, you feel like this:
I had some slight sensitivity afterwards, but nothing bad. It was gone in a couple of hours.
“What do you think of Ashley Graham?”
“Oh, I think she's gorgeous. Happy for her on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition”
“Yeah, I think she's just beautiful. But she doesn't look that big to me.”
“She's certainly pushing boundaries, and I'm glad about that.”
“Ok, roll over on your side and separate the cheeks for me.”
The conversations about Thanksgiving stuffing and Ashley Graham while having my pubic hair ripped out at the root aren't the most natural in the world. But it keeps me from thinking about how I'm laying on a table half naked while someone spreads wax on my hoo-ha. I always leave feeling super amused about the conversations, and also puzzled at how quickly she removes all the hair.
So far, I've had 3 Brazilians. After the first one, it was ridiculously easy with no nerves. That initial fear of freaking someone out with my body was completely gone, thank goodness. That's the worst feeling, and one I hope I'll be able to resolve with myself someday.
Here are some quick tips based on my limited Brazilian experiences:
- Exfoliate before you go. Also exfoliate starting 48 hours after the wax. It will help prevent ingrown hairs.
- If you're worried about pain, you can take some ibuprofen or painkiller of choice 30 minutes before your appointment.
- For 48 hours after your Brazilian, refrain from sexual activity, body oils, perfumes. Your waxer will likely give you a run down of what to avoid.
- Wear a dress. I typically wear dresses most days anyway, but I find it's just easier to not have to take pants and underwear all the way off. Slip the underwear off, hike the dress up, get about your business, and put them back on. Easy peasy. And for heaven's sake, wear sensible underwear. I can only imagine how uncomfortable it could be if you went wearing some itchy lace things and had to put them back on your new bare spot. Same with skinny jeans – if they ride up or something on the area, ouch.
- Want more tips? CeCe of Plus Size Princess has a great post!
- Over at Ravishly, 15 Things Your Brazilian Waxer Wishes She Could Tell You
So there you have it. The internet now knows the state of my pubic hair. For today at least. Who knows, I might decide to change it up again!
Feel free to leave questions in the comments, or even some potential conversation starters for my own amusement.
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