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I stiffened my thigh muscles to resist the esthetician’s yank,

as the cloth strip clung to my pelvis for dear life. I jerked my shoulders back and exhaled with a loud sigh. I looked down at the white lady; her eyes were focused on my pum-pum. She was preparing to lay down yet another batch of oozy wax. It felt very similar to the wax you play with after blowing out a candle. I rolled my eyes and threw back my head like a kid with a bad tantrum. I had been lying there for only 30 minutes, but I could have sworn I died, came back as a caterpillar, morphed into a cocoon and came out a hairless butterfly.

I held my legs in a yoga-like pretzel position, while Kara, my newly found esthetician, took me step by step through my first Brazilian wax. She was only halfway finished before my decision to get the Brazilian wax suddenly felt forced. The idea was originally sparked by a moment of inspiration—a Coffy Brown movie night. Coffy Brown was a foxy, long-legged vigilante from blaxploitation films in ‘70s. A nurse by day and drug circuit assailant by night, she was often found in scenes half naked fighting crime. I was curious. How did Coffy spend her life hopping in and

Photographer By: Jessica Noel Layout By: Jordan Bullock

By: Anamarie Shreeves

out clothes without giving her enemies and acquaintances a hair scare? So I took a chance and made my appointment for 4:15 p.m. I spent the entire day reading blogs, testimonials and Yahoo! Answers to know what to expect. The information I found made me a little more hesitant about going through with the wax. I thought by the end I would be missing skin and shedding blood, but yet I still wanted to go through with it. I arrived at the spa and checked in. The receptionist welcomed me to take a seat while I waited for the esthetician, a professional in the study of beauty treatments. I scanned the spa: the lights were dimmed under dome-like fixtures. Burnt sienna pillars separated the spa in sections. The scent of salt-based body scrubs and acrylic acid filled the air. Kara, a top-heavy blonde, stood at the threshold of the lobby. It was as if she was looking straight through me. She took me down a long hall past a row of nail stations and pedicure baths into another hallway full of olive-colored doors. We walked into one of the rooms. There were beauty instruments in each corner of the spacious room and a bulky “bed of pain” sat in front of me. The cushion was covered three-quarters by a folded house-towel. Before leaving the room, Kara told me to take off everything from the waist down and to place this tiny washcloth over my lady friend for privacy (yeah right!). I placed my shoes, jeans and panties in a wicker basket and unwillingly lay down on the bed. Kara came in and gave me a brief synopsis of the process. The waxing was done in sections, with each portion I would have to stretch my skin to reduce the pain. She took a large wooden craft stick and dipped it into a wax warmer sitting on a short square table. Kara spread the creamy, iridescent purple wax onto the crease of my pelvis, where the leg and crotch meet. She talked to me throughout the entire process about other patients and the benefits of being a routine waxer. I took the palm of my hand and laid it flat on the top of my thigh muscle. Kara was standing in front of me hovering over my lap, as I pulled my skin back away from her direction. She placed the woven cloth strip over the wax and pressed down on the cloth to secure the wax onto the strip. “Deep breath, I’m pulling,” she said. I braced myself, and she yanked the strip back. The first few pulls felt like pulling a Band-Aid off your skin—a slight sting, but no throbbing pain. She started from the outermost section and moved in toward the point of no return. The waxing was harder to tolerate once her sections moved closer to my nether regions. Once Kara reached the innermost peak she had to switch the waxes. Apparently, the hairs grow in a different direction and hard wax works better in those spots. After applying the hard wax she allowed it to dry for a few minutes. Once the wax dried Kara pressed down on it with a wooden craft stick and made one small yank. The hard wax doesn’t grab your skin, but what makes it feel like hell is the fact that Kara had to rip it off inches at a time. The second rip felt like the wax had grabbed skin and I panicked

at the thought of seeing my own blood. I heard Maia, my good friend who I brought along for moral support, in my ear making high pitch shrieks. Kara yanked again and I thought about giving her one mean blow to the jaw. She laughed and assured me that I was doing better than most first-timers. The waxing got hard to endure and I started moving in between ohs, ahhs and yelps. On her last strip I broke down and shifted before she finished. Sadly, she had to do the last section again, I prepared for it by holding my breathing without realizing it was over. Thank God! She gave me an oil-based substance similar to massage oil to rub away the sticky residue left on my skin. I slowly stepped into my panties and jeans and walked toward the lobby, where Kara gave me tips on ways to avoid hair bumps— and the bill. I charged $70 to my check card, $65 for the hair ripping and $5 for the smile. Riding back home I felt unsatisfied. The hype about the Brazilian wax only left me in pain and $70 broker. When I got home and prepared to take a shower, I squinted in the mirror to take a good look. I guess it didn’t look that bad after all. As a matter of fact, it made me want to catch a standby flight to Miami, throw on a two-piece and start South Beach living. But, alas, I had a semester to finish. After taking some time to settle into the new landscaping, I can honestly and cheerfully recommend the Brazilian wax to any woman—provided you can endure 45 minutes of ripping pain inflicted as a perfect stranger places her hands all over your danger zone. Would I do it again? I—think so. The aftermath is much more beneficial than the pain. Plus the Brazilian way is easier than my experiences with trimming, shaving or depilatories. And that depends on whether you make your beauty choices on the basis of which brings the least pain. All things considered, it does look pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I thought by the end I

would be missing skin and shedding blood, but yet I still wanted to go through with it.


Anamarie Shreeves

Let it Rip  

A young journalist's experience for her first Brazilian wax.

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