Due to the upcoming wedding of which I am a part, I have booked a variety of “beauty” appointments over the course of the week. Today I had some sugaring done at Lilypad Spa. What a lovely place! Their products are all organic, vegan and natural, gluten-free if possible, and local if available. While not the least expensive place in the city, they’re certainly not over priced, and I am completely down with paying for quality of service and products. And Kyla was very qualified! I hope that eco-conscious Saskatoonians are seizing the opportunity to do some good while making themselves pretty.
That said, I’d like to look at this issue of being “Kind” through an Esthetics Filter.
Women have a long history of expectations piled upon them to look a certain way. They were supposed to be bodacious, have curves, cover their hair, minimize their waist at the cost of their ribcage, possess physical qualities that suggest an affinity for child bearing and yet look like Twiggy, and be entirely hairless from the hairline down. It’s all bogus, we all know it, but it’s an unfortunate fact of life. Likewise, men are traditionally expected to be big, butch, straight and the one who brings home the tofurkey bacon. Many modern folks rally against these expectations for their own gender while still projecting them onto the other (or onto anyone, of any gender, who’s not them).
When a person becomes connected to their body on a higher level, for instance choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet because of the health benefits, their prevailing interest is usually to show respect to this invaluable vessel that has so kindly been toting them about all these years. They make sure to eat a balanced diet, get the right amount of exercise, achieve a healthy and happy weight, and keep an eye on potential adverse reactions. So why is it that we go to all this trouble to show our bodies respect, and still feel pressured by significant others, friends, society or ourselves to strip away the hair that nature gave us?
Now don’t get me wrong. While I’m not one of those girls who won’t leave my bedroom in shorts unless my legs are newly smooth, I do enjoy that freshly waxed/shaved feeling. As long as I’m going somewhere where my legs won’t be in anyone’s face, I generally don’t bother with hair removal, but if I’m getting a massage, or plan to be sitting on a couch next to friends, I usually go bare. Either that, or I feel the need to make some joke straight off the bat about why I’m sitting there all Sasquatch-y.
Honestly, my decision to take drastic, ripping methods where my limbs are concerned is based on my own enjoyment of the results. If I didn’t care for how I felt with smooth legs, I would probably never get them waxed. I acknowledge that some of that enjoyment is probably based on a lifelong pressure to have smooth legs, but I like to think that I’m self-aware enough to not be utterly controlled by this (or maybe I’m fooling myself).
Why do we strive to respect this wonderful thing that the Goddess -or whomever, your call – gave us, and then toss up broad hints that suggest we wish she’d gone about it a different way?
I honestly can’t answer that. I’m not saying I feel badly for getting my underarms waxed, but I can’t help but wonder about it once in awhile. Am I throwing my creator’s work back in her face each time I lay back in the comfy salon bed?
Granted, something like hair removal or makeup (a very similar issue) is not as severe as, say, plastic surgery; I’m taking an easier angle here, definitely. Where do we draw the line? If we leave our hair to grow wild and free, do we also passively accept that the Goddess gave us bad teeth, excess earwax, or cancerous moles? Probably not! Maybe we just assume that we were created to do with our bodies as we so wish, and let’s face it; that’s what we do most of the time, anyway.
Just some food for thought.
Gouda wants us to love the planet and ourselves, too!
(Cross my heart I didn’t set this up. Pure chance and so adorable!)