I’m a woman, and I’ve been one for a long time. I’m feminine in a masculine kind of way.
Meaning, I don’t burn, wax, whiten, shave, tweeze, peel, curl, tan, receive weaves, perms, eyelash treatments, Botox injections, lip plumping, anal bleaching, slather myself with chemicals, makeup, nail polish… I don’t stuff my feet into evil Cinderella step-sister shoes, don “flossing” panties or encase my butt in Spanx.
I don’t do this because: I like to walk, bike, hike, sit and move comfortably. I enjoy deep breaths and smiles that don’t hurt my face. I love to eat (makes you fat!!), drink red wine (stains your teeth!), enjoy raw onions & garlic (bad breath!). I partake of all regularly.
Until recently most men’s grooming rituals were Shit, Shower, Shave. If older, maybe tweeze those errant nose/ear hairs. Most wear sensible shoes.
Beauty shouldn’t alter your body’s ability to be a body. Hair machinations, tattoos or (most) piercings are creative without significantly changing the body’s mastery of itself. I like to wear flowing skirts, cute boots with heels no higher than a man would wear, scarves, hats and non-binding jewelry. I’ve had designs cut and color stripes dyed into my hair for 35 years. Occasionally, I wear lip tint. I’ve been told I’m elegant and beautiful.
I could target anything from the savage “beauty” list above to rant on—having barely touched on dieting, plastic surgery or foot binding—but I’m going after one porn-informed ubiquitous ritual because it disrupts women’s sexuality.
Women shaving/waxing their vagina is part of the sexualization images derived from porn, not from women. Hairless is not what women look like. No, boys, they really don’t. But it is what girls are like…or little boys.
In the last 15+ years, the sexual unhappiness of women has quadrupled, at least from the accounts wept from my client chair. Somehow, male imbibers of porn think what they see on their computer = sex with live women. Think again. [See testosterone: the most lethal substance on earth (george carlin)] Real life women—seen through this x-rated distortion of airbrushed, anorexic and “bald” models—come up lacking.
Well, ladies, you’re contributing to the problem by unconsciously internalizing a patriarchal ideal of beauty, by altering your bodies to mirror porn stars: boob jobs, labiaplasty, hoodectomy, anal bleaching. And, more minorly, by porn-tarting up your coochie and calling it grooming, by buying into the unreal perfection-waxed-projections pushed by the biggest Big Biz.
I’m weary of porn deforming the erotic lives of women. 98% (or more) of porn is not women designed or women interesting. I want sex to stop being defined by male fantasy-driven images. Porn is not making love; it’s not even sex. Just like faking orgasms to resemble the poppycock in XXX “films,” you’re ruining the visual perception for a lot of other women who just want to be…women. Au naturel.
Peeling a band-aid off really smarts though I don’t usually rip it from my vaginal lips. I hear it’s torture to get a Brazilian wax, “landing strip” or not.
And for what? Ask yourselves. Paraphrasing standup comedienne Laura Hayden: “Men used to be happy just to be invited to the playground. Now they want it cleaned up, too?!”