Here's another women's health post - so the squeamish types should click out now.
On the local news tonight, a report about the latest scourge - er - trend among young women: The Brazilian.
Now, in the grand local news tradition, this trend isn't new. At all. But according to the report, it has been growing exponentially in popularity in the past few years. Rather than use the words "complete removal of pubic hair, no really, we mean complete," the news opted for the slightly less cringe-inducing "hairless look."
They even found a woman "hair removal client" to talk about why she favors the frequent, painful process. And she didn't mind talking about it. Wonder if she asked her mom and her boss to watch a different station tonight.
Focusing on the youth angle - how high school girls are a growing salon constituency - the new report chose to head to Berkeley to interview the young 'ens. Those of you thinking that Berkeley = underarm hair, oh, so wrong you are.
One girl said she thought it was popular because girls' partners prefer it - "it's a trend." One intellectual wonder of a student said hairless girls were "cleaner" and their brazilians show they try to "take care of their bodies." "I'm just not attracted to hair," said another young fellow. Never mind that the on-screen doctor stated hair is - wait for it - there for a reason. Down there, it's for protection and lubrication. Never mind that lasering or waxing can lead to burns, injuries, in-grown hairs, or - I kid you not, he said this - HERPES OUTBREAKS. The boys like it. Hair is gross. Boys like girls who follow trends! Trends to make them clean! One wonders who implied to them that unshaven/plucked/waxed girls never bathed.
I certainly have many girl friends who have fallen prey to this foolishness (I love you all, but I think you're nuts). Many of them will say that they just feel better themselves, that it has nothing to do with partners or potential partners or magazines or TV shows or expectations. Except I don't believe that. Maybe it's true to a certain extent. Or maybe it's just one of those cognitive dissonance things: I'm doing this, it MUST be for a good reason. But the partner-pressure is there. Or at least the fear of that pressure. Even if it isn't discussed, there's the concern that it might be expected. And better not take the chance of offending him by being . . .well, by appearing to be over the age of 12.
Over at Amber's blog, there's always a lot of banter about gender interaction: are covered Muslim women expressing their faith or being bullied by misogynistic men? Are men who tell women to smile being condescending or complimentary. Well, I would add this question to the mix: are women who undergo painful procedures to make their adult genitals appear pre-adolescent really doing it for themselves? Have we slouched so far from enlightenment that we blithely ascribe to just one gender a presumption of filth? Why would you want to look less like a woman and more like a girl - and why would you want a man who wants you to look more like a girl? The burning? The ripping? The itching between waxings? Tell me ladies, who has time to vilify Cosmo for forcing us to purge or starve when we're so busy mutilating our selves in our spare time?
At least Muslim headscarves have a legitimate connection to an organized religion. This "trend" should end. Now.