Bet you didn't think you'd mourn the end of the Landing Strip.
In today's segment of Beauty Trends We Never Asked For, the humble bikini wax is on the slab.
The Brazilian, Hollywood and Landing Strip have had an unfortunate remake. New trends in hair removal are bikini contouring, "for slimming the hips", glitter stencils and the 'Luv Me look', which according to Glamour is "perhaps the cutest of all, which is a simple heart of hair. "Our WAXperts can make even make the heart super small and dainty, which looks even more endearing."
The "Luv Me" look. Give me a break.
More articulate feminists than I have bemoaned the patriarchal status of female body hair. I keep a fairly tolerant opinion on it, a "you do you" attitude, if you will. Love a full bush? Go for it. Don't want anything there at all? Be my guest. Won't be seen without a vajazzle? Probably considering visiting a therapist, but I support you and your right to bodily autonomy nonetheless. YOLO, etc.
I do, however, draw the line at the contoured bikini wax.
'Taking contouring to the next level, bikini waxing is able to slim the hips," according to one expert. "Our professional therapists always look at the physique and body shape of the woman and recommend the best finish for down below, which is guaranteed to make make them feel amazing about themselves," she says. "The Edgy Mojo involves the WAXperts trimming a strategically shaped triangle as an optical illusion to flatter the hips."
Frankly, I have already let the patriarchy win on several occasions and now I've enough monthly maintenance to be getting on with, between managing to keep the rest of my body hair, nails, eyebrows and lashes up to scratch. And with all the body woes women carry around in the back of their minds constantly, we don't need to add "is my vagina slimming my hips enough?" to the list. It's one of the few body woes that don't trouble me just yet, and I had never considered that I might need "an optical illusion to flatter my hips" before.
Two years ago, I was more than happy to spend all my wages on contour kits and lose an hour before a night out painstakingly blending different shades into my face in order to appear like I had cheekbones and not a moon face. I adore make-up, but now I find a face with muddy dark lines and highlighter that looks like a three-day-old bruise a bit saddening. If you have the time, contouring certainly works but more often than not, while the overall effect looks good in a well-lit, filtered Instagram picture, it's a bit overwhelming in real life. The premise is sad too - use dark shades to hide some features, light ones to highlight others, and blend to fix your nose, cheeks, jawline and forehead.
A little bit of bronzer on the forehead and cheekbones is helpful for everyone but when contouring came for boobs and collarbones, all the fun went out of it.
Now, not only is your arse and face too fat, your vagina and hips need whipping into shape too. Beauty is personal, you should do it for you and it's empowering to do what makes you comfortable and look however you damn choose. The contoured bikini wax however, is a step backward.
We already face the shame of having pubic hair in the first place, have widely adopted the removal of it and have enough massive social pressures and corrosive body expectations without having a vagina that needs faceting like a diamond.
Let's all just grow out our bushes and forget waxing ever happened. Er, you can go first though.
Modigliani's Le Grand Nu, 1917.