What Waxing Really Reveals

Until recently, my relationship with waxing was unemotional. And then I went to a makeup boutique to buy some new foundation.

That’s when - during the application of a tint called “Blush Stone,” an incongruous elicitation if ever there was one - that the makeup artist said to me, “We gotta take care of those.”

By “those,” she meant the wisps of dark hair that appeared as if overnight on my freckled upper lip.

I used to think that people got “waxed” (think underarms and bikini area) to get rid of the unwanted hair that nearly all of us have after puberty hits.

It never occurred to me until now that there may be another reason women head to the salon: unwanted hair appearing in places we never had it before. This article from the National Library of Medicine explains some of the changes to our hair and skin that we can look forward to as we get older.

“How did they get there?” I asked. The woman inquired about my age. I told her 31. “Hormonal shifts,” she said. “You’re body’s producing more testosterone.” Suddenly I felt very mannish.

To be honest, I had previously noticed those wisps. But I thought I was the only one doing the noticing. Now I felt very self-conscious. So, I made an appointment with a waxer and now my upper lip is wisp-less. But while the hair may be gone, a thought remains: My body is changing.

There have been some recent Sisterhood posts about issues surrounding pregnancy, like this one and birth,. But my new venture into the land of depilation reminds me that I’m a few steps behind in that process.

For my wonderful mother, news of my first upper-lip wax evoked panic. She wants a grandchild, not another reminder that her daughter is no longer a fertile 20-something.

It took three days for my upper lip to stop smarting from the wax. Now my mind isn’t only focused on the discomfort from waxing. It’s lingering on my mother imploring me to “have a baby already.”

A visit to the salon is about maintaining the appearance of youthfulness. But, like my new friend the waxing lady, our body knows that the appearance is an illusion.

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