Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spa Girls says no pain, no gain...(OUCH)!

Nothing like celebrating a well deserved day off than heading to the spa. Along with my favourite spa combo—a Clayton Shagal facial and massage—I decided to have my legs waxed.

I have only had my legs waxed two other times and in both cases swore I would never do it again. Unfortunately, although I have a high pain threshold, waxing is not an experience I find endearing at all. Talking with my esthetician she said some people experience little discomfort, while others, like me, find it very painful.

There are however a number of benefits to having your legs waxed and the big one for me is that it takes longer for the hair to grow back, and my legs are nice and smooth after the procedure. I also understand that waxing, in some cases, helps to reduce the volume of growth over time, and that is appealing.

As I was lying there having the hair painfully ripped from my legs I couldn’t help wonder who in the heck decided that a smooth and hairless body was the standard of beauty.

Removing body hair dates back to the beginning of time, early archaeological finds suggest Neanderthal remains indicated men scrapped their facial hair off with shells or other hand-made objects, and it is well known that ancient Egyptian women removed all body hair as a sign of beauty, youth and innocence. The same practiced was followed by the Greeks and Romans as evident in their statuary.

Flint blades dating as far back as 30,000 BC, depilatory creams, sugaring, tweezers, copper razors, oil and honey emulsions, resin, pitch and bees wax have all been used to remove body hair.

In 1520 Bassano de Zra wrote: "The Turks consider it sinful when a woman lets the hair on her private parts grow. As soon as a woman feels the hair is growing, she hurries to the public bath to have it removed or removed it herself." The public baths all had special rooms where women could get rid of their hair. Nowadays the hamams, or public baths, have special rooms for women to depilate. Oddly enough the practice of depilating fell out of public fashion after Catherine de Medici, then queen of France, forbade her ladies in waiting to remove their pubic hair any longer.

While the art of hair removal continued as a quiet practice, smoothness was rediscovered in the 1960’s with the invention of the bikini, and today many women remove hair somewhere on their bodies. It is the fashion to have smooth armpits, legs, bikini lines. Today, even men are getting smooth.

While I’m not likely to try a Brazilian wax, Spa Girl says, no pain, no gain!

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