So, Rachel Johnson's had her first brazilian, inspired by her daughter, and apparently it was painless. What..? I have had one brazilian in my life, just one, several years ago, and it has remained with me ever since as one of the most painful things I have ever experienced.
Rachel Johnson's pain-free claim makes it clear to me - something that I suspected - that my beauty 'technician' - the waxist - was in fact a secret sadist, ready to inflict torture on any hirsute innocent foolish enough to cross her threshold..
She was East European and had very little in the way of English but I'm pretty sure there was a glint in her eye that day when I checked into the salon and she took me down to her chamber - the little white room downstairs where every imaginable form of depilation is carried out.
Like a James Bond villain, she was efficient, terse-lipped and quite adept. She'd obviously removed an awful lot of pubic hair in her time, and as she began on the usual knicker-straying groin area, I wondered, as I often do, how these girls cope with the regular akimbo exposure of women's bits in all their glory. I mean, as a 'beautician', your first bikini wax must be a pretty challenging, and charmless, initiation.
The usual areas bare I was then required to hold each leg aloft at an awkward angle so she could reach the more nether of my nether regions. Now these areas, like our beloved British forests, have remained untouched for a lifetime and cultivated a strong deep-rooted undergrowth, which like bindweed, will resist any attempts at removal. The experienced beautician however, is prepared. She lathers said area briskly, slaps on strip and with a wrench, tears it off. I yelp and hit the ceiling. Unperturbed she goes back to the throbbing area to apply more wax and clear up the odd stray that follicles had clenched to for dear life. Then she proceeds to the other side.
By now tears were streaming down my face and I was wimpering. I'd flinched so violently I'd almost fallen off the bed, and with adrenaline racing through my veins, my instinct was to push her to one side and run for the door, wax strips dangling. Fight, flight, flight goddam! my head yelled at me, but, for the sake of vanity - I'd rather be hairy than half bald - and curiosity - these are fashionable right? - I gritted teeth and decided to stay the course.
She, meanwhile, carried on straight-faced. When she got to the end, I breathed a long high-pitched sigh of relief, whispered 'thanks very much' and reached for my clothes. At which point, our resident beautician ordered me to turn over. Yes, indeed. This girl was thorough.
Not one hair was left after she'd finished. Back or front. I lay there too in shock to say anything. It was all she could do, i'm pretty sure, not to slap my trembling buttocks robustly, and announce, 'You're done', before leaving me to dress.
Stunned I didn't/don't get it. I'm all for suffering for our art but this is a pain too far. Can it really be worth it..?!
I limped home and inspected, and as a result, was left even more flummoxed and frankly, embarrassed. Where once was natural lustre was now pale, plump, plucked chicken breast. Perhaps it works on people with the right skin tone and bone structure but on me it wasn't pretty, pleasant, or even vaguely attractive. Certainly not sexy. I did not like the sight of myself as pre-pubescent child again, and was slightly alarmed that many grown-up women, and their men, would. I resolved to have pants on at all times til everything grew back, and never again resort to such extreme depilation.
So there you have it. Brazilians. Don't believe what you read from the Johnson clan. Blondes' roots may well be looser, but this brunette can confirm that Brazilians are pure unadulterated pain, probably worse than natural childbirth, and leave you looking like a freshly-shorn sheep - humiliated and just a little bit silly.