We all agree that beauty standards are terrible etc etc. I am not going to dispute that. However, this post at Sociological Images doesn’t sit well with me. Sure we agree that no girl should be pressured to wax or remove any body hair ever. No woman should be pressured either, for that matter. However, I was first called ”Lobizon” (a werewolf like creature from South American legends) when I was 12. The angst I had over a layer of thick, dark hair over my upper lip and freaking sideburns! (I was, like many other teens, a hormonal mess). I didn’t want to wear skirts not even in super hot summers because I was mortified by the same dark and thick hair on my legs (which were regularly referred to as “cepillos” -a brush of the same kind one would use to brush hair).
Sure, the ad is illustrated with a normative photo of a white girl with blond hair but let’s not pretend that beauty standards or even needs* are the same across all ethnicities and cultures.
*I would contend that addressing a girl’s angst over her body and the associated bullying over hair is a need. And while we debate the cruelty of beauty standards which might take generations to fix, we could perhaps address the here and now of many girls, of which I was one, who would prefer waxing rather than ” rhetoric empowerment”.
I have no issue with 15 year olds waxing in general. Even kids as young as 9-12 when it comes to arms, legs, unibrows, (depending on how hairy they are), as long as it’s done because s/he wants to and is coupled with a legit strong “You are beautiful/Everyone Is A Mess” message. Personally, I only shave my armpits to this day because it’s genuinely more physically comfortable for me. I hate conforming to social pressure, but sometimes a little reasonable hair removal is really the easiest way to make yourself more comfortable physically/mentally.
The issue that I had with the ad featured in sociological images was that it implied to me that it was referring to bikini/vulva waxing. Let them grapple with legs and armpits before they start having to figure out their stance on that.