AM I TOO OLD FOR A BRAZILIAN?
One of my husband’s more quotable quotes in recent memory was: “As a doctor I get to see lots of dicks and pussies.”
The topic of conversation was waxing.
My GP husband was expounding his theory that you can tell the age of a woman less by the state of her hands than by the luxuriousness of growth of her pubic hair: those in their 40s are usually still ‘native’, women in their 30s can swing either way, but 20-somethings are almost guaranteed to be as naked as the day they were born.
A novel substitute for carbon dating.
I could launch into a polemic and argue that waxing is simply a sinister plot to keep the young women of Australia oppressed; that while they’re occupied denuding every single follicle on their bodies, hairy men are out there taking the best jobs and all the seats in the boardroom. But let’s save serious talk for another day.
I want to discuss a more personal dilemma.
As a woman of mature years I’m bucking a trend, you see. My current beautician is only 20. In her eyes pubic hair is clearly passé and it’s become her crusade to get me to go all the way – a Brazilian.
Now this beautician – we’ll call her Karen – is a buxom girl of Lebanese extraction, swarthy-skinned and dark-haired. I imagine waxing is indeed her friend, which may explain her missionary-like zeal about the whole topic.
I, however, am not particularly hairy and the whole Brazilian thing came along when I was already past it: a mother of three. So what exactly would be the point, I ask myself?
At first I requested a bikini wax.
Karen convinced me to go for the ‘extended bikini line’, which has somehow since morphed into a G-string wax. The old-growth forest on my map of Tassie is now under serious threat, so much so I half-expect to see a group of tiny Green protesters hanging around down there when I go to the loo.
That said my husband seems very happy with the manicured look.
Still, I continue to baulk at the final step, so much so that I risked third-degree burns at my last appointment, swatting Karen away as she came menacingly at me with a spatula of hot wax.
“Look, you’ve hardly got any hair left,” she said, “so what’s the difference?”
“I’m too old,” I protested.
“No you’re not,” she said.
But am I?
What has me worried is a comedy skit I saw recently where Joan Rivers talked about her aging vulva falling victim to gravity. “Dropping” was the word she used. Horrors – up until this point I’d never considered the possibility!
I’m not as old as Joan Rivers, but then I’m definitely not young (having, in cricketing parlance, just cracked a half-century).
What if I go for the full Brazilian and discover that rather than the pert prepubescent number I recall (it was a very long time ago), I have a sad droopy little thing that hangs somewhere around my kneecaps? Swing low sweet chariot, as the song goes.
Karen assures me this won’t be the case, but then she would, wouldn’t she?
Also, I have a pap smear with my gynaecologist due and I’m worried what he would think about it all. Would he think me mutton dressed up (or rather undressed) as lamb?
More likely, of course, he wouldn’t bat an eyelid, having, as my husband put it, seen it all.
So what do others think? How old is too old for a Brazilian? Should I dare go bare down there?
Benison Anne O’Reilly is a Sydney-based health writer and published author of three books, The Australian Autism Handbook, Beyond the Baby Blues and a novel, Happily Ever After? She has been published in Sydney’s Child and the Sydney Morning Herald, an is a regular contributor to happychild.com.au a blog about autism and writing.