The Vagenda

A One Way Ticket To Hollywood

I’m lying on a fluffy pink bed, feeling faintly ridiculous in socks and no pants. It’s hardly the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but I’m terrified.
Then Lisa, my “therapist”, bustles through the pink curtains, parts my pink robe and inspects my nether regions.
“All off, yeah?” 
I gulp and nod. 
Treating me like a toddler with nappy rash, she briskly powders my privates. Then she dips a lolly pop stick into a pot of hot wax and sets to work.
Now I’m no stranger to a bikini wax, but I have barely braved a Brazilian, let alone its bald little sister, the Hollywood.
A decade ago, the Hollywood – waxing away every last pubic hair – was seen as an exotic novelty for strippers and porn stars. 
Now it’s filtering down from internet pornography to the bedroom via Sex and the City and The Only Way is Essex. There must be a whole generation of virginal boys blissfully unaware that women have pubes, too. And, with an open mind (and equally open legs) I’m about to join this new breed of hairless woman.
Lisa smoothes a cotton strip onto my wax-smeared groin and rips it swiftly off. It’s like being slapped very, very hard. A short, sharp sting.
She works mercifully quickly. Her strip of wax soon resembles a doll’s doormat, covered in wiry black hairs.
I grit my teeth and stare at the ceiling. She asks me to hold my skin taut. I pull at my stomach like a crumpled shirt stretched out for ironing. It’s all very undignified, but I’m grateful for something to dig my nails into. I keep my hand clamped sweatily over my navel as she moves south. The pain gets worse the more I anticipate it.
“It’s the pain that stops most people,” Lisa muses. “If it weren’t for the pain, everyone would get a Hollywood ‘cos it looks so much better. It’s a shame they haven’t invented a numbing gel for this yet.”
“Maybe you could try general anaesthetic,” I mutter.
Just when I think I can’t take any more, Lisa opens me up unceremoniously with two fingers.
Yes, dear reader. There are hairs INSIDE that precious, tender little flower of yours. And right now, my flower feels like it’s having its petals torn off.
But the worst is yet to come. You know how a paper cut always hurt more than falling off your bike? Well, Lisa is determined to pick out every ingrown hair with a pin and tweezers. It leaves me feeling quite faint. 
And then, finally, it’s over. After what felt like an hour but was more like ten minutes, the tea tree lotion comes as cool relief. 
As she’s cleaning up, Lisa chatters about a programme she saw last week. It was about women who don’t realise they’re pregnant until they go into labour. I like to think that now I’ve experienced a Hollywood, I’ve experienced a small fraction of the pain of childbirth. There are striking similarities – legs clamped akimbo, a searing pain between your thighs and a matter-of-fact professional poking around your privates.
I waddle home like John Wayne and tear off my tight jeans. I can’t resist an inspection in the mirror.
I don’t look like a porn star. I don’t look like Barbie. But I do look very… naked. There’s certainly no mystery left after a Hollywood. Freud wrote: “The genitals themselves have not undergone the development of the rest of the human form in the direction of beauty.” 
Mine just look sad and vulnerable. Like Samson, their power has been lost with their hair. Not to mention how clumsy my womanly thighs look next to my new, childlike hairlessness.
I do feel a certain frisson when, at a bar that night, the feel of silk knickers on bare skin reminds me of my little secret. But a week later and it’s already starting to grow back. I’m currently experiencing a five o’clock shadow down there – and not in a good way. 
The Hollywood is surely for high maintenance masochists only. And if any bloke suggests otherwise, shove this under his nose – after delivering a sharp knee to the balls, of course.


9 thoughts on “A One Way Ticket To Hollywood

  1. You didn’t have to go all the way though ;)! There’s a way that makes you look less like a child, which is apparaantly called “landing strip”. I don’t understand the fascination about the “Hollywood” way anyway. With no pubes left, the eyes will just wander around restless and subsequently, the “watchers” attention will be drawn to other areas of your body (that you may have wanted to hide ;).

  2. I feel quite retro with my dark triangle of pubes. I’m quite happy having pubes but I as I’m beginning to build up the courage to dip my toe into internet dating waters again, I have a gnawing anxiety that I ought to declare my pube status on my profile, a sort of up front apologetic admission. God I wish I lived in Spain. I bet Spanish folk take it for granted that a woman has pubes.

  3. What about if I, a woman, would suggest otherwise? Would I deserve a punch in the groin, or does that only apply to men?
    I love this blog so its even more boring to hear the same old argument about hairless-ness yet again. Surely I should be able to choose how much hair I have on my body and not be made to feel like the anti-christ for it? I don’t understand the constant fixation that if I shave my pubes off its because either I want to look like a child (and I find this most offensive), a porn star or that I’ve been pressured into it by a man or that I’ve come up with the idea from porn or inane TV shows. I don’t think that women should be pressured to look any particular way, esp. in an article that doesn’t bother to look at the issue in an intelligent or interesting way . We are rational, mentally sound human beings who should feel free to do what they please with our bodies and not feel demonised for it. And frankly, if you go and get your pubes waxed off when you don’t desire to do so, just so you can write a smug article about how terrible it looks, writing any woman off as a high maintence masochist and advising to knee any men in the balls who suggests otherwise, well thats just pretty fucking sad isn’t it.

  4. When did you first get the urge to go hairless though Anna? What prompted it? That’s what I’m interested in. How/why did women make that jump from just attending to the stragglers that poked out of the top and sides of their bikini (happy days) to paying to have every last hair wrenched out by a bored woman in a white overall? I always assumed the proliferance of Hollywoods/Brazilians etc were because they are commonplace in most modern porn?

    For the record, I have neither the inclination or the time to devote so much effort to primping my pubes, a quick trim with my boyfriend’s beard trimmer will suffice, but neither do I object to others choosing total depilation, I just find it slightly baffling.

    The argument that it feels nicer, or sex is more stimulating, just makes me think that your sex life must be pretty rubbish to start with in that case. It also sounds like something a boyfriend has said in order to convince his partner to whip it all off so that it looks more ‘porno’.

  5. I’m happy having pubes, and while I have no strong preference either way, I like being bald down there. It does feel nice. I actually kinda like waxing, and I don’t care if you think that’s weird. Oh, and I assure you, my sex life is far from boring. And it would be far from boring if I didn’t wax. It’s not a big deal.

    Like Anna, I am unimpressed by the “You must want to look like a child/porn star” nonsense.

  6. I don’t know why so many women shave in the first place. The ‘Hollywood’ trend is just that :a trend, even if it goes on for years. Perhaps there’s an argument for women’s clothing to better fit their bodies? A bikini to actually cover well enough so that little or no pubic hair shows. I’ve only dated one woman who chose to not shave, and I survived to tell the tale! LOL. Plenty of European women don’t shave and plenty of European men are happy they DON’T shave. Have women forgotten that armpit, leg and pubic hair is normal to nature?