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the bare essentials


The nature of being a woman in the 21st Century means that easy access to beauty therapists, hair salons, instructive magazines and fashion outlets warrants little or no excuse for dropping the ball in the personal maintenance department. While men were once the Knights, Gladiators and Vikings with courage and balls, it is the modern woman who is now the warrior – evolved over the ages to develop a thick skin, high-pain threshold and a set of her own.

As a 27 year old city-dwelling female and personal-grooming activist, I feel qualified in making the assertion that women in this day and age willingly undergo some of the most tear-induced nasal hair-plucking, shriek-worthy experiences – all in their quest to remain fuzz-free and fondle-friendly. I am convinced that such encounters could not be borne by the average male without encouraging a crouching-tiger hidden-dragon pose. Move over Joan-of-Arc, the new breed of female brandishes a wax-wand over sword and has the potential to render any unsuspecting individual hair-free quicker than you can say Nair, Veet or trim-before-you-try.

To add insult to potential injury, the cost of such maintenance is extraordinary. Why? Because they Khan-can! While I am an occasional indulgent of the pedicure, self-confessed eye-brow threading enthusiast and semi-regular blow-dry junkie, I will often forgo a professional manicure, leg wax or mo-removal for a DIY job in the safety and financial security of my own bathroom. A realist and non-extravagant woman I may be, but there are, however, limitations to the concept of home-hair-removal or personal upkeep. Loss of skin along the upper-lip line is the extent of injury that I am prepared to endure for the sake of beauty therapy. While I am content to haphazardly wave the razor about my legs and risk three seconds of self-induced pain to remove an upper-lip line of inappropriately placed fluff, I quite happily draw the line at anything of a potentially more damaging nature.

A self-preservation advocate I am and will continue to be, despite the extortion that women must undergo to partake in such activities – not to mention the potentially harrowing experience of a novice waxer or Oompa-Loompa replicating spray-tan assistant. I, unlike, (or like) many of my kind will remain to the end a dedicated heel-scrubbing, aloe-vera lathering devotee. In salute to the sisterhood let us draw comfort, a steady breath – not in response to the tearing of hair from the body – to acknowledge that occasionally we are entitled to a day or two off from our duties and as such, are given leave to rebel against the changing times. Let us therefore hope, nay, secretly rely on the philistine origins of our significant counterparts and take comfort in the fact that on such occasions, they simply won’t notice.

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