The beautician is affirming until she sees my underarm hair. Then she says “oh god”, and “sorry”, and has to do some deep breathing to the tune of Top Meditation Hits. “It’s just very long,” she says when she has recovered. “Thank you,” I say, because usually when people see my pit hair they are nice Inner West lesbians who compliment it.
There are apparently not many hairy feminists on the North Shore, or more likely they do not go to beauticians to have their politically charged hair violently removed. It is a bit like Samson and Delilah. The longer the hair, the more power, where power in this case is leftist political capital. I am not sure why I occasionally pay money to get rid of that hair/power. This is something I have considered raising in my political economy tute where no one talks and the tutor asks us how the economy has affected our lives lately. The rich kids say “it hasn’t”.
Because I am somewhat Lebanese, it takes nearly two hours to wax my legs. I use this time to cultivate cognitive dissonance. The chic French provincial décor and instrumental meditation music clashes nicely with the physical and ideological violence being done to my body with hot wax.
I tell the beautician that I think punk rock would go better with something like leg waxing. She is not into punk rock. She is actually, she admits conspiratorially, really into this montage of ocean sounds and sporadic piano notes. I do some deep breathing and try to visualise peaceful things like throwing a chair through a window.
Ninety minutes in she tells me that I have good pain tolerance, in between her twelfth and thirteenth tugs on a piece of wax that has become stuck in my pit hair. She blames my hair for this, even though she trimmed it beforehand.
She tells me I should trim it first, next time. I doubt there will be a next time. I ask her if she has any tips for safely manipulating scissors in the armpit area left-handed, but she has no knowledge of this. When I get home I google “armpit wounds” to see if anyone else has had this problem, and learn that yes, they have; and no, it’s not the kind of cut that heals on its own. The bleeding pit looks like a bearded mouth vomiting blood. I do not learn anything about safe scissor manipulation. I consider giving it up for good.