Christopher Hitchens has written a pair of articles for Vanity Fair on the growing self-improvement industry for men, offering himself up as a guinea pig for our education and entertainment. In the second article, he gets new teeth (before photo, after photo…only 6 hours between the two) and gets his nethers waxed…the male version of the Brazilian. The description of his “sack, back, and crack” epilation is too good not to share at length:
Here’s what happens. You have to spread your knees as far apart as they will go, while keeping your feet together. In this “wide stance” position, which is disconcertingly like waiting to have your Pampers changed, you are painted with hot wax, to which strips are successively attached and then torn away. Not once, but many, many times. I had no idea it would be so excruciating. The combined effect was like being tortured for information that you do not possess, with intervals for a (incidentally very costly) sandpaper handjob. The thing is that, in order to rip, you have to grip. A point of leverage is required: a place that can be firmly gripped and pulled while the skin is tautened. Ms. Turlington doesn’t have this problem. The businesslike Senhora Padilha daubed away, took a purchase on the only available handhold, and then wrenched and wrenched again. The impression of being a huge baby was enhanced by the blizzards of talcum powder that followed each searing application. I swear that several times she soothingly said that I was being a brave little boy… Meanwhile, everything in the general area was fighting to retract itself inside my body.