Brazilian Waxing…For Teens?

I got this email the other day for our column.

Dear Dr. Wes:

My girlfriends told me that if I want to get with a guy I need to get a Brazilian Wax; and that all the boys they know will only be with me if I do it. I assume you know what that is. It sounds terrible to me and it will hurt and I don’t want to do it, but they’re pressuring me to do it. What is your advice?

Dr. Wes: Originally, I didn’t think we could run this in our weekly newspaper column, but I got the okay last week, so the more formal version will run late this month. I have to admit that I was taken aback by this. Yes I do know what a Brazilian Wax job is, but if readers don’t, lets just save you the Google search and say it has to do with removing pubic hair. Completely. ‘Nuf said. I thought this was mostly something young women so they could wear very brief bikini’s .But sure enough, more research tells us that many girls are doing this specifically to please a partner.

In fact, I hear there may well be increasing pressure for girls to wax just to land a guy, many of whom apparently find that look quite pleasing. Unfortunately, I think there’s a rat in this story somewhere, and it’s called pornography. As we say in our books, porn is the way a lot of young men learn about sex, and this kind of story is a major reason why. Apparently that same look is pretty popular among today’s internet porn stars (and wannabees) and thus boys want their girls to (cringe now) look the same way.

This is disturbing for about nine reasons, but the most important one is this: Pornography in its current form is demeaning enough to women without girls trying to look more like the girls depicted therein. This goes beyond body image, and self-respect, to a very troubling place in our society where the line between sex and childhood is being crossed, and none of us should be comfortable with where  it’s headed

If two partners are in a healthy monogamous relationship and they agree they want to try out their local waxing clinic, I say “fine,” especially if the guy is offering himself up for the same procedure. It’s not for anyone to judge that choice. But if Brazilian Waxing is the new ticket into the dating pool–as this girl’s letter suggests–we need to add it to our long list of topics to discuss with teenagers in our sex talks. Everyone deserves free will to choose something this personal, and no boys, late teen or young adult, should be permitted to dictate his terms for a relationship in this way. I’ll admit it’s kind of an awkward topic, but we’ve made it through others. We can make it through this one.

As for our dear reader, I say ignore your friends and find a new dating pool.

Written by

Dr. Wes

Wes Crenshaw, PhD specializes in working with adolescents and their families. He has co-authored Double Take since November 2004.

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