You ever see something so wrong that it isn’t just shenanigans, it’s the kind of mega-bullshit that deserves the title Ur-shenanigans? Well it happened to me. I read over on Sociological Images how a waxing salon was giving a special rip-your-hair-out deal for girls 15 or younger.
Just take a good look at the ad:
It’s bad enough that it is basically telling girls who are not even Sophomores in high school that their nasty, disgusting bodies make vile little hairs which must be ripped from their tender flesh because it is NEVER too soon to learn to revile your body’s lack of artificiality, amirite! What’s worse it is is telling girls that young that their gross bodies must be altered so they will be prettier, which means sexier, which means — not to dance around putting a euphemistic point on it – more fuckable.
Wow. I really want 8th graders thinking of themselves as sexualized (where sex is not something for their pleasure, but something they perform to achieve worth in the patriarchal value system) and worried that people wouldn’t want to bone them if they have naturally occurring pubic hair! Got that message, girls? It isn’t enough that you be a sexual object that will win patriarchal approval (only if you give sex to the right men under the right circumstances you whore/prude/bitch), but your body must be made better so you can earn the privilege of being an potential fuck-puppet! Not just as thin a Barbie – as hairless as well!!
Notice how the girl is leaping into to the air, reveling in the awesomeness of her pube-free crotch, which is in the foreground much closer to the viewer than her face in case you missed the point. You can only achieve beauty/happiness if your body is altered appropriately at a very young age! If you can grow pubic hair, you are old enough to have hot wax smeared on your privates and yanked out. You know, unless you want to be Yolanda the Yucky Yeti whom no one will ever, ever love.
Your armpits must be smooth too, but the ad is clearly more concerned with the Southern climes.
The most insulting thing about this putrid ad is the way promote the onset of undignified body modification for “viewer consumption” as a “celebration of freedom and independence”. My ass. This is a celebration of body shaming and the enslavement of never-ending personal alterations. Ask any grown woman if she feels unfettered by the constant grooming she must do to avoid be ridiculed as an ugly, hairy feminist.
The Sociological Images author, Lisa Wade, calls it like it is: “The ad is reminiscent of many similar campaigns aimed at adult women, ones that frame consumption of clothes, make-up, jewelry, and cosmetic procedures as expression of freedoms. In this way, it’s a capitalist appropriation of feminism/liberation ideology. It’s also a naturalization of what is, in reality, a lifetime of compulsory, expensive, and sometimes harmful beauty practices.”