Tara Smith, a ScienceBlogger, posted a story about a girl in her early 20s who went in for a Brazilian bikini wax. This is the one that pours hot wax on your Most Sensitive Areas, then uses strips of cot­ton to — with a great deal of pain — strip away all hair, leav­ing you with a mons pubis resem­bling that of a Girl Scout.

As a result this young woman suf­fered severe sec­ondary infec­tions and put her life at risk.

This is the part of sex­u­al­ity that I least under­stand. It’s bad enough that women are frankly rated by their looks alone in the US — a shame­ful prac­tice unwor­thy of a species that con­sid­ers itself intel­li­gent — it’s bad enough that many men in the US seem to believe women should put out on demand or they’re auto­mat­i­cally Lesbians. It’s bad enough that a woman who chooses not to be preg­nant is either a slut or — in the case of abor­tion — pos­si­bly even a murderer.

But when a girl this young is tor­tur­ing her­self and endan­ger­ing her life in order to ful­fill some myth­i­cal fan­tasy of attrac­tive­ness, my bewil­der­ment rises to the point of incomprehension.

To make mat­ters worse, after she recov­ered, she went in for a sec­ond bikini wax* — and ended up ill all over again. This is behav­ior bor­der­ing on anorexia for pathol­ogy, and all in the name of mak­ing her­self look “good” accord­ing to one very nar­row idea of what a woman is sup­posed to be.

And what does it say about the soci­ety of sex in the US that a woman is attrac­tive when her gen­i­tals resem­ble that of an eight-​​year-​​old girl?

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* UPDATE: Actually, the sec­ond inci­dent was caused by an attempt at shav­ing the area, not a fol­lowup wax.

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