Student advises against conforming and getting chest waxed

Daniel Bidikov, Editor-in-Chief

Every year since 1999, the Ultra Music Festival has been held in late March in beautiful Miami.  While it is a stretch to say it is a modern Woodstock, it is at least in the same vein—a weekend full of loud contemporary music, “good vibes,” and illicit substances.  Ultra is attended in person and via Internet stream by thousands of fun-seeking rave fanatics and casual listeners alike.

I was not there.  I was busy that weekend.  I got my chest waxed.

For the sake of not offending my admittedly limited readership (hi mom!), I will develop on my experience in a way that is informative and meaningful without crossing the line into the redundantly shocking.

The salon where the procedure took place is located in Hicksville.  It sits next to a Korean Presbyterian Church.  There is probably some joke involving repentance for sin to be made about that fact, but I was pressed for time in writing this article and couldn’t think of anything good enough.

The name and slogan are printed on the storefront banner exclusively in Hindi.  Fortunately, though, you don’t have to read or even speak the language to pay for the worst experience of your life.  The transcendence of the media-borne obsession with vanity through cultural barriers makes the razing of the human body by liquid fat and brute force appealing to native speakers of all languages.  Waxing serves as an equalizer: people of any skin color and economic standing all show their servility to the concept of body image.  The continued prosperity of the empire of sadists responsible for this death of respect for nature is no doubt driven by the desire for the victims of waxing for solidarity in their weakness.

Also, it is not that expensive and there is pretty good parking.

The store’s only employee is an energetic middle-aged woman aptly named Preeti.  She greets all customers with a smile and an anecdote about her son, but is strictly business at the operating table.  A highly skilled professional in the craft of personal grooming and emasculation, Preeti applies just-uncomfortably hot wax in total silence, and emotionally disintegrates her patients peel by unforgiving peel without a word, letting the room fill with words that are not printable.

Music, recognizable from a Bollywood soundtrack, played softly as a backdrop for my screams, whimpers, and expletives.  It was slightly reminiscent of dinner at my friend Arjuna’s house.  Only that time, I opted for a trim instead of a full wax.

The most important marker of Preeti’s professionalism is that she never pretends to care about you.  There is no reassurance that it is “not so bad” or that it “will be over soon” or that “the first time is the worst.”  It is so bad.  It takes too long.  If you make the mistake of doing this once you must promise to never, ever do it again.

Sometimes, while Preeti is working, she smiles.  It is easy to forget in these moments that she has children and that hate is a very strong emotion reserved for very bad people.  Readers should be reminded that it is not her fault.  Rather, it is the fault of a flawed system that leads perfectly attractive people (perhaps I give myself too much credit here) to believe that they cannot live with themselves as they were born to look.  And hair is kind of gross.

A chest waxing is regarded as a cosmetic improvement, or perhaps a good service to beach goers.  Really, though, it is an outlet for self-hatred.

If you have made up your mind to get your chest waxed, follow some simple guidelines that Preeti shared with me unfortunately late.

Do not shave before.  The hairs will get coarse and the removal will become more painful.  Do not go with your mother.  She will find it either upsetting or hilarious to see you in so much pain on your own volition and regardless of her reaction it makes for a bad ride home.  Do not write about your experience in your school newspaper.  People will think it’s weird.  Nobody wants to hear about that.