Style Beauty

Monday 18 November 2019

Angela Scanlon: Out of the closet - genius of Movember

Angela Scanlon
Angela Scanlon
Francis Bacon studio at Dublin's Hugh Lane Gallery

Angela Scanlon

Movember is no longer the second last month of the year but the month where grown men sport prepubescent facial fair in the name of charity. It's genius, it's contagious - if you don't have a rat-like, hairy caterpillar situation camping on the lower end of your face, you're not in the gang. But what about "Fanuary"? When are we going to make that a thing? A month where women can let it all hang out, down there, in the name of charity of course.

Girls endure a lot. Childbirth, for example, is not something I've experienced but it sounds pretty tough. And highlights: stingy bleach and a weird swimming hat with holes where your hair is pulled though with brute force until your scalp turns pink and the hair starts falling out in clumps. Glass ceilings, lower pay, high heels... There are many things that make being a woman difficult at times.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change it for the world. And while grooming and the expectation of it is a real pain, at least powder and paint can help us birds a lot where if you're an ugly man, you're kind of stuck.

But body hair is one area of grooming that is still sensitive, literally and otherwise. Clipping, preening, shaving, plucking, waxing - even the words sound sore. These days it's expected that women will 'tidy' themselves up to fit with whatever is on trend at the time. Like seasonal fashion, the Brazilian - a little landing strip on your pubic bone proving that you're an adult but haven't let yourself go - was once all the rage. Then Hollywood went further, stripping everything bare, and then of course we had the 'vajazzling' craze, a product of Towie and a source of great amusement to men everywhere I'm sure. This obsession with the presentation of our most intimate parts is a result, some say, of society's growing obsession with, and easy access to, pornography.

Gwyneth Paltrow, although I don't condone very much of what she does, attempted to make it OK to sport a "full 1970s" look. Good for her but how the hell do I even know that? Because Cameron Diaz told everyone on Graham Norton after being prodded on the subject. Why does anyone give a damn what's going on inside her pants? I can't imagine Mark Wahlberg getting questioned on his waxing habits.

Before I got hitched, I went for the obligatory waxing session. When I was leaving, the lovely manager gave me a tiny plastic bag of blue Swarovski crystals as a gift, and told me it could be my 'something blue'. It was a very sweet gesture but it took all the power I had not to laugh in her face. Seriously, did I look like the kind of woman who vajazzled? Was I expected to arrive in the bridal suite and emerge naked, light catching my tiny blue crystals? The very notion will bring me joy in my darkest hours.

Irish Independent

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