How much discomfort should your beauty routine involve?

This is another topic that I recently discussed with my friend Brian after he discovered that epilating was a thing. Why yes, I do spend an inordinate amount of time discussing beauty and makeup with a straight man. He likes to learn things. It’s why we’re friends.

Now, most women are at least vaguely aware of what epilators are, but in case you don’t, here’s a crash course: it’s a device similar to an electric razor, but instead of a blade there’s a rotating head full of tweezer tips, and it rips hair out of your (legs, armpits, face… pick a hairy thing) by the root. It’s supposed to last a lot longer than shaving and be less painful and less expensive than waxing because once you buy the device you don’t have to keep spending money.

So Brian, like many, was mildly horrified that this is a thing. Why on earth would someone rip all of the hair off of their legs (or whatever)? Isn’t it horrifically painful? Is it really necessary to be in pain to be beautiful?

In a word, yes.

I am a hairy person, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I blame my heritage (Sicilian) and various health conditions (hello PCOS). I have hair growing in places that women aren’t ‘supposed’ to have hair, and it’s impacted my self-esteem for years. Even as a middle school kid I needed to shave my legs every other day to prevent gross, black stubble from ruining my life (because I was totally melodramatic and everything ruined my life).

So yeah, I epilate. Before that, I waxed. Both of these processes are painful, sometimes bloody and definitely irritate my skin, but I can’t even imagine the alternative. Who wants to see my ‘stache, or manly hairy legs when I wear shorts in the summer? Not me, therefore no one else does either.

Pain isn’t limited to just hair removal; what about high heels? Some people say they’re comfortable, but I suspect they’re lying. What about cosmetic procedures, like Botox or fillers? False lashes? Permanent brows? Hair stuff like perms, relaxers, extensions and bleach?

Why do we do this to ourselves? You know I’m all about the makeup, but the minute something causes pain, or even mild discomfort, I won’t keep using it. I won’t even wear drying matte liquid lipsticks, and that’s more annoying than discomfort. Are we going too far by putting ourselves in pain for the sake of beauty? What do you think?

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