Chef Shaunna

Shaunna Burnett

The annual production of Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues” runs this Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. In honor of it, I’m writing a slightly different column than I have in the past.
The Monologues have been inspiring debates between a close friend and me. My friend maintains that women should simply eschew standard beauty ideals and sidestep the entire mess of double standards in our society. This misses the point. Beauty is inherently enjoyable to everyone, from infants to people who aren’t necessarily planning on pursuing the oft-objectified beauty. Additionally, a person’s reasons for choosing more mainstream beauty vary. It isn’t necessarily to attract a sexual partner, mate or inspire chivalry. Personal beauty is a work of art and self-expression, an aesthetic revelry of sorts. Because people interpret individuals’ varied expressions of beauty in certain ways does not mean that the expression of beauty ought to be suppressed.
The monologue “Hair” raises questions about our attitudes toward beauty, sex, and body hair, ultimately ending opposed to razors and in favor of hair. For this weekend’s performance, rethink your ideas of beauty, your relationship with society by means of your beauty, and decide how you feel about your beauty regimen. If you still want to remove body hair, try my favorite sugaring recipe (remember those Nad’s commercials?) that calls for a microwaveable bowl, two cups of sugar, a quarter cup of water, a quarter cup of lemon juice, and a lot of strips of cloth.
Cut the cloth into strips before you begin. Shower and don’t put on lotion afterward. Mix the sugar and liquids and microwave on high for two to three minutes, until the sugar bubbles and is smooth. Let it cool. If it cools too much, heat it on high for 20-30 seconds, until it can be more easily applied.
Before you start ripping hair out and finding fuzz stuck to you, taste the sugar mix. It’s like melted lemon drops and is the reward for your industry and the pain you are about to endure.
Next, smooth the mix in a very thin layer onto wherever you’re removing hair, in the direction of hair growth. Smooth the cloth strip on top of it, rubbing your hand over it; hold the skin taught, and rip that strip right off. Breathe, wipe your eyes, and decide if you want to continue. Having a partner pull the strips for you is helpful if you can procure one. Afterward, wash up, lotion up, and in the coming days don’t forget to exfoliate. You can wash and reuse the cloths.
Think of this painful hair removal experience during the “Short Skirt” monologue, remembering to make informed beauty decisions.