In this article from The New York Times, hair removal is compared to other tween and teenage rites of passage, such as getting your braces on and off, or getting your ears pierced. The article contends things that used to be considered a vanity, now have become a cultural necessity. Sure, we certainly buy that. Braces used to be for medical correction. But now, in the US at least, your teeth pretty much have to look like a white picket fence for social acceptance. Then the article extends that analogy of necessity to laser hair removal. While for some youngsters, it would be a definite self-esteem booster, to call having stray hair permanently and medically removed a ‘need’ still smacks a little of vanity, no?
But then again, the first time my sister waxed my eyebrows I thought it was pretty much the coolest thing on earth… and recalling that memory definitely makes it sound like a rite of passage. Is hair removal our cultural heritage now? Wow.
– Hayley Wells