Here’s my life. My husband and I get up each morning at 7 o’clock and he showers while I make coffee. By the time he’s dressed I’m already sitting at my desk writing. He kisses me goodbye then leaves for the job where he makes good money, draws excellent benefits and gets many perks, such as travel, catered lunches and full reimbursement for the gym where I attend yoga midday. His career has allowed me to work only sporadically, as a consultant, in a field I enjoy.

All that disclosure is crass, I know. I’m sorry. Because in this world where women will sit around discussing the various topiary shapes of their bikini waxes, the conversation about money (or privilege) is the one we never have. Why? I think it’s the Marie Antoinette syndrome: Those with privilege and luck don’t want the riffraff knowing the details. After all, if “those people” understood the differences in our lives, they might revolt. Or, God forbid, not see us as somehow more special, talented and/or deserving than them.
There’s a special version of this masquerade that we writers put on. Two examples:
I attended a packed reading (I’m talking 300+ people) about a year and a half ago. The author was very well-known, a magnificent nonfictionist who has, deservedly, won several big awards. He also happens to be the heir to a mammoth fortune. Mega-millions. In other words he’s a man who has never had to work one job, much less two. He has several children; I know, because they were at the reading with him, all lined up. I heard someone say they were all traveling with him, plus two nannies, on his worldwide tour.
None of this takes away from his brilliance. Yet, when an audience member — young, wide-eyed, clearly not clued in — rose to ask him how he’d managed to spend 10 years writing his current masterpiece — What had he done to sustain himself and his family during that time? — he told her in a serious tone that it had been tough but he’d written a number of magazine articles to get by. I heard a titter pass through the half of the audience that knew the truth. But the author, impassive, moved on and left this woman thinking he’d supported his Manhattan life for a decade with a handful of pieces in the Nation and Salon.

Example two. A reading in a different city, featuring a 30-ish woman whose debut novel had just appeared on the front page of the New York Times Book Review. I didn’t love the book (a coming-of-age story set among wealthy teenagers) but many people I respect thought it was great, so I defer. The author had herself attended one of the big, East Coast prep schools, while her parents were busy growing their careers on the New York literary scene. These were people — her parents — who traded Christmas cards with William Maxwell and had the Styrons over for dinner. She, the author, was their only beloved child.
After prep school, she’d earned two creative writing degrees (Iowa plus an Ivy). Her first book was being heralded by editors and reviewers all over the country, many of whom had watched her grow up. It was a phenomenon even before it hit bookshelves. She was an immediate star.
When (again) an audience member, clearly an undergrad, rose to ask this glamorous writer to what she attributed her success, the woman paused, then said that she had worked very, very hard and she’d had some good training, but she thought in looking back it was her decision never to have children that had allowed her to become a true artist. If you have kids, she explained to the group of desperate nubile writers, you have to choose between them and your writing. Keep it pure. Don’t let yourself be distracted by a baby’s cry.
I was dumbfounded. I wanted to leap to my feet and shout. “Hello? Alice Munro! Doris Lessing! Joan Didion!” Of course, there are thousands of other extraordinary writers who managed to produce art despite motherhood. But the essential point was that, the quality of her book notwithstanding, this author’s chief advantage had nothing to do with her reproductive decisions. It was about connections. Straight up. She’d had them since birth.
In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed. I can’t claim the wealth of the first author (not even close); nor do I have the connections of the second. I don’t have their fame either. But I do have a huge advantage over the writer who is living paycheck to paycheck, or lonely and isolated, or dealing with a medical condition, or working a full-time job.
How can I be so sure? Because I used to be poor, overworked and overwhelmed. And I produced zero books during that time. Throughout my 20s, I was married to an addict who tried valiantly (but failed, over and over) to stay straight. We had three children, one with autism, and lived in poverty for a long, wretched time. In my 30s I divorced the man because it was the only way out of constant crisis. For the next 10 years, I worked two jobs and raised my three kids alone, without child support or the involvement of their dad.
I published my first novel at 39, but only after a teaching stint where I met some influential writers and three months living with my parents while I completed the first draft. After turning in that manuscript, I landed a pretty cushy magazine editor’s job. A year later, I met my second husband. For the first time I had a true partner, someone I could rely on who was there in every way for me and our kids. Life got easier. I produced a nonfiction book, a second novel and about 30 essays within a relatively short time.
Today, I am essentially “sponsored” by this very loving man who shows up at the end of the day, asks me how the writing went, pours me a glass of wine, then takes me out to eat. He accompanies me when I travel 500 miles to do a 75-minute reading, manages my finances, and never complains that my dark, heady little books have resulted in low advances and rather modest sales.
I completed my third novel in eight months flat. I started the book while on a lovely vacation. Then I wrote happily and relatively quickly because I had the time and the funding, as well as help from my husband, my agent and a very talented editor friend. Without all those advantages, I might be on page 52. OK, there’s mine. Now show me yours.

—  Ann Bauer, ““Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from”,

anonymous asked:

Hi, I want to get a bikini wax done but what area do they actually wax on a bikini wax and how long will it last before growing back if it is my first wax? Plus I have a lot of pubic hair at the moment do I shave it and wait a bit or just trim it?

There are different kinds of waxing styles that can be done, depending on how much hair you’re like removed.

HERE is a helpful list (and descriptions) of those styles!

A bikini wax (as well as most waxes) usually lasts about 2 weeks before regrowth starts. This can be more or less depending on how fast your body hair grows. It will probably need to be touched up every 4 to 6 weeks. This doesn’t change as time goes on, so first wax or 50th wax, you’ll need to go back about once a month to maintain your chosen bikini hair look.

DO NOT shave your pubic hair before going in. I would strongly recommend buying a bikini trimmer with clippers and a clipper guard (I use this one, it’s cheap and works well), and just giving everything a once over a day or two before going in for your wax.

Hair should be about ¼ inch long for best waxing practices. That length is long enough that the wax can grip the hair shaft, but short enough that your waxing technician isn’t going to be using extra product to try and coat the hair down to the root. It will also make clean up afterwards much easier.

I actually went to school for skin care and hair removal (a long time ago, mind you), so this is something I know an exceptional amount about. Lucky you!


Extra tip #1: Exfoliate beforehand. After you trim everything with the clippers, exfoliate the area to remove any dead skin which can lead to ingrown hairs after waxing. Your skin will feel pretty tender for a day or so after waxing, so exfoliating beforehand is super important. Once the skin doesn’t feel so tender start exfoliating (not abrasively, but gently) every time you shower. Ingrown hairs are awful and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone, so take care of that skin!

Extra tip #2: No scented lotions! Your skin will get so angry if you rip hair out of it and then slather it in scented lotion. There are great products specifically made for post-wax bikini lines, use those!

xoxo, Shannon

Eight tips for big girls who are nervous about getting waxed… Don’t be scared, we can do it too:

  1. A big girl should not be charged more for a Brazilian wax. My Aestetician says that rates are based on the type of work (i.e. legs, bikini line, full brazilian) not the size of the person

More tips here:

Brazilian waxing for vaginabled people FAQ

Getting a Brazilian wax for the first time ever is incredibly confusing and scary, plus it’s not really something you can ask your friends about if you aren’t comfortable with it

like I remember the first time I got it done I had NO CLUE what the hell was going on and it took me weeks to sum up the courage to even go but it would’ve been handy to have a post that answered all the questions in my head SO

I’m going to type up the questions I was always worrying about and answer them!!

To be clear, I’m not a professional - I’m just someone who’s gotten waxed a lot, and done a lot of reading about the topic

So I can’t guarantee the validity of EVERYTHING I say; some of it might be a bit inaccurate!! For the most part though it should be fine, and it’ll at least give you an anecotal idea of what waxing down there is like

Is it really that painful?

Look, it’s not pleasant. But an important thing to note is the whole process isn’t excruciatingly painful - the most painful bits are obviously around your clitoris and vagina, and during those, my eyes tend to water and my fingers dig into the bed. However, it only really lasts a few seconds, so it is manageable. And I’m the world’s biggest wimp when it comes to pain, so it can’t be that awful.

The first time will hurt the most, and it’ll hurt just as much as the first time if you shave in between waxes. But if you don’t, it becomes less painful each time, and also, eventually less hair tends to grow back.

Do you have to get all the hair off?

Nope!! Generally the amount of hair to be taken off will be indicated by the amount of X’s in the procedure you ask for. What X, XX, XXX, and sometimes even XXXX means can vary amongst different places, so it’s best to just ask. 

You can just get your bikini line done, or get your bikini line and vulva done, or get your bikini line and vulva and bum cheeks done, or your vulva and bumcheeks done and ask to have a strip left on the bikini line…

The easiest way to figure it out is to just google the place you’re going to, since they’ll usually describe each one. But if you want all the hair gone, you can just say ‘all off’. Or if you’re booking online, click the one with the most X’s.

What’s the process like?

I can only really say from the point of view of getting it all off. It takes at least 20 minutes, sometimes 30.

First off, they lead you into a room and tell you to undress and wipe yourself ~down there~ if you need to, to remove any sweat. They leave these wet wipes on the bench with a bin next to them, then once you’re done you lie down on the bed (which has a paper sheet on it). They’ll knock and ask before they come in.

They start off by getting you to pull your knees up to your chest while you’re on your back to wax your behind. Then, you lie down with your knees in that butterfly stretch position. They’ll ask you to pull your skin taut just above the bikini line, because it reduces the pain and makes the hair rip out more cleanly.

The only type of wax I’ve ever encountered is this warmed up thick gooey stuff that they smear on. Then they leave it to dry for a while, and once it’s hardened, they rip it off.

At the end of the wax, they generally also do some tweezing to get rid of any stray hairs that were missed by the waxing strips.

Does it make you bleed?

Occasionally you bleed a little when you get a Brazilian, mostly if it’s your first time. That’s because pubic hairs are so thick and have really deep roots.

Can I do it myself?

nO NO NO DEAR GOD JUST DON’T DO IT, especially if it’s your first time. It’s really tricky to get it right, and a lot of girls who try that end up doing half of it, then chicken out and can’t finish. It’s also really hard to pull your hair out at the right angle. Plus it scares some girls off getting it done by a professional because they think it’s gonna be that bad all over again!! It’s really worth going to a professional, just do it. They make it much less painful, and do a better job.

Is it awkward?

Usually not at all. I’m a pretty awkward person and I was TERRIFIED to have a stranger touching my private parts, but it really isn’t bad.

You have to keep in mind that they do this to heaps of people every day. They’re so professional about it and are super good at putting you at ease. For me at least, it felt really natural and normal, which was a huge surprise.

Also, they often chat to you about how your day was and what’s been going on, which helps to distract you from the fact that a random person is ripping hair out of your vagina.

Is it expensive?

Well, yeah, usually. Prices I’ve had to pay range from $25-$60. Don’t assume that expensive places are good at it, and don’t resort to a cheap dodgy place because you want to save money. It’s best to get an eyebrow wax or something done there first, so you can get the vibe of the place and see if you trust them.

Also, from experience, salon chains are trustworthy, despite not necessarily being the best - since they have a reputation to uphold across all their stores, most of their employees are well-trained and professional. But they also tend to be more expensive.

It often takes some searching around to find the right place. I used to pay $50 to get it done at my regular place, but I’ve recently found a salon at my uni which does it for $25, and does a pretty good job too!!

It’s important to stick with the one place once you find a good one, because your esthetician needs to get to know how your body works and help you figure out how often you should get it done.

Can I apply numbing cream beforehand so it’s less painful?

No, you honestly shouldn’t. It’s tempting, I know, but if you use it, you won’t know if the wax is too hot and burning your skin. You do NOT wanna end up with a burned vagina.

On that note… if the wax is too hot, tell them! They’ll usually listen and let it cool a bit first. The super good ones will often ask if it’s too hot, anyway.

What’s the regrowth like?

The regrowth is actually pretty awesome. It grows back super fine, since the hair is pulled out at the root, and it’s a lot easier to deal with. It doesn’t get TOO long in between waxes, but it is there, so if you’re with someone who’s obsessive about you being hairless at all times and you want to please them, I guess waxing isn’t the best option for you.

Just so y’all know, though, different follicles down there tend to grow in different cycles. The roots of hairs are surprisingly deep, so once your cycles are all synced up, regrowth won’t happen for a while.

But the first time, you might get some regrowth pretty fast. This is because other hairs could’ve been right near the skin and about to pop through anyway.

How long does the hair have to be?

Look, most sources say about ¼ to 1/8 of an inch. This is REALLY hard to do, but most salons have a trimmer so that if your hair is too long, they can take care of it. 

If you’ve got a giant bush of hair, it saves time if you clear some of it away with some hair scissors (these look similar to nail scissors) beforehand. But it’s best to ring the place and just ask if they can trim hair for you to make sure it’s not too long.

(Hint: if you decide to trim beforehand the first time, the easiest way to avoid making mess is to sit on a towel so it catches all the hairs and you can carry them to the bin)

How long should I wait between waxes?

Your esthetician should tell you this anyway, but they usually say somewhere between 3 and 5 weeks. I have a feeling though that the places that say 3 weeks often just want to make more money, but I guess it varies for each person, depending how fast your hair grows back.

I usually go once every 4 weeks.

Is there much aftercare?

You don’t have to do much after, except in the first few days. MAKE SURE you exfoliate every day or two immediately after. If there’s a layer of dead skin cells blocking the follicle when the hair starts poking through, it will grow into your skin, and form a gross, sore pustule. NOT A GOOD IDEA. These are painful to deal with and not easy to get rid of.

If you need to know more about exfoliating properly after a wax, just google it. You can ask your esthetician though, and they should explain it very clearly.

Is it worth it?

I would say yes. I’ve tried all sorts of hair removal options - trimming, shaving, hair removal creams, epilating… but once you try waxing, it’s hard to go back. The end result is SO smooth, and the regrowth is really fine and easy to deal with. You don’t have to get it done often either, so it’s low maintenance. And although it’s painful, the sharp pain only lasts for a few seconds. It might be a bit tender for the next day or two, but that’s it.

What if you have your period?

You technically can get waxed on your period, but your skin tends to be much more sensitive, so it’s not the best idea. Also, most of the places I’ve been to have a policy and state off the bat that there has to be a buffer period between your wax and your last period - usually about 3 days.

Does it actually matter which place you go to?

Yup, it does!! And it often takes a long time to find a place you really like. There’s a whole bunch of factors which influence this, and the quality of different estheticians really varies.

Some aren’t so experienced, which leads to more pain and not the best wax you’ll get. Also, due to their lack of experience, they might also be a bit awkward and less confident in what they’re doing.

Different salons also have different hygiene standards, so keep an eye on what they’re doing and how clean they are while they go about things.

When you’re looking for the right esthetician, you need to make sure they’re:

a) Easy to get along with

b) Good at reducing the pain of the wax

c) Hygienic

and d) Receptive to any questions you have and good at answering them

Any other tips?

Try to avoid flinching!! If you flinch, you’ll shift and the hair can get pulled out at a funny angle. I know it’s tough, but it’s worth it. Flinching causes unnecessary pain, and makes things trickier for your esthetician.

Try to breathe deeply and avoid focusing on what they’re doing, if you’re having trouble not flinching.

Meet …Bantu Wax
Bantu founder Yodit Eklund talks surf culture and sustainable production.

I grew up all over Africa and now spend about 80 percent of my time traveling there for work. In 2009, I launched Bantu. I am a surfer and wanted to bring awareness to the continent’s under-the-radar beaches. There is more and more pollution because people don’t value the beaches in Africa. I thought if Bantu could expose people to the beaches, we could help preserve the environment.

We work with African designers to develop all our prints, which are based on wax cloth. Originally, wax cloth was brought over by Dutch traders; it stuck and has become a vital aspect of African culture today. We use the patterns of wax cloth and print them on technical fabric in Italy (the suits are all cut and sewn in Africa, though). Our craftswomen are trained to make seven styles of swimsuits, but we have so many prints that it ends up being a pretty big collection.

One of Bantu’s aims is to create jobs and help the local economy while also changing the outside view of the continent. We employ around 30 Africans in Ethiopia, South Africa and the Ivory Coast. And this spring we also started sponsoring a surf club in Sierra Leone called the Bureh Beach Surf Club.

Photographs courtesy of Oroma Elewa for Bantu.

To shop our entire Discovered assortment, including Bantu Wax swim, click here.


This got too real, What you think?



“Nude” is the theme of the new swimwear collection by RUE 107. This collection looks gorgeous and I love the fact that this brand embraces   curves. Rue107’s mission is to create the means to share it with the world, with the hope of inspiring others along the way.