People have long lists of things they don’t approve of being done in public and many of them centre around indecent exposure. You shouldn’t pee in public. Though people do. Don’t whip out your dick in public. Though they do. Sure going topless for females is legal in Canada but still don’t do it. And we generally don’t. (Which makes me sad but let’s save that for another day). No shoes, no shirt, no service. You must stay covered up at all times.
On top of that are the distasteful conversations. Don’t swear, there are children around. Stop talking about your penis in this coffee shop. Your bartender is not a therapist, your problems are boring and tragic. Mom, stop singing in the checkout line, it’s embarrassing. That one might just be for me. But the list of taboo topics in public goes on and on. Which raises the question, why oh WHY do aestheticians think it’s okay to give me dating advice while they pluck stubborn hairs from my labia?
It’s as if you clear the threshold of whatever hair removal room you choose and suddenly social norms no longer exist. You’re allowed to be naked. In fact they prefer it, because that blue paper thong they give you to calm your bashful nerves really just slows them down. Now you’re naked on the table with all your bits exposed save for the small section you’re able to keep covered with the supplied hand table. They throw on their protection goggles if it’s laser or gloves if it’s waxing and get to work. The lavender room atomizer and sounds from the ocean do little to relax you, so you close your eyes and try not to focus on the heat of the laser and murder-rationalizing pain of the wax strip.
“You’re very beautiful, do you have a boyfriend?” Your eyes shoot open and you wonder if she is referring to your face or your pussy. “Thank you, and no.” She launches into a speech about how unfortunate this is and then starts describing all the avenues to getting a boyfriend that are really quite easy if you just try. “My boyfriend first messaged me on Facebook saying I was the most beautiful woman he ever saw, it was so sweet. We started talking and then eventually met up and now we’ve been together for three months. Do you ever reply to guys when they message you on Facebook?” Hell no. “Um… no?” Apparently I’ve been living my life all wrong.
“For your full body laser service today, we’re doing arms, legs, armpits, and Brazilian, correct?” Except read that as if the woman speaking has a thick Russian accent. “Yes, and areolas.” She looks back shocked and appalled. “No, no, no, no, no. Breastfeeding.” Shit, as if getting my nipples lasered wasn’t discouraging enough. I already get it from my parents, my friends, and society, but now YOU want me to have a baby too? “It’s okay, I don’t want to have kids, also I’m pretty sure it doesn’t harm my milk ducts should I change my mind.” She winces. “Seriously, it’s fine.” Begrudgingly she wipes aloe on my nipples and mumbles something in Russian that I can only assume is a prayer begging for forgiveness for her part in my shameful choice.
It makes me wonder if the topic hadn’t come up organically or I had asked her, “do you want to breastfeed some day?” how SHE would react? Or to the other woman, “you’re very beautiful,” I’d say as I pull my butt cheeks apart so she can remove the hair from around my anus. What reaction would that get? I imagine it would sound much more like an inappropriate flirting technique than pleasant conversation. Basically, if you’re naked on a table, at a time when you’re the most vulnerable, it’s open season on life advice. But don’t you dare ask the aesthetician anything about her life because she is wearing clothes and it’s hella inappropriate to be that intrusive when the person isn’t naked too!