Banning Bikini Waxes?

19 03 2009

New Jersey’s Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling is now looking to enforce their long-standing ban on bikini waxes.  Technically, only waxing of the the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted, but the ban has never been enforced because bikini waxing was never stated explicitly as illegal.  The board will decide on April 14th whether or not to add language to the policy that specifically bans bikini waxing.  The earliest that the ban could go into effect would be May of this year.  Under the proposed policy, any salon that performs “Brazilian” waxes will be fined.

They are moving to specifically ban Brazilian waxes after complaints from two women who were injured in the process.  Both women were hospitalized for infections resulting from genital waxing.

I have heard some feminist critiques that bikini waxing sexualizes childhood, but I’m not sure if I agree with that argument.  I do, however,  take issue with the idea of bikini waxes.  In my opinion, bikini waxes are just another way for women to worry about making their bodies fit a cultural ideal of beauty.  I have never wanted a bikini wax, nor do I like the idea.

However, banning bikini waxes is just not okay!  Making bikini waxes illegal is an attempt to control what women do with their bodies.  The two complaints about injuries are troubling, but we must also keep in mind that many women get bikini waxes safely.  Banning bikini waxes might just increase the rate at which women get unsafe waxes or attempt to do the procedure at home and without proper training.

The ban is also troubling to aestheticians and those who work in salons.  At the 800 West Spa and Salon in Cherry Hill, more than half of the waxes performed are “Brazilian.”  The salon is suggesting that the state figure out a way to certify technicians that would perform the treatment instead of banning the practice altogether.

Increasing the safety of bikini waxing and educating about potential risks may be needed.  But banning a very personal choice that women make about their bodies is ridiculous.


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2 responses

20 03 2009
angryblkfeminist

As a Jersey person I am thorough displeased about this. Two women out of the MILLIONS have a problem and they want to ban waxes completely?

Hey, I’ve gotten burned by an eyebrow wax once on my face. Let’s ban eyebrow waxing, too! Oh wait, once I went shopping and got scratched by a hanger. I guess we should ban hangers.

Good going, legislators. Glad to have a bunch of affluent white men tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. Again.

31 03 2009
Melissa

This post is right on. Like you, I have a problem with bikini waxes, but as you said, I have an even bigger problem with government trying to control women’s bodies. What we choose to do to our “bikini area” is our own business. Also, you hit the nail on the head when you said, “Banning bikini waxes might just increase the rate at which women get unsafe waxes or attempt to do the procedure at home and without proper training.” Furthermore, don’t these legislators have more important things to do than write laws banning bikini waxes? Seriously, we are in one of the worst economies since the Great Depression and they are spending their time talking about banning Brazilian waxing? You’ve got to be kidding me.

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