This is a guest post by Alicia, who also has a Tumblr blog, but is uncertain about being publicly linked to her comments on vibrators. Razors and inner confidence generously supplied by Schick.
I once read an academic article discussing descriptions of pubic hair removal in the comedic works of the playwright Aristophanes. Apparently women in ancient Greece would get together with some wine and crouch ritually over pots of hot coals, singeing off The Muff. The burning hair was presented as a sacrifice to the Gods; the women, devotees.
In this spirit, I present my review of the Schick Quattro TrimStyle, a razor so advanced that its function of cutting pubic hair does not rate a mention in its advertising campaign; for it is irrelevant. Instead this razor is an object of mystery, a sacred implement in a profane world. So far from being a tool for trimming pubes shower, using this vulva shaver is actually a mystical rite Celebrating our Inner Confidence ™.
I am ever in pursuit of the white whale of Inner Confidence ™, which is a concept so nebulous and ideologically flexible that it is perfect for a national brand campaign. So I was pretty excited by this claim. I mean, who doesn’t want to be more confident?
According to a survey especially commissioned by the vulva shaver’s PR company, 98% of us regularly pretend to be more confident than we really are. Psychologist Mary Magalotti – for they have employed a psychologist - concurs. Sadly, pressures on women to achieve particular body ideals can be overwhelming, particularly from “glossy magazines”, she says.
Inner Confidence ™, on the other hand, will help us cope with this pressure! Spearing the white whale of confidence, Mary says, will produce “feelings of wellbeing, vitality and enthusiasm”, make us “more likely to achieve personal goals” and “less likely to stay in destructive relationships”! It will also make us more resilient and protect us against specific mental disorders!
I want to go there.
And how do you get this Inner Confidence ™? Brand spokesperson Ruby Rose indicates that it can be stimulated by diverse activities, including having a facial, wearing “BRAND NEW socks”, and also of course shaving her pubes with a nifty Schick Trimstyle.
This makes sense, for Ruby also tells us that 82% of women claim they have increased self esteem if they maintain their nether region. In a world marred by vile consumerism, where women’s self esteem is so undermined by the pressure to present one’s body a certain way, having a shiny vulva and new socks will allow my authentic inner self to shine forth and conquer.
Conquer what? As it turns out, it will allow me to conquer the male gaze. The PR company formulating this absurd claim have searched all over Australia and given five magic razors to five special young women who personify Inner Confidence ™. One, a laser engineer making it in a man’s world; another, a single mother from the Gold Coast; a third, a barista, a fourth, a student, and finally a musician from the Hunter Valley, who is the only one of the five not as whitebread and invisibly heterosexual as they come.
What do all these women have in common? Unwanted pubes! And the inner confidence to get rid of them. In celebration of this fact, these women then pose in various public locations wearing only their underwear, pancake makeup, and plastered grins. Wind machines loft their glossy tresses and while passersby gawp in awe at their Inner Confidence ™.
While we can’t see the hairless vulva that is producing this burst of authenticity, we know it’s up there doing its thing, for why else would these women be swaggering around wearing underwear as outerwear? Feminism!
This is the kind of quick fix that I can get behind, being inherently lazy. So I was extra keen to try out this magical razor for myself. Let’s face it, we all want some kind of armour to face the world; witness the popularity of plastic surgery, diet pills, products and procedures that claim to be able to fill our howling inner void by adjusting our outer appearance. All relying on the intuitive link we have between how we look and how we feel.
Anyway, I trimmed myself with this thing. It’s not the first time I’ve done it and it probably won’t be the last; we all have practices of self-care, technologies of self maintenance, markers of cultural context and personal identity. So I can tell you definitively that as far as hair removal devices go, this device removes hair.
Afterward, rather than feeling a burst of Inner Confidence ™, I felt kind of itchy and cranky, but this feeling passed quite quickly.
Later, walking down the street in only my scanties and a fresh pair of Bonds anklets, I found myself pondering: what is it that I’ve done differently today to make me feel so good about myself?
Then I realised. The razor is essentially a nifty waterproof vibrator.