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.
And it turns out we agree on something for once. Kind of. With a few minor edits.
In which I reluctantly endorse Julia Gillard and Labor for your second-last preference:
This has been the worst federal election campaign in memory.
Neither Julia Gillard, who will have been Prime Minister for 58 days, nor Tony Abbott, who won a party spill by one vote just six months earlier, has shown the leadership to energise Australia. …
The Gillard and Abbott arguments have been vacuous. Neither has made a compelling case for government, conspicuously failing to offer voters a clear choice. …
In truth, Labor and Liberal have drawn ever closer in their populist push for power.
In doing so they cheapen themselves and what they offer. This is no way to run a country under the adversarial Westminster system. The bear pit of Parliament has become a place for politicians to tear at each other.
Voters desperately want to detect a difference. They want policy debate, not personality politics.
Julia Gillard has been hamstrung by the recent past as she tries to forge a new agenda from
flawed policies andthe disastrousmarginally unpopular and surprisingly conservative for a left-winger decisions in which she was so intimately involved as deputy prime minister.
But the “real Julia” persona she has been forced to project is only a new face to the same issues that prompted the cold-blooded ousting of prime minister Kevin Rudd on June 24.
Ms Gillard said the Government had lost its way under Mr Rudd, but
has a change of leader put it back on track?it seems her party has only drifted more off track since she became leader.
In the first days of her sudden elevation after a political execution by Labor’s factions, Ms Gillard attempted to
right the wrongs ofreverse the tensions caused by the mining resources super profits tax that has wrought havoc with Labor’s support in the resource-rich states of Western Australia and Queensland.
to fixat populism on the asylum seeker issue with a premature announcement to make East Timor a regional refugee holding centrewas ill-judged, as was her attempt to push what Mr Rudd called “the greatest moral challenge of our time” into a dusty historical cupboard.
Her quaintly named “people’s assembly” to consider climate change
made her sound more like an architect of the French Revolution, not a 21st century prime ministeronly seemed to force the issue further into that dusty cupboard.
Not that Mr Abbott has been a bright shining light. Voters remain suspicious of a man who was a senior minister in the waning years of the Howard government, as it lost touch with the Australian people.
And tTry as he might, he cannot shake off the spectre of the divisive WorkChoices laws - and rightly so.
Mr Abbott has placated big industry by promising to dump the resources tax, pledging direct action on climate change and vowing to turn back the boats carrying asylum seekers.
Ms Gillard has made much of the Government’s economic credentials, particularly as Australia had one of the softest landings from the global financial crisis.
But this Government cannot escape responsibility for its disastrous waste of money in the housing roof insulation scheme and the financial mismanagement of Ms Gillard’s own Building the Education Revolution. Billions of tax dollars were lost. This was money that could have gone towards health, the elderly, education and infrastructure.
Mr Abbott’s shrillness over Government spending has been tempered by serious questions over the Coalition’s costings, which have not been subjected to Treasury analysis.
And it remains to be seen whether the Coalition’s would-be treasurer, Joe Hockey, is in the same league as current Treasurer Wayne Swan or the Howard government’s Peter Costello.
The costings announced by Mr Hockey have added more confusion to a campaign that has been loosely described as “presidential” because it has concentrated on party leaders rather than their policies.
Simply, Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott are not ready to assume the mantle of great leaders. But each is a fighter.
The task of Ms Gillard to forge a reliable government from the divisions caused by the removal of Kevin Rudd is immense. Labor would most likely stagger forward. There is no shine from Ben Chifley’s “light on the hill” to guide it.
Mr Abbott’s task would be to shed the shadow of the Howard government and present policies that mirror the changing world in which we live.
Australians deserve so much better than what has been presented to them by both sides and the choice is not easy.
Without any great enthusiasm,
weI believe Mr Abbott and the CoalitionMs Gillard and the Labor Party are best placed to lead Australia of the two major parties.
Personally, though, I voted Green.
Related: Australians: is it just me, or is this the stupidest election ever?
Last night I dreamt Julia Gillard won the election…
Four articles I’d like to read on Julia Gillard, K-Rudd and the ‘spill’
Was Abbott the only choice the Liberals had?