Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

I Was Manscaped

I didn't want to tell Kelly Clarkson to eff off, but I can see why Steve Carrell did.

The nice, talkative, bespectacled young woman said she had heard the reference to the famous scene in The 40 Year Old Virgin many times before as she ripped hot wax, along with the multitudes of hair, from my back, eyebrows, nose, and ears. "It hurts more the higher up we go," she said as she prepared me for the pain about to come as she spread this warm, dark, black goo over my shoulders. Compared the the six years of dental work I had endured during adolescence, it was really nothing, but it made me wonder why I was going through this in the first pace.

The answer was simple: I am getting married less than 9 days (which was the card I played as I made my way through the salons normally repellant to those with a Y chromosome). Take note: My fiancé not once told me I could and should get my nails done, my hair cut, and have the follicles removed from the area that is normally in an area obscured by a shirt. I do take some pride in my appearance. There will be many photos taken that are meant to last a lifetime, I want the moment to be remembered as a celebration of our love, not looking at the pictures and thinking, "My eyebrows look worse than Peter Gallagher's!"

Besides some odd stares from some snooty blonde woman and some slight skin irritation, the overall experience was painless from both a physical and prideful standpoint. It's obvious that most of the staff who work at a nail salon or wax center are well aware of the stigma that comes with places that on the surface seem gender specific and do their best to make everyone feel comfortable. I never felt like I shouldn't be there, but I paid a pretty penny to take part in the experience. The price tag attached to these services will certainly come into play should I ever want to keep up this new appearance after I am married. 

There are also several fun facts I learned:

  • It's against the law for men to have their pubes waxed (in AZ anyway).
  • A lot of men who make pizza have their arms waxed. It prevents the sauce from sticking to their arm hair.
  • Waxing your nose hair helps you breathe better! (It helped me on my run.)
  • Your hair grows back thinner the more you wax.

If there was one other feeling I had come over me, it was confidence. I already have problems with my appearance, despite the fact I've lost 100 pounds, but having my nails done and hairs removed from the places they shouldn't be at gave me one less thing to worry about. It's strange that paying money to do something that seems so selfish can make you feel more assured and positive. Next time I need to feel better, I'd rather find a ladle and head to the nearest soup kitchen, but sometimes you have to put yourself and your appearance first. 

It can be painful to look your best, but I think it's worth it.