Trigger Warning: The voice in this story uses racist language. This does not reflect the views of the author.
It all started with a Groupon. And ended with an inflamed vagina. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And I’m sorry if I’ve already made you uncomfortable. But there it is.
I had a bad feeling about it from the start. When I looked at the address on the page I printed out and it was in Millwoods. Great. Some shitty cheap spa in Millwoods that I just stupidly bought a Groupon for without looking at the address. I live on the north side.
Nevertheless, setting my frustration with myself aside, I call to book the appointment. Busy signal. So I call a ton of times over the next few days (okay so, maybe it was just three times) but they never answer their stupid phone, which is starting to frustrate me obviously. What do they do – just leave their phone off the hook all the time to avoid actually doing their jobs? Shitty Millwoods spa.
Finally, I get through to the voicemail… and guess what I hear?
In a thick Indian accent, a woman says: “Tank-you for calling Keratic Beauty Spa. We are not able to answer your call at the moment. Please leaf your name and phone number and we will call you back as soon as possible.”
So I do, despite the strong feeling of apprehension creeping up inside me. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I am not racist or anything. In fact, I think the Indian culture is beautiful. I study traditional ashtanga yoga for crying out loud, so I have nothing against Indian people. It’s just, they’re not really known for their Brazilian bikini waxes are they?
A week goes by. No response.
So… I figure I’ve tried hard enough… I email Groupon, using my best gimme-what-I-want white-girl voice: “I have called them a ton of times and left a message and there is no response. I am very dissatisfied with this service. I would like a refund of my Groupon immediately.”
Groupon lady writes me back: “We are sorry to hear you are having a bad experience… blah blah blah… We have contacted the business and they are enthusiastic about providing you with excellent service… blah blah blah… Please try contacting again to schedule your appointment.” Long story short: no refund.
Wow. Thanks a fucking lot Groupon.
So today, I call again, I get the appointment, I drive to Millwoods and the little old limping Indian lady waxes me…
It is excruciating. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have had Brazilian bikini waxes before, I have a very high pain tolerance and I can handle them. In fact, I usually carry on a friendly conversation with the esthetician who is waxing me. But this?
This little old brown bitch clearly does not know what she is doing. She is not holding my skin taught, she is not using hypoallergenic wax, she is not getting all the hair, she is reusing the same cloth strip way too many times and it is painful. I look down after and it is bright red. And it is swollen. It’s even bleeding in some spots, between patches of hair that are still left over and wax that she didn’t fully remove. It is hideous. I can tell that even the little old Indian lady is having a Frankenstein moment and doesn’t want to look at it, even though that’s her job and it’s the monster she just created. And then she rubs some cheap fruity cream on me that burns my raw, inflamed vagina and ensures that a rash will appear tomorrow.
I don’t know what I feel more strongly: anger towards that stupid Groupon bitch with her cheery tone who would not just give me my refund. Or anger at myself for not trusting my instincts about this place and for buying some shitty Millwoods Groupon in the first place. Or anger towards that fucking Indian cow who just tenderized my fucking vagina like she just left Hinduism and was preparing beef for the first time.
But it’s something more than that…
I feel violated. And I feel like a fool. I feel as though I’ve just paid money to someone to violate my own body. I feel tricked. I feel used. I feel scammed. I feel ashamed. And my vagina really hurts.
I’m driving home in my car and I just start balling. Uncontrollably. Gasping and wheezing. Tears streaming down my cheeks, blinking continuously so I don’t crash into anything. Snot is running down my chin and I hope the other drivers aren’t looking my way, cause it’s a long fucking way home from fucking Millwoods.
Why am I so emotional about this? Where is this coming from? I mean, it’s just a frickin’ bikini wax. Your vagina will recover.
But I know. Deep down I know. Somehow this unqualified Indian esthetician at this cheap imitation of a beauty spa has brought something up in me. Something real. Something I’ve been hiding from….
I have violated myself. And it’s not the first time.
It’s every time I’m with a guy who is in love with the idea of me, and every time I strive to become that idea.
It’s every time I let my mind convince me that something is right when somehow I know that it’s not.
It’s every time that an image of who I can or should become takes over me and I force my body to submit to it.
And my body does not want to submit. My body is red and inflamed and angry with me because it’s tired of bearing the burden of all my bad decisions.
There are laws against rape. There are laws against sexual violence and abuse. There are laws against sexual harassment and language. There are laws against every kind of violation committed against a woman when she says no, when she doesn’t want it. But what if she does want it? What if she even pays you for it? What if she says yes and means no? What if she’s the victim and the perpetrator? Who’s going to stop her then?