Now in the fourth wave of feminism, it seems old hat to talk about wax practices. 2015 hailed the return of the bush, with many women opting out of the painful, pricey, practically-speaking pointless quest for what we deem better looking vaginas. That said, despite the progressive moves in female body image, a good many of us are still pursuing the bikini wax, setting aside money for the wax fund each month, and taking time out of our busy weeks to squirm naked on a table as a professional pulls hair from our bodies.
So where did it all begin? Well, in Ancient Egypt, as a necessary response to lice, fleas and uncontrollable odours from the baking heat. They used tweezers made from seashells, pumice stones and early sugar-based waxes to render themselves fully hairless.
Queen Elizabeth I set the fashion for women in the Middle Ages by removing hair only from the face (eyebrows and hair line) and not the body – a disconcerting thought considering sources say she rarely bathed, but to be fair, she had a lot on.
The removal of body hair by Western women became fashionable with the bathing suit in the 1940s and even more so when the itsy bitsy bikini trend took off in the '60s.
It's a rich history. Join us on a whistle stop tour of bikini wax practices around the world, from the brave Brazilian to the agonising Hollywood.