Are bikini waxes the way to end women’s healthcare shame?

“So how’s your husband?” I ask the woman with her head between my legs.

“Oh he was posted abroad the other week,” she replies as she rips off a strip of wax and half of my hair.

A bikini wax is fast becoming a beauty regiment that is almost as common as shaving your legs, thanks to the prevalence of beauty apps and websites making it available at the click of a button. Taming the intimate area can inspire all kinds of ire and anger, regarding how much to take off and whether we should be caring at all thanks to the pressure put on us to be tamed, thanks to porn.

But for the women who balk at the thought of having a stranger looking at your vagina with your legs spread, as many of my friends surprisingly do, it raises questions whether women’s fear of intimate healthcare could be helped by an intimate wax in ending self-consciousness.

I can hardly go a conversation about beauty grooming without shocked questions of “but aren’t you embarrassed having a stranger so close there?” to which I reply  that a) it is their job and b) if they’re willing to wax my vagina and arse for £60 then I’m not exactly embarrassed. Often I also add c) I've got a great lady garden.

According to charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, a third of women don’t have smear tests because they are too embarrassed down there. Be it look or smell, women are avoiding a potentially life saving test - that takes mere seconds - because of shame. 

With beauty products advertised for primary use being for the vagina, it is no wonder we think it should be looking and smelling like bloody roses. However as I am constantly told my doctors, beauty therapists and pretty much any older woman who has lost their embarrassment as they progress through the years. that a simple shower will do the trick.

Which is why I think that if a woman can have her legs in her hands as she splays her legs while another lovely woman can spread hot wax mere inches from her labia then it can do wonders to prevent that shame from manifesting in much more dangerous ways when it comes to women’s healthcare.

Kara Godfrey