You know it’s August when the obscure trend story rears its ugly head like one of those Whack-A-Mole games which nobody ever really wins. Today’s version involves the Brozilian wax — which, sadly, is exactly what it sounds like: a brazillian wax for men.
The culprit is Jed Lipinski over on Salon, but we’ll start off by giving him some credit. It’s a funny article, a worthy read, and at least Lipinski acknowledges outright that no matter how many salons say, “All the guys are doing it!”, if you actually ask a guy friend about it, he will look at you like you’re crazy. Also: his version involves tazers.
But here’s the jist: brozilians (or manzilians, as New York’s infamous J. Sisters salon calls it) are becoming more and more popular. A few reasons: male porn stars who go hair-free, women who think their men should suffer as much as they do, celebrities who do it, and salons actively targeting an as yet untapped market.
(The funniest bit in there might be P. Diddy’s anecdote:
In 2008, London’s Daily Mail reported that P. Diddy gets regular Brazilians, and likes to relax beforehand by drinking lemonade and vodka cocktails and listening to James Brown. Afterward, he sprays his own fragrance, Unforgivable Black, on the newly depilated area. “In everything I do,” he told reporters, “I visualize myself either putting clothes on or taking them off.”
But what’s more interesting is how salons are adapting to this so-called influx of manscaping men. Naturally, it posed the question: who is doing the waxing? J. Sisters started by training male aestheticians, but that didn’t last long.
The men performed the wax on male clients for several months. Soon, however, Janea took over again. “The boys had no finesse,” said Jonice, the youngest of the seven J-named sisters at 48, and the most business-minded. “They also overcharged for hairy clients. And it’s funny, but women were not comfortable with their husbands and boyfriends getting waxed by other men.”
Other salons recommend a more maternal touch:
A reassuring, motherly presence is advised. As Eugenya Freylikhman, a 55-year-old Ukrainian aesthetician at Chelsea’s Skintology spa, told me, “We hire only older women for the waxing, like your grandmother. We don’t hire the model drop-dead gorgeous girl. Otherwise men become uncomfortable and afraid.”
Men also, apparently, become aroused and inclined to request sexual favors.
“Guys think that since they’re naked, you’re gonna give them head,” Jane Pham, the 35-year-old proprietor of Ted D. Bare Salon in San Jose, Calif., frankly admitted in a phone interview. Pham serves mainly heterosexual men, and specializes in what she calls the “Manzilian.” The day she signed on, the head aesthetician quit, fed up with the obscene proposals. Pham, however, now in her tenth year at Ted D. Bare, has learned how to keep guys in line. Brandishing a can of scalding cream wax, she tells newcomers, “She who holds the wax holds the power!”
Except sometimes even the threat of searingly hot wax isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need a tazer.
Once, she was forced to taze a guy who wouldn’t stop misbehaving. “He got really aggressive and kept insisting that I perform certain favors on him,” she said. “So I tazed him in the thigh. He fell right off the table.
Why I Got the Male Brazilian Wax [Salon]