My friend K suggested this task. I met K a few years ago at a bikini boot camp on the Greek Island Lefkos. Discipline wise, it was more of a flip flop camp than a boot camp, and K, fabulously, didn’t participate in one single exercise class or activity. She positioned herself behind massive Chanel sunglasses by the pool, moving only to the al fresco restaurant for a chilled white wine. She later said what she’d enjoyed most about the week was that she could smoke everywhere. I was at the book camp to see if I could get a ‘bikini body’ in a week for a magazine article. Oh, and not just any bikini body, Kelly Brook’s bikini body. You can see for yourself how close I didn’t come to this ideal in my Secret Diary post.
So it’s thanks – if that’s the right word – to K that I’m going to Strip, and by that I mean a shop dedicated to the art of waxing in Chelsea. The man who books my appointment on the phone couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. My first time? Wonderful! A Brazilian? Exciting! I can almost see him clapping his hands.
I arrive at the shop on Fulham Road. At street level Strip sells sexy underwear and bikinis, while the magic happens in treatment rooms above. I’m nervous and have therefore given no thought to the logistics of what will happen. I hope we’ll start with the leg wax. I undress a bit, lie on the couch, cover myself discreetly with a towel (not a paper pant in sight), and we’re straight to the Brazilian.
While the waxer, who couldn’t be more calm, business like and friendly, gets to work, I lie back and try to concentrate on Friends playing on the wall-mounted television in our treatment room. I don’t think anyone is ever more than 30 minutes from a Friends episode. It was the one when Rachel and Ross both deny that they made the first move when they had sex and Rachel got pregnant. I detail this because Rachel is embarrassed when they play the videotape (long story, you know) because she clearly came on to Ross. All I could think was Jeeeees-us woman! You think that’s embarrassing? Drop in the bucket – you should see the position I’m in while I’m watching. It’s in the dictionary under ‘embarrassing’.
Physically, it’s mildly painful. Personally, it’s excruciating. And forensic? The combined forces of DCI Jane Tennison, Andy Sipowicz and Sarah Lund couldn’t have been more through. It makes a cervical smear test feel about as invasive as a four hand massage in the underwater spa of Huvafen Fushi in theMaldives.
An hour later, it’s all over. I love it. I take myself out for a caramel frappucino afterwards – which is unusual because I’m not normally my type.