Metrosexual mayhem – Veet and modern masculine depilation

[Note: Installing Mars Edit 2 dredged up some old draft posts I had forgotten about]

I have become a metrosexual.

Last Sunday night I was staying with my old pal – C – when he introduced me to the latest weapon in his battle against his werewolf like body hair: Veet for Men.

Since meeting his beautiful but back-hair-hating 24 year old girlfriend, he has been forced to suppress his dorsal mat. First he tried waxing (not the infamous back sack and crack, just back) but it was too painful. Then he discovered Veet and swears by it.

I was sold.

The following morning, Monday, I stocked up on three tubes of Veet for Men at Boots Heathrow Terminal 1 and resolved to rid myself of my own simian back rug at the earliest opportunity.

That was last night. I am getting ahead of myself.

Back in the early 1991 I noticed that I had sprouted a few wispy hairs on my shoulders and back. I was not too alarmed but made a mental note to keep an eye on things. After all, the derogatory name for Afrikaners in South Africa was “Hairyback” and even in 1991 many women were vocal about their dislike of hairy backs.

I decided to deal with the problem early to avoid it worsening and took it upon myself to apply my sisters Imac depilatory cream to the affected region.

After a few minutes of chemical sizzell I watched in amazement as the hairs simply scraped off. It was a miracle…and a cruel false anti-hair messiah.

Mere days after my cleansing short, thick, stubby and black wire-like hairs protruded from my shoulder skin. After two weeks the growth was worse than before. What had I applied? The effect was more Regaine then Imac.

That whole summer fought hard: Massive dollops of Imac against the protein savannah spreading across my back.

By the time I gave up: hands hairless and red with amonia burns, nausious at the stink of Imac and with thick Neanderthal hair covering from my shoulders to the small of my back, I owed my sister over £100 in Imac vouchers.

Years passed by and I resigned myself to hirsute happiness until a new girlfriend insisted that before we go to Jamaica, I had to have a back wax.

I found the experience to be less painful than I expected, but my reaction to the waxing was gruesome. I spent my vacation not as King Kong Back by Harry Acne back instead.

Boils, carbuncles and weeping pimples coated the waxed region. It took weeks to subside. I vowed never to wax again.

So last night, I found myself in my bathroom, yet again with a depilatory cream struggling to reach the middle of my back, feeling the burn and tingle of chemicals loosening molectular bonds and the happy scream of dying back hair.

Veet does not stink as much as Imac used to (even though it is derived from the same product). I followed the instructuctions..well mostly..and everything appeared to go well. I scraped of the hair. I no rash or reaction. My back and shoulders are smooth again for the first time in 5 years.

Then I spotted them.


Thanks to the understandable difficulties of applying cream to ones own back, I had missed some patches of hair and under dosed others. The result? The middle of my back looks like it has been getting chemotherapty.

Patches of dolls hair sprout out of nowhere. There are islands of back coiffure holding out against the Veet. My back looks like mini tumbleweeds were randomly blown across a glue smeared back.

I look absolutely ridiculous!

The parts of my back that are smooth are now chemically burned as I had forgotten my experiences of a decade ago and allowed the Veet to stay on for 8 minutes instead of the usual 4.

I have decided that this is the last time I side against the sproutage. I am going to pleat my shoulder hair and perm by back hair. I am going radical, like those feminists on the beach with hair poking out their bikini bottoms.

[Update 2007: Another girlfriend ordered me back to the Waxologist. Thankfully I have kind and swift depilator called Maja who once a month metrosexualises me into a 21st century smooth-backed man. I think I need to harden the f**k up!]

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