Journalist Alex Kuczynski chronicled her trip to the salon for a Peach Smoothie for Harper's Bazaar. No, we're not talking Jamba Juice..."Peach Smoothie" is one of the names for a facial for the vulva. Also known as, "Vagacial," Kuczynski headed to Manhattan's Haven day spa two weeks after she had a waxing. She writes:
Unlike a regular facial, where you are encouraged to close your eyes and are not a party to the horrors of buffing and extracting and peeling--in denial of any association with those wrinkles and pores--your eyes are open in this case and you and the therapist can have, oh, long conversations about the state of your vulva. Have you ever seen that movie How to Get Ahead in Advertising, in which Richard E. Grant grows an extra head on his shoulder and it's always talking back? This was kind of like that. The kitty was unleashed. It was anthropomorphism with a twist: feminomorphism. Genital transubstantiation. Something weird was going on.
While Kuczynski didn't have any eruptions, she did have some ingrown hairs. Get ready to cringe:
"Look at all these ingrown hairs!" Marta [the esthetician] said with a giddy clap of her hands. She got to work plucking and picking and springing free the tiny curled buds, then tweezing them away. She applied a dab of Prince Reigns, a serum that prevents ingrown hairs and razor bumps and also helps with discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
Ultimately, the Peach Smoothie isn't necessary if you don't wax down there, but many women do decide to. As Janet Jakobsen, a professor of women's studies at New York's Barnard College, told Kuczynski, "You are simultaneously totally objectified and more empowered than you used to be." Or as Marta wisely uttered, "What can I say? It's part of the culture now. They feel they have to do it."