Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

November 18, 2009

The Big Question: Intimate Question Edition

Filed under: The Big Question — Miss Plumcake @ 2:38 pm

I am, as often mentioned, a very fair-skinned girl with very dark hair. Sure it’s all fun and games until seven short dudes want you to do their cleaning. I’m sorry, but I don’t care if you DID give me shelter from an evil queen, we have People For That.

It’s also problematic when it comes to hair maintenance.

Big girls, for some reason having to do with the hormones (there’s a real reason but I’m not googling “fat hairy girls” on my machine, no matter how much I love you all) tend to be more hirsute than the waif-types. Plus there’s more land to cover and if you’re tall like I am, sometimes I look down at the little tufts around my ankles and think “Geeze. That’s a long way down.”

The reason I’m talking about this today is last Saturday I laid the groundwork for the party season, hair-wise speaking and y’all…it took me ALL. DAMN. DAY. Now to be fair, I am the teensiest bit high maintenance, but not exceedingly.  Most folks don’t do lashes, but I don’t do pedicures, manicures or other spendy stuff.

Here’s a basic breakdown.

Eyelash extensions: $75-$100 plus tip every three weeks.  If you live in Austin or Houston, Tabitha at Flutter is the best around. I love my big ole tranny lashes and when Mean Mister Economy made me take a six-month break my poor little heart broke in two. What I love about my big lashes is I wake up, wash my face and look totally glam.

Hair dusting and re-tint: $45 – $100 with cut. There is a fine line between “statement chic” and “punk died and all I got was this jar of Manic Panic”  so I trust the electric midnight blue streaks in my 1930’s ‘do to the professionals.  They’re extremely high maintenance (I have ’em redone every 20 days) but have become a signature. Dahn at tiny Tsunami Salon –who also does Style Spy and other People of Import– is my go-to gal for both cut and color.

Eyebrow waxing: $10 every other week.  My eyebrows are like two lovestruck caterpillars yearning to become one. I used to try waxing them myself but it Ended Badly once too many times. Did you know ladies in Colonial times would shave their eyebrows off and wear little eyebrow merkins made out of hair-on mouse hides?

Body waxing: I’m a DIY girl with most other waxing. Investing in a nice waxing kit –I’ve always like Gigi– about $60 for the supplies including the wax, and then about $30-$50 a year to replace wax, spatulas (popsicle sticks: I got mine in a bag of caramels) and cloth strips. Fancy potions and powders can set you back more, but I’ve never gone wrong with tea tree oil and neosporin.

Laser hair removal: Y’all I don’t know WHAT happened, but I went on the birth control pill for THREE MONTHS back when I was twenty three. I went off it and next thing I knew I was rockin the Amish Cravat. I’ve been doing laser treatments off and on for about a year and I’m just not sold. They’re not cheap –$250 for my chin and moustache– and I haven’t seen any long term reduction in growth, PLUS the post-laser moult is less than pleasant since the follicles on my chin pop out like I’ve got perma-goosebumps for about two weeks as it spits out the last of the hair.

Which brings me to the Forbidden Zone.

Y’all, I haven’t had shame since George Michael had a career and I just CANNOT conceive of granting some popsicle stick-wielding stranger intimate access to my Very Thing.

First of all it irks me from a feminist point of view. I know there are plenty of women who like to keep a tidy Personal Residence –myself included– just because it’s part of basic grooming but so many men seem so ENTITLED to expect a woman to be completely sans topiary.




I know one guy, ONE guy who is both straight AND a confirmed waxer. ONE. And he only waxes his back. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to inviting guys to the  pants-off dance-off, they should understand it’s an honor just to be nominated and if they don’t like the drapes they have no business in that er…ballroom.

So today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

How much time/effort/money do YOU spend on hair maintenance? Has the recession affected your routine?

When it comes to your bikini line do you wax, shave, use a removal cream or just stay natural?

If you DO wax, do you go to a waxist, why and do you find it any more difficult because you’re a big girl?

Please keep the comments clean and no comments about what your husband/boyfriend/random guy you’re sleeping with to piss off your dad for missing your 6th grade dance recital likes. No vulva no vote, at least in this election.


  1. Red hair, fair skin…but not enough contrast, apparently, to get laser hair removal to work. I’ve been using electrolysis for my chin (honey, wait til you hit 45…sometimes it seems like I’m becoming a member of ZZ Top!)

    My skin is so sensitive I’ve had to stop having my eyebrows waxed because too often the wax is too hot and it leaves my skin scalded. I’m concerned about permanent discoloration. So, I’m planning to pluck or get my eyebrows threaded.

    I’m getting to the age I may have to start coloring my hair, but at 52, my gray only looks like highlights. My hair is thick, so since its short, it needs to be cut every 5-6 wks.

    I’m all for leg waxing, but only 3/4 leg. Only surgery requires ‘the full monty’.

    I never felt my hair issues were weight related, but more genetic…there isn’t a bald head in my family…we all have LOTS of thick, coarse hair.

    I KNOW I’m low maintenance (tho I’m a facial & pedicure, ‘ho.)

    Comment by that redhead — November 20, 2009 @ 3:35 am

  2. I feel like I could obsess about the whole hair maintenance issue, if I’m allowed too much time to think about it.

    But I do devote the time. I get my hair cut maybe once a year. It’s freakishly obstinate, it curls and frizzes and dries out and grows very, very quickly that “real” hair care for me would actually require daily salon time. I’ve had it straightened with relaxers, high heat blow dryers and special brush high end salon straightening teams, and the new ceramic/titanium/ionic very expensive hair straightening irons used by professional stylists. That was by far the most successful venture–but it was fleeting, let me tell you. Hair “product” is also ineffective, regardless of price. If I’m doing it for a photo, fine: but for an event or every day–it’s just too much time and work, and it all disappears whenever snow or rain approaches. When it’s straight, it looks gorgeous, my face appears to be prettier, I look smarter, but it’s all over, fast.

    So, curly hair it is. When it’s long, I just tie it back into a sleek pony tail. On occasion, I delude myself into thinking it will look nice in a curly, blunt cut bob. It grows out very, very quickly. Lately, I spend little on having it cut (maybe $30 a year) and I colour it myself (though, occasionally, I’ll have it done at the salon when I’m getting the cut. I love that the technicians freak out about you using any home dye product–“It’s so full of metal! It will turn your grey roots bright pink!”–just because the stuff they use is all made by exactly the same product manufacturers, and it behaves the same way as what you’re using from the drugstore). The last time it was done, the colourist chose an auburn shade that was far too dark for my aging face, while telling me the colour was really so light, it was “almost blond”. I’ve since blended that colour just fine with the Perfect 10 stuff I’m using in the light auburn shade I want–I’ll be sticking with that in the future. That’s about $15 a month. As far as shampoos and conditioners, I don’t spend more than $10 a bottle on any product. I have spent far more in the past, the results have been exactly the same. So no more.

    Underarms, legs–I shave these every shower. Even in winter. I can’t stand the way long leg hair feels in stockings or tights–and even against trousers, it hurts! I don’t have a lot of hair on my legs or on my underarms, so this is all very fast.

    Facial hair: years ago I lost a great deal of weight, and voila, I’ve been battling facial hair loss and overgrowth ever since. You don’t have to wait until your 40’s! Mine started in my 20’s. I pluck chin hairs and the tormenting strays I have on the right side of my neck–all black and all phenomenally fast growing. My eyebrows–I pluck those maybe once every three months. I found an old passport today and in that photo they’re well shaped, but there is much more eyebrow there–I’m missing a great deal since that time, which makes plucking hairs there a non issue. As for moustache–there’s not much there. I might pluck the occasional dark hair, but if I feel it’s too fuzzy, I’ll just shave it off in the shower. I have tried waxing the chin and beard hair, but wax is ineffective. Nair too. I’ve considered laser but I want to know it will never ever come back before sitting down to that.

    I’ve thought about having my lashes dyed–they’re fair but they’re long–but the truth is, I love mascara. I have a plum coloured one that I’m using now that works beautifully, and it costs $25 a tube (BadGal plum mascara)…but I’ve been just as happy with YSL black mascara (I think it’s the best) and MAC’s big brush mascaras in black, too.

    As for tending to the vulva, I can’t bear the idea of having that waxed. But I shave that bare too. I’ll be leaving just a little strip of hair there for the next few months, and keeping the rest hairless. I’ve been lucky not to suffer any ingrown hairs or unfortunate mishaps with the multi-blade razor I use (with a rich shaving cream–a must). As long as I look after it every shower, I don’t suffer from the itchy regrowth. I like it this way.

    Comment by chachaheels — November 20, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  3. I also have very dark hair and very fair skin. I also take a medication– cyclosporin– to keep my kidney from being rejected. It makes my hair grow even faster and thicker. I have to shave my legs every day. I’ve been thinking of trying waxing just for the time saving! I bleach my upper lip, and occasionally have my eyebrows waxed. I can tweeze in between times, and I don’t want skinny brows. Just reducing that freda look!

    I can’t even imagine eyelash extensions. As it is I get mascara on my glasses if I’m not careful!

    I trim the bikini line, but I refuse to shave. I hate it when the hair starts to grow back– that’s a terrible place for stubble. And I really don’t need to waste more time shaving! And frankly the idea of waxing there is horrifically unappealing. ::shudders::

    Comment by zanthine — November 20, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

  4. @margo- Bane of my existence, when I was a teen – it was One More Reason I Was A Freak Who No One Would Love.


    I’ll say one thing about the whole world of waxing no one ever mentions: the whole “no regrowth for 6 weeks” thing doesn’t happen until you’ve done it five or six times on schedule. Your hair folicles grow in cycles on their own and until you get the cycles lined up through repeated waxing you are going to have regrowth after a week or so. With patience, though, grasshopper, it’ll get in line. At this point I actually have bald patches on my shins where the dastardly buggers have finally raised the white flag.

    Comment by Beth — November 20, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  5. Being as pale as snow and as dark as ebony myself, and a poor girl at that, I tweezed my Personal Place – and at one point, it was reduced to a narrow plot for a while. And my hair upkeep was Colour that Sparkling Silver every week – again, myself – because I wasn’t looking forward to a tweed braid down to my backside. Shave every day. Tweeze brows as needed, and any OTHER unwelcome stray hair on my face.

    Now? This year I’ve coloured my hair what, twice? I still tweeze my eyebrows and CHIN, yes I said, but I’ve reached a personal low of Not Caring Any More.

    Comment by La BellaDonna — November 21, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  6. Oh. And I stopped using eyelashes, which I’ve worn for the last … FORTY years.

    Plummie, have you considered trying that new stuff, the prescription which is supposed to GROW longer eyelashes? Apparently it really does work, but it may not be the spectacular that you want.

    I’d like to speak a happy word, though, for WELL DONE permanent cosmetics (which still need to be fluffed every few years, or they get very … discreet); eyebrows if you don’t have them, or eyeliner that Stays Put, can be wonderfully cheering. Most people (i.e., anyone who didn’t drive me home) have No Idea that I’ve had it done. Even before reaching the Land Of Time To Do It Again.

    Comment by La BellaDonna — November 21, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  7. And I apologise for talking three times in a row. Sorry. But I do still shave my pits, every. single. day. I used to shave EVERYTHING every day. Now? I wear black tights all the time, no one sees my legs, I just … don’t.

    Comment by La BellaDonna — November 21, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  8. I’m fair skinned and light haired except for much darker pit hairs and bush. I shave my legs maybe once a week. The armpits I can get away with shaving in the shower every other day, but I break out like mad down below if I wet shave there, no matter how careful I am. Similarly with waxing, it took a week to recover from the red rash, and by then it was growing out again. The best solution for me is to use a men’s electric razor (they just seem to work better than the ones made for women) to dry-shave before showering.

    Comment by lyssa — November 21, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  9. Fair-skinned redheaded Tweener here.

    I get a Ouidad cut twice a year (September and March) and don’t color at all. As natural redheads age, they tend to fade to a strawberry-blond or brownish-red; anything else looks weird to me.

    I shave my pits once a week or so. More if it’s summer or if I have a date.

    Legs? The same.

    Eyebrows? I occasionally clean up the bits that hang on to eyeshadow in an unattractive way; otherwise, they need repeated applications of pencil to be visible. Lashes are the same: they get dyed once a month (1000 Hours is a great DIY kit) and mascara’ed every day.

    Moustache: shaved twice a month with a close trimmer.

    Bits: Shaved if I have prospects. Otherwise, natural-but-trimmed. I find I stink less and clean up easier without kneelength curtains to deal with. I’d never go full Brazillian because I’m proud that the carpet has kept its color while the drapes have faded.

    Comment by Jo — November 21, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  10. Yeah, I’m late to the party but want to say: don’t go bare down there ladies! This is something I’m pissed off and passionate about. When that lonely-not-quite-right-dude watches porn all day and gets stiff from seeing all bald beavers, guess what happens when he accidentally sees your six year old daughters natural self at the neighborhood pool? Sexually mature women have hair, period. Trim, whatever, but leave enough to show you’re a real woman.

    Comment by Maribee — December 1, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

  11. Maribee, I’d just like to say that not all women go bare because of “some dude” wants it. And it’s also offensive to think that all guys who watch porn are not “quite right.” The fact that your mind goes straight to children (at the pool, one assumes they will be wearing SWIMSUITS, yannoe) shows that you have more issues than a porn-watching male.

    Sexually mature women may have hair because evolution hasn’t caught up with the fact that it is totally superfluous, but they are also mature enough to make decisions for their own damn self without righteous “think of the children!” nattering following them everywhere they go.

    Comment by teteatete — December 2, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  12. Great post!

    Comment by Optician — May 18, 2010 @ 6:14 am

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