Soul Cycle Versus the Brazilian Wax

Tap it back, rip it off.

SOULWAXwlogo

It always begins at 12:00 PM on a Monday. Or 12:05, rather.

I’m usually anxious because I’ve missed the deadline to sign up for the Soul Cycle class that my friends are taking (we have to get Parker or else the world allegedly ends). The reason I’m late is because I’d probably just been on the phone with a receptionist at Benefit, nervously biting my nails, waiting to hear if Nicky will be available for a Brazilian wax on Friday. Same rule applies: get Nicky or else.

As is the case with both, I always secretly hope all of Parker’s spots will fill and that Nicky will be booked. But despite my consistent tardiness and the subsequent good karma, today I have booked both spots. For the same day. This has shed light on a crude, new reality: Soul Cycle and Brazilian waxes are alarmingly, if not conspiratorially, alike.

I’ve never walked into either scenario and felt at ease. Which isn’t to the fault of Soul Cycle or Benefit — I am chronically late and a woman of many, many totes. Because I’m late, I don’t take a storage locker at Soul Cycle and allow for my belongings to languish in a corner. When I’m getting waxed, I leave my coat plus tote and pack of mules carrying who knows what to sit unceremoniously next to me while I apologize profusely, already sweating three minutes too soon.

The instructor or waxer — effectively one and the same —  then patiently waits as you get yourself situated. Both instances are awkward, because one requires that you straddle a tiny seat while adjusting your handle bars (try not to fall face forward and die!), simultaneously “clipping in” to your stirrups (try not to fall face forward and die!). The other, reversely, requires that you take off your pants and lay on your back. The latter is physically simpler in practice but as awkward in theory, and both beg the very same question: do I keep my socks on or what?

At Soul Cycle, the class has begun and we’re starting to pedal. There’s no mercy. No gentle warm up, no easing into the swing of maniacally moving legs, just full force ahead, chants of positivity — one minute in and I’m ready to die.

Drip, pat, rip, scream.

Guess what muchacho, that was strip number one, song number two and you still have a whole ladyhood to cover.

The instructor has the tempo up. Left, right, left, right, and stupid Jenny in front of you is messing up your groove. You’re trying to keep your pedaling in sync with your inhaling and exhaling but it’s hard task when Missy Elliott’s “Pass The Dutch” is already too fast for your breathing. “Inhale,” shouts your instructor, “Here comes the hill!”

And just as you were preparing to catch your breath another glob of intolerably hot wax tears hair from its follicles, abs crunched, back flat, just like the instructor wanted. The hill is always the worst.

With the most grisly portion of the activity behind me, I’m finally able to get in the grove, chugging mantras like The Little Engine That Could. I think I can, I think I can — OUCH! SHIT! I know I can!

Towards the end of the class, I’m seated but still pedaling with weights in both hands. I’m exhausted but feeling triumphant because I’ve made it this far, though thoroughly confused because — shouldn’t my butt hurt more?

Keep pedaling, keep breathing, it’s not over ’til the bald lady sings.

And just when I think that this must be the end, the instructor tricks my relaxed state of mind into handling one more lap that spans the world’s longest song. I’m encouraged by the reminder, “You’ve made it this far!” And I push through the final minute, teeth clenched. Almost done.

Then finally, it’s over. I’ve never been so happy. I feel strong and jovial, ripe with a sense of accomplishment and overcome with pride. I’m a warrior. I’m fit. I am sexy. Why don’t I do this more often? I vow to drink green juice exclusively and wax every third week on the dot. I say I’ll go to classes at least eight times a month and that I’ll stop eating fries. I’ll reserve my razor for my legs only and remember to take an Advil 30 minutes before the next session. “I promise,” I vow. I promise.

But a week goes, two weeks go by and just as fast as waxed hair grows, it’s 12:00 PM on a distant Monday.

Or 12:05, rather.

-Edited by Leandra Medine

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Thoughts?
  • d

    “pedal”-ing

  • Katiquette
  • NITIJA SHASTRI

    Ouchhh!!

  • bkluxe

    Yes , during a soul ride, I feel like I am about to die. But in the end I’m so drenched and spent, that I feel great! I wax regularly with Lisa at bluemercury and she is Amazing!!!!!

  • http://theskiny.com/ Helen Vong

    Both situations are gong shows of pain!

  • Quinn Halman

    It’s like you read my diary

  • Amanda

    This cracked me up! I love it. So so so true.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    I wax every 3/4 weeks everywear. I dont use razors I dont know why all my american friends ONLY use razors.
    Like you said, the waxing is painfull but at the end is so worth it! Its true, I feel fresh and sexy and ready for anything!
    The spinning classes just kill me, I would rather wax ahah
    Sooo funny! Thanks for the story!

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    I abandonned these two instruments of torture long ago! I like less agressive sports like ballet or yoga, and I’ve turned to pulsed light hair removing which is painless and fabulous. I have smooth legs all year round and it’s pure happiness.

    Mafalda ❤
    http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • Tess Harrison

    Great great perfect. This might be one of my favorite pieces by you Amelia! Props. xo

  • Waxing the City
  • Penny Lane

    HAHAHAHA. TOTALLY feel your waxing pain, however i love to workout. –> http://lesingleblog.blogspot.ca/2013/04/brazilian.html

  • SueK

    “One in the same” ????? No no no no !!!! The correct phrase is “one AND the same”. Sorry, can’t help being a grammar nazi……and I wax, too. No other way for an Indian girl to look halfway decent.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Huh! You see I always pictured it like one being so alike it was INside the same thing, sort of like the time Cara Delevingne wore Bapes of everyone you know? http://www.manrepeller.com/minor_cogitations/where-in-the-world-is-cara-delevingne.html

      • SueK

        Hahahahaha ! Ok, I can see why you got confused. One “in” the same means one of many similar things, one “and” the same means two things that shouldn’t be similar, but somehow are. :)

  • Ruth

    Socks on. For the comfort.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I have decided that socks on at a wax are the way to go as well. And gyno!

      • Rebeka Osborne

        Always socks on, I’m already totally exposed and in pain, my feet don’t need to be cold during that horrible process.

  • Gita Bončina

    So, so true. How hard I’m laughing right now!

    xx
    http://gita-oddsandends.blogspot.com/

  • Annie Lynn

    This is BRILLIANT. Could not be more accurate….I wish I could say I wax as frequently as I cycle though

  • Harling

    This is one of my favorite Man Repeller essays EVER, and I’ve been a long-time reader. It was just so…resonant. With both my soul and my crotch. #doIkeepmysocksonorwhat

  • http://www.lifeofaladybear.blogspot.com/ Michaela

    Haha this is such a funny post and true in so many ways!
    Wish we has soul cycle in Ireland!

    Michaela X

    http://www.lifeofaladybear.blogspot.com

  • slice

    also its fun to share pictures from both experiences with your friends. RIGHT LEANDRA?

  • Andrea P

    This is fricken’ hilarious. I can totally relate.

  • Lady

    I’m el naturale and just coming to the realisation; am I the minority??

    Are there other ladies out there who prefer a neat, but natural bush?

    • leatherboots

      I groom with a razor, but I’d never go bare and I’d never put myself through waxing. I think I’m part of the minority too, but it just comes down to what you’re comfortable with. It’s just preference.

      • leatherboots

        Hey I just wanted to add to my comment that I’m 23. To anonymouse, not all 20 somethings are the same.

    • anonymouse

      I believe this is a generational thing. Women in their 40′s and older keep it neat but natural, women in their 30′s go either way, and women in their 20′s remove it all. Gawker had a post about Cameron Diaz’s new book where she advocates for keeping it natural and the comments were great. I was shocked to read how many women were told by boys in their 20′s that they refused to sleep with them unless they got a brazilian. I say boys because a real man wouldn’t care all that much. :)

      I just can’t understand putting up with all that pain to look like a little girl. But that’s just my opinion.

      • Lady

        I’m 22, but I agree with you!

        I think boys in their 20s don’t know what to expect of a real woman (or themselves yet) as their knowledge of sex and what a women should look, sound, and act like comes from porn and limited previous sexual encounters that most likely conform to that ‘ideal’ because of the culture created by this lack of knowledge on both sides and fear from both of not wanting to be different, disappointing or repulsive.

        But hair isn’t repulsive! For me, me pretending to be a porn star is. I’m a real woman with feelings, desires, and hair.

  • ClaraLovesYou

    I can relate immensely to both, and I love you for relating them to each other so I didn’t have to.

  • Kurohana

    Brazilian waxing is not that painful i’ve been doing on and off for two years

  • Amelia Diamond

    It’s by our own Charlotte Fassler, she rules!

  • Quinn Halman

    @ameliadiamond:disqus I first read this after my first spinning class and I just got back from my third. I have no other way to put it: you are so fucking hilarious. I shared this with my friend who I spin with (and then post juice with). I now feel ready for my pre-India Brazilian next week.

  • Anna

    Amazing…Amelia you are ONE gifted writer like daaamn.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Anna I think I love you