I’ve never been awarded a gold medal, but that’s only because the International Olympic Committee has yet to recognize my event: shaving.
I’ve been honing my skills in this category since the age of 13, when I went to sleepaway camp. It was there that I decided I was ready to turn my cactus legs into sleek, hairless cats. A kind cabin mate volunteered to coach me through it. We donned our Olympic uniforms (Lands’ End one-piece swimsuits), entered the arena (a vacant outdoor shower stall) and commenced. She patiently taught me the best technique for leg shaving: a complex move known in inner circles as The Serious-Kiss Foot Pop.
The Serious-Kiss Foot Pop
It is named, according to legend, for that magical moment in black-and-white movies when the protagonist would get seriously kissed and her foot would just pop up. You know? The Serious-Kiss Foot Pop is orchestrated to bring your leg in closer proximity to your hand, allowing you to create the requisite train tracks through the white fields of shaving cream that await.
This practice session was just the beginning of a lifetime of shaving contortionism, as is required when trying to access hard-to-reach nooks and crannies from a high vantage point. It also alerted me to the fact that using a 13-year-old cabin mate’s plastic drugstore razor to carry out the purpose of said contortionism is less than ideal.
Throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, I continued to hone my skills. More importantly, I have acquired better instruments along the way.
For a long time, I thought good razors were too expensive, not to mention I always forgot to buy them and would inevitably end up using something sad and disposable. That’s why I remember being so intrigued when I first heard about Harry’s. I was sitting in a room with a bunch of guys who had recently signed up for Harry’s “shave plan,” which meant they automatically received a shipment of blades every few months for $15.
The price and ease alone would have been enough to pique my interest, but the fact that a quorum of hairy gentlemen unanimously agreed that the quality was superior was what sealed the deal. If they trusted their faces to these razors, I would trust my hard-to-reach limbs.
The result? Well, let me put it this way: When an Olympic gymnast enters the arena, she’s equipped with the very best kit possible (leotard, hair clips, chalk dust, etc.) If I were such a gymnast, and I was on a mission to fulfill my lifelong dream to receive a gold medal in shaving, Harry’s razors and shave gel would be my gadgets of choice.
Armed with this superior toolbox, I’ve developed two additional positions for optimum leverage, angle, pressure and technique.
The Accidental-On-Purpose Object Retrieval
When dealing with the toe region, I like to deploy this simple and effective position. All you have to do is “accidentally” drop something while you’re shaving (like your shampoo, a rubber duckie or a bouquet of flowers — your choice), bend over and, as you pretend to reach for it, give your targeted toe a quick swipe.
The Elbow Protractor
This is best for attending to the underarm vicinity. It involves raising your arm and placing your hand upon your cranium, giving your pit the opportunity to stretch and yawn. It turns your elbow into a perfect right angle, which is handy for both underarm shaving and on-the-go mathematics.
So there you have it — my best tools and my best moves. If you’re not the bathtub or shower type, feel free to co-opt them for an impromptu sidewalk hair removal scenario. They’re flexible like that.