Man waxes his legs in the name of investigative journalism

// 20 September 2007

The Daily Mail has conducted what they appear to think is a groundbreaking experiment in forcing one of its hapless junior reporters to live like a woman for a week.

This might be quite interesting had they dressed him in convincing drag and got him to report back on the differences between going through life as a man and as a woman. But unfortunately this is not what they have done.

For the past week, steered by a small bunch of female friends, I experienced the thoughts, anxieties and simple daily tasks of a 21st-century woman. For one week, I lived as I imagined a woman might.

I worried about cellulite, obsessed about finding the right partner and thought constantly about my biological clock. In my mission, I journeyed into the darker side of the female psyche.

Does anybody else feel like vomiting already? I know I do.

Women, I am told, are more inclined to clean things than men – and it’s a well-known fact that men are slovenly in the bathroom. I, for one, have never cleaned a toilet. Poured bleach down it, yes. But scrubbed it, cleaned behind it, used a cloth to floss the yukky little patches underneath the hinges, no.

I’m also going to think about my diet and have resolved to go on a no wheat, no sugar, no dairy eating plan. This, according to one of my friends, is the most effective way of keeping your weight down. It will ensure that I continue to fit into my 32-inch jeans, which – suddenly – has become very important to me.

But how is he to get through a hard afternoon wielding a bog brush on nothing but a few mung beans? Ah, the trials and tribulations that us girls go through every day!

Of course, no such article would be complete without making the poor man go through the horror of leg waxing:

If [leg waxing] had been round when Torquemada was conducting the Inquisition, the whole world would be Roman Catholic by now.

Lulled into a false sense of security by the pleasant sensation of warm liquid wax being applied, I am quick to receive a shock. Once the wax has congealed, there is a searing moment of agony as 10,000 individual roots are brutally ripped from my skin.

As I leave the establishment, I think that if I really were a woman, I would live somewhere where it was socially acceptable to be hairy. Like France.

Kudos for pointing out that it’s not socially acceptable for a woman to be hairy in Britain, but surely most women don’t wax their legs? I thought shaving was the norm.

The nauseatingly predictable conclusion of the article is that our fearless hero has developed a new-found respect for the female of the species:

I did find the week difficult – and I’d only dipped a polished toenail into a woman’s life. I experienced none of the real pressures and tribulations that a woman faces every day. Tammy Wynette was quite wrong when she sang ‘Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman’. It’s not. It’s always hard to be a woman. Especially if you’re a man.

In summary, this is what the Daily Mail think that women do:

  • Wear make up
  • Worry about cellulite
  • Go on no-wheat no-dairy no-sugar no-food diets
  • Clean toilets
  • Obsess about what to wear
  • Read horoscopes and chick lit
  • Spend half their lives in spas having pedicures and bikini waxes
  • Shop
  • Gossip incessantly
  • Multi task

Well, how’s this for multi-tasking: I can read the Daily Mail whilst spitting with rage AND stuffing my face with a cream cheese and guacamole bagel.

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