More wax the Western way, thanks to
The Edison Chen Koon-hei sex-photos saga is
long dead, but its impact lingers. Almost two years after the explosive
showbiz scandal that shocked the whole of Asia (and the Chinese-speaking
community around the world), some Hong Kong women admit they have
been inspired by those racy pictures - not in the bedroom, but in
the grooming department.
Beauty salons have observed a mild increase
in local Chinese women going for hair removal treatments - including
traditional waxing, laser and intense pulsed light - for their private
Such treatments are common in the West, but
to the relatively conservative local Chinese women, the idea of a
Brazilian wax, which removes almost all the hair in the pelvic area
except for a thin strip, is still alien - and in some cases unknown.
Beauty salon operators said more local customers
are seeking a clean bikini line, and some are opting for the almost
all-gone Brazilian style popular in the West.
Some were apparently motivated by the sex photos,
which featured a string of well-known female celebrities, including
award-winning actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi, as well as Gillian Chung
Yan-tung, of girl duo Twins, with whom Chen was rumoured to have been
romantically linked. The revealing photos sparked discussion, among
other things, of hair removal habits - or lack thereof.
"We have had more customers [turning up]
after their husbands or boyfriends [mentioned] those Edison Chen photos,"
said a veteran Brazilian wax therapist at a beauty salon in Admiralty.
Vivien Tang, marketing manager of upmarket spa
chain Sense of Touch, which has specialised in Brazilian waxes for
seven years, confirmed the trend. She said that the spa has had a
mild increase in local Chinese and Japanese customers seeking Brazilian
waxing. Local beauty chain Be A Lady also said they were getting more
requests for bikini waxing.
A 35-year-old marketing executive, who is a
Hong Kong-born Chinese, said she hadbeen having Brazilian waxes for
years, for both aesthetic and hygiene reasons. She said it also improved
her partner's sex drive.
Still, it is unclear whether this hair removal
trend will take off in the city.
"Foreign women are still our major customers,
and despite a mild increase in Asian women coming here for Brazilian
waxes, most of them still prefer bikini waxes, the demand for which
will increase sharply in summer because they want to wear bikinis,"
A spokeswoman for Be A Lady said: "We are
a very localised company and we serve local people. To many Hong Kong
women it is still very embarrassing [to expose their private parts
for waxing], and some find it shameful.
"Only 10 per cent of our clients [who get
body hair removed] have asked for a clean bikini line."
The marketing executive said that when she brought
up the subject with her local Chinese colleagues, they were shocked.
"They had never heard of such waxing treatments. We all live
in Hong Kong, but how come we are so different?"
Sexologist Rene Lien said pubic hair existed
to reduce friction during sexual intercourse, but more women were
getting hair trimmed or removed - mostly because they wanted to wear
bikinis. But at the end of the day, waxed or not, it all comes down
to personal preference, Lien said.