Pubic hair may be natural, but a New Jersey salon- and spa-owners group say women should fight for their right to wax it off.
Yesterday the Daily News reported that the state's Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling planned to ban "genital waxing," often known as a "Brazilian wax" from salon and spa menus.
The practice has never been technically legal, but spas and salons up and down the state have long offered customers the chance to go bare . . . down there.
The Association of Salon and Spa Professionals has unsuccessfully lobbied the board to legalize genital waxing and is now urging women to sign and send a petition to Robert Gilson, director of the division of law at the state Attorney General's Office.
"This is not a third-world country, but you're telling a woman what she can or can not do to their bodies," said Feuza Reis, marketing director at Jaira's Salon in Middlesex County. "There is a huge demand for this service."
New Jersey statutes allow waxing of the face, neck, arms, legs and abdomen, but officials say that genital waxing has always been illegal, although not spelled out. That will change when the cosmetology board passes the proposal, a state spokesman said.
Reis, a member of the ASSP in New Jersey, said state statutes don't spell out whether it's legal to wax backs or chests either.
"You know how many men get their backs waxed?" she asked.
Regardless of the procedure's legal status, most salons in New Jersey offer Brazilian waxes, often under different names. The state does not investigate infractions unless they receive complaints from consumers. A spokesman said two women reported injuries from having the procedure.
The ASSP, which Reis said has 200 members in the state, sent the board a position paper on the subject recently, highlighting the demand for genital waxing for women and men, the socio-economic factors of banning it, and even suggesting how statutes should be tweaked to include the procedure along with back and chest waxing.
The board read the paper in closed session at their meeting on Tuesday night, Reis said.
"They voted to keep it out," she said. "How come we're going to be the only people in the world banning this kind of stuff?"
The Attorney General's Office did return requests for comment.