Dare to Ask: To shave or not to shave - your toes
By Phillip Milano
Is it worth shaving my toes for the next 40 years of my life, or do people
Faye, 17, St. Louis
People don't notice. Don't bother.
Ellen, 47, Mesa, Ariz.
I also have hairy toes. I shave them; it only takes like three seconds to do
it. I don't do it all the time, usually once every other week or so in the
summer and less often in the winter.
Trisha H., 27, Flint, Mich.
After more than 50,000 submissions to this 11-year project, we can safely say
we have now received the most inane, intellect-free, idiotic contribution yet.
All in just five little words.
"People don't notice. Don't bother."
Oh ... Our ... God. And if you don't understand what we mean -- hello, it
means OMG but then substitute an O for one of the letters.
Someone is telling us that during these times we're in, people aren't all
looking closely at the hairiness of each other's lowest extremities. Right.
"I would say in a heart-to-heart to this girl that life is too short to worry
about it," said beauty-consultant-to-the-stars Noreen Young. "Look what's
happening in the world, and we're worrying about hair on our toes."
But Young did say that if this girl lives in a place such as sunshiny Florida
and if she wears sandals a lot and if it really bothers her ...
"You know, if it's to the point she feels she can braid it, she might want to
do something about it. ... She may want to look her finger-licking best, or in
this case toe-licking best," said Young, an internationally known makeup artist
whose clients include the Larry King and Nancy Grace shows.
"It's like a woman in corporate America and all of sudden she's getting a
little bit extra above the lip and doesn't want to look like a manny-girl."
So, for the toes, just shave them. No laser treatments, electrolysis,
chemical depilatories, waxing or sugaring needed, Young said. A Ladies Bic will
do. (Impressed by that list? We didn't even get into threading, an ancient
Middle East form of hair removal that can work on toe and other hairs. Be
warned: one Web site says "remember that threading is an intricate art that must
be performed only by a skilled practitioner, and that it takes months to achieve
proficiency. Nothing is more painful than threading performed by an inexpert
Young lamented a fairly sad state of current affairs in which many people,
and especially teens and young adults, seem OK with coughing up hairballs of
money to "perfect" their appearance.
"The media and ads play a role," she said. "You have this beauty trend with
teens wanting to remove unwanted body hair. They are shaving not only their
arms, but men are shaving their chests, getting waxed and also shaving 'down
that way.' Girls, too.
"I wish I knew why, but I guess they equate it with a more clean, streamlined
look, and they just have to do it."
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers. Send general
column comments to email@example.com. You can also hear his
podcasts or watch his