I live to sparkle. To glimmer. To gleam. Blame it on my name, or too many formative hours spent draping Barbie in disco lamé (that’s lah-MAY, which, for the record, is the distinct shimmering opposite of “lame”). Whatever the cause, the result is that I wear sequined sneakers, carry a rhinestone-peppered purse, and shot a titanium stud through my nostril so I could have permanent bling on my face.
I’m a chick who likes to twinkle, okay? But I draw the line at gilding the lily.
A scintillating new trend in girly grooming has some gals (let’s call them “adventurous”) bedecking their vajannies with jewels. That’s right. Paving the privates with stick-on gems in custom designs: heart, starburst, fleur-de-lis.
More resplendent than the downtown display itself is the fun-to-utter name of this privates practice: It’s called vajazzling. And some celebs find it va-dazzling. D-lister Kathy Griffin, Snooki from Jersey Shore, and Jennifer Love Hewitt are all stuck on the habit like diamonds on a … well, you get the idea.
New York City’s Completely Bare salon takes credit for originating the craze, and the name—a riff on the Bedazzler, that infomercial-hawked craft tool used to fasten decorative studs to clothing.
Vajazzling is accomplished by pressing tiny, sticky-backed crystals onto freshly waxed skin (think frontage road, not undercarriage). Some salons offer the service along with the required all-bare-everywhere waxing, but I’ve heard of ladies accomplishing the task at home with those “crystal tattoos” that you find in the dollar-bin at discount stores.
Search Google Images for “vajazzle”—no, seriously; do it—and you’ll see designs ranging from cute (butterfly) to crude (red lips) to confounding (bare feet?). Like temporary tattoos, these clandestine constellations last around five days, or less if you forget they’re there and accidentally scrub them in the shower.
Salon estheticians who apply the jewels (sorry, fellas, the job’s not generally open to dudes) say clients get vajazzled for special occasions like anniversaries, or to cover up C-section scars or distract from a waxing rash. Hewitt claims to have done it as a post-breakup pick-me-up. “It shined like a disco ball,” she told a slack-jawed George Lopez on Lopez Tonight.
As you might expect, the phenomenon is earning criticism on philosophical grounds. “Wow! Seriously?” commented one woman after an online article about vajazzling. “Is there a design that makes it look like a vagina?”
Even Santa Barbara’s waxing queen, Nina Lafuente, calls the practice “ridiculous”: “I don’t think men need it all gift-wrapped. They’re just happy to be there.”
My own lust for luster leaves me unable to condemn the practice entirely; as far as I’m concerned, ain’t nothing a little polish can’t prettify.
But my friends and I find the practical aspects off-putting. Our discussions revolve less around the “why” of vajazzling and more around the “how.”
“What’s the budget option?” asks one area mom. “Elmer’s and some really fancy glitter from the kids’ art box?”
Anything that deters friction or inspires the words “hey, hey, be careful!” in the boudoir is a little too fussy for our tastes. Plus, what the hell do you wear over your masterpiece during the day’s numerous non-naked hours?
Quips a guy I know, “Would tear the hell out of a girdle, that’s for true.”
I have this concern, too: A man who’s drawn to a daisy-shaped array of chintzy gemstones may not be the sort of man you want, um, tending the rest of your garden.
All told—and even despite its iridescent promise—vajazzling just seems like more hassle than dazzle.
Or as a girlfriend of mine puts it, “I don’t even like to wear eye makeup most days.”