Every winter, you lie in bed dreaming about how great the summer will be; hot days, loosely-affixed beach towels, revealing outfits, sweaty sexual encounters, hot…smelly…feet? Ah! Wake up…that’s disgusting. Summer is just like any other season, it’s got its ups, and it’s got its downs. And you can’t expect to breeze into Torontoist’s favourite time of year without a little bit of primping and prepping.
After almost a year long hiatus, our He Said, She Said featurette returns just in time for some pre-season maintenance advice. It is time to face your waxing fears? Should you really put pain before sandal-beauty? Columnists Paige and Josh will help ease you out of your parkas and into some short-shorts.
Paige Says: Acceptance is the key, except for back hair
For most females, warmer weather means that it’s time to push our usual grooming regimes into higher rotation. Instead of getting waxed every six-to-eight weeks, we see our favourite Eastern European estheticians on a monthly basis. Leg-shaving is no longer done on a per-occasion basis, but instead becomes a daily ritual. And toe polish finally has an excuse to be re-done with every outfit change!
If only it was that simple. As Toronto temperatures rise, we cannot deny that our appearance anxieties are rising too. The changing seasons and decreasing layers of clothing are unfortunately coupled with too many embarrassing things. Like sweating. Winter-hibernation fat. And of course, blisters, smelly feet, hairy toes, and all other things that come with wearing sock-less shoes.
But! Good news! The trick to ease the anxiety, ladies, is quite simple. We just have to figure out which of these summerythings can be embraced, and which need to be carefully manicured into seasonal splendor.
First of all, winter hibernation fat. Embrace it. Because you know it’ll be gone in a few weeks, and everyone, both male and female, is dealing with a few extra eggnog-caused pounds. It’s my own personal belief that sunshine is the leading cause of weight-loss: When it’s sunny, you’re outside and active. When it’s sunny, salads and crisp veggies seem more appetizing. When it’s sunny, the increase of vitamin D makes you less inclined to binge eat and more inclined to ride a bike.
Your winterized feet, however, do need some maintenance. Unlike the pudge, they will not take care of themselves — you need to buff, exfoliate, and polish them to a perfection. And men! This goes for you too! Gone are the days of girls accepting yellow toenails and pale feet; if we’re going to invest the time and money in a pedicure, the least you can do is avoid a sock tan. But a once-over with a pumice stone and a coat of matte polish wouldn’t hurt either…
Blisters, on the other hand, can be embraced once an investment has been made in some first-aid supplies. But, a tip: if you have to cover your entire foot with band-aids, I suggest reconsidering your footwear choice. Shoes (and feet) cannot be broken-in in a week. Much like seasoning a frying-pan, it takes weeks to “grow” calluses in all the right places—so let your first round of blisters heal and find another, wearable pair of shoes for the interim.
As for the waxing and shaving, they sit on the borderline between embrace and maintain. Simply because it’s become much more common for men to engage in their own intensive hair-removal routines. I’m not suggesting that you share a waxing session with your beau, but rather just encouraging thoughts of his whimpering while you and your esthetician chat celebrity gossip.
Josh Says: Summer doesn’t have to be a bummer
More so than any other season, the summer brings on a slew of horrible men’s style choices. It’s like a domino effect: On the first sunny day, out come the Hawaiian-flavoured beach shorts. First heat wave, cue the sweaty sandals and hairy toes. First nice long weekend, patio wear that often includes Oakley sunglasses, Gap cargo shorts, and like a cherry on top of the already vile summer wardrobe, a wart-sized patch of hair centered below the bottom lip. (Actually, the soul patch is a year-round atrocity, but somehow becomes more visible in June, July and August.)
But this much we knew. Men who dress like displaced all-inclusive resort-goers know it too. So, besides harping on the already harped-on, let’s construct some constructive. And this doesn’t just apply to men, but humans of all genders.
First, a remedial lesson in anatomy: Your nose – no matter race, creed, religion, sexual orientation – is always just under your eyes. When you turn your head to look at something, your nose has no choice but to follow. In the summer, when women wear the Daisy Dukes and men like the tight jeans, where do you suppose the eyes (and nose) wander? Yes, the bum would be a good guess.
And since the nose unwittingly follows the eyes, your backyard must keep up appearances and maintain a pleasant aroma all summer. This is especially difficult in hot daytime excursions, when your buttocks are essentially transformed into an extreme heat furnace. Even at night, keeping the insides of your underwear cool is a challenge. How embarrassing would it be to whip off your bottoms at the end of the night to reveal the beginnings of a small swamp in your rectal area? That’s right; very embarrassing.
Again, this shouldn’t be anything new (especially for those of you with well-formed posteriors). Yet countless young people mistakenly let their backsides slide in summertime. But this summer, this summer will be different, as long as you follow the Torontoist three-step guide to keeping fresh, cool and dry love areas. (And for those of you still in denial, the bum is a love area). All of the following, as mentioned above, can work for both men and women.
Step one begins with the choice of underwear; dark, cotton, tight. Dark: So that if perspiration does occur, the dreadful appearance is masked by dark dye of the undies. (Be very careful that same dye doesn’t turn your junk different colours.) Cotton: Don’t know, but it’s fairly cool, light material. Tight: Tighter the better. Uncomfortable temperatures breed in stale air.
Step two: Throw some baby powder around the entire scene. That’s to keep dryness, and it doesn’t hurt the smell.
Step three is the final and most overlooked. Post-baby powder, spray one or two shots of your favourite perfume/cologne on the bum area (obviously, external use only). This is simply amalgamating sensory reaction to your bum. Leave all those ogling guys/girls a beautiful bouquet of a sweet eau de toilette as you walk by on Richmond or College or wherever it is you flaunt your goodies. It almost makes too much sense; a bum that looks and smells good?
But words of warning, do not, under any circumstances, put any smell-enhancing products on your front side. A pinch of baby powder, yes; a spray of sticky, bitter-tasting perfume, no. For one, it can’t be good for the important tissues-slash-pH scales. For two, there’s nothing wrong with maintaining your own flavour. And if the end result of a nice summer night is having someone’s face in your crotch, the last thing you want is some sort of eye irritation or allergic reaction because you doused yourself in perfume.
So there you have it – probably the most life-altering advice you’ll receive all summer. Please keep it in mind the next time you decide to go bumming around Toronto on a hot day.