March 16 2009

New Jersey May Ban Brazilian Waxing… Again

waxingIt seems that New Jersey has decided its residents aren’t old enough to make decisions about personal grooming on their own.

I admit I first heard about this while watching “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, but my jaw dropped as I discovered it was a real story.  It seems that two women complained to the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs after they were injured by the Brazilian wax (example images of naked women at link) treatments they had received.  One of the two women had sued the salon involved, but the state still investigated the complaints.  They then decided that this was a process that should possibly be banned all together.  The decision will be made by the Board of Cosmetology of April 14th at a meeting.

According to, it seems that under current New Jersey laws it only allows for the waxing of face, neck, arms, legs and abdomen, but it does not spell out that the waxing of genital areas is explicitly banned.  As this has gained some press coverage, some salons have ceased offering them, but the majority have not. spoke with Linda Orsuto, a salon owner in Cherry Hill, NJ who said that women would “go ballistic” if this passes.  She also said they would resort to waxing themselves, visiting unlicensed salons or even traveling to other states for the service.

So, essentially, it took exactly two people complaining to possibly get an entire service ended in a state?  This is another example of “the nanny state” going to an extreme.  I have no clue how many people get this procedure done, but I would imagine in the state of New Jersey alone the number must be in the tens of thousands, but because exactly two people complained, a Brazilian waxing underground movement may be set up.  Will this be like prohibition with waxing speakeasys being set up in back alleys?

Not only will they be passing a ban that makes absolutely no sense, they will be harming the revenue streams of salons in an already down economy.  As Ms. Orsuto said in the interview, people will find alternatives and legit salons in New Jersey will lose income and nothing will be truly gained by this move.  The only thing that will have been accomplished is salon owners may have to cut staff as there will be less work for them to do.

I am sorry two women got injured, but shall we look at all the other ways people are injured or even killed each day?  Shall we start banning everything in the world that someone at sometime has been injured doing?  How about we ban sports?  I mean, people get injured in sports every day, but yet no one bans those, but apparently if two people complain about a service in a salon, you can just get that completely banned.  Well, I’ve received some pretty bad haircuts in my day at salons, shall we ban those?

Yes, people should not be injured, but two isolated cases of waxings gone bad does not a state-wide terror make.  This is something that maybe should be monitored, make sure people have the proper certificates, but just banning in totality is heavy-handed and wrong.

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