fashion fad begun in the late 20th century, one that history will doubtless consign to the same shelf in the "mindless abuse of women for sexual fetishism
" archive as Chinese foot-binding
The practice doubtless derivates from the morbid revulsion some indivuduals of the era experience towards signs of sexual maturity in women - including wide hips, heavy breasts, and in particular pubic hair in all its varieties - genital, under-arm and facial. The last two, considered particularly obscene, were almost universally expunged.
The ritual consists of applying hot wax (or other adhesive materials) to the genital area and tearing it away violently, plucking the hairs as it is peeled away from the skin. Many contradictory reports exist about the degree of pain this causes, but I think we can safely assume that even the most hardened sufferer would experience a medium to high degree of discomfort at having such nerve-rich tissue so agitated.
Unlike the surgical modification of the body and female genital mutilation, this procedure does not produce permanent effects. In fact, the genital hair tends to grow back thicker and wider the more it is subjected to epilation, and therefore the woman would have to repeat this painful, humiliating and bizarre treatment with increasing frequency throughout her sexually active life.