It's easy to spot a headline that says Kim Kardashian stopped to get a bikini wax on the way to deliver North and feel strongly turned off by it — the behaviour might read as unusual or cloaked in vanity. And while the quotes accompanying the aforementioned headline don't necessarily add anything to make you think otherwise — Kim said she wanted pink nails instead of dark brown because she was having a girl — I think there's a much larger story here that goes beyond a celebrity's choice for a quick beauty touch-up on the way to the maternity ward: the expectation new moms set on themselves to look pretty or to behave in a certain way in the delivery room. And it's a broad paradigm I'm describing here. This expectation can manifest as a personal choice to deliver naturally or to have our hair blown out beforehand.
Where do these ideas come from? Pick a place. I for one set out to find the perfect matching dusty-pink sweatsuit to wear when I was discharged (never touched it), packed my best fuzzy slippers (never wore them), and brought six LED candles to set the mood (what a joke). And after a gruelling and long delivery, though I never touched my Instagram-worthy outfits or mood lighting, I did find time to dig into my makeup bag to do my eyebrows. And my under-eyes. And that pimple while I was at it. And it wasn't just to look good in a photo — let's be real, it would have taken an army of professionals to make me look good and smile-y in the delivery room. A lot of that prep work and hospital bag packing of absurd necessities came from my own excitement. About the new life that was about to unfold, and about the delivery itself. I wanted it to feel fun and something that I could look forward to.
So in addition to packing ice for my vagina and dark underwear that wouldn't show blood, I packed lipstick and dry shampoo. Somewhere buried in the fear and apprehension and gory details I hung onto from articles about what happens to our bodies during delivery, I found the fun. I found the idea that we deserve to let ourselves feel a little excitement about birth, too. And whether that comes in the form of sculpted brows or a vag wax, I say go for it. Hit the legs too while you're at it.