By Pia Bhattacharya, SELF magazine
If you've ever lost a war to a pair of pantyhose, spent the day in four-inch heels or done anything painful in the name of beauty, Robert Rave's new book, Waxed (St. Martins Press), is for you.
Not only does he hilariously poke fun at the wacky things we women go through to look our best, but he really gets down to the core of why we engage in some of these seemingly absurd practices. I had the chance to sneak a peek at Robert Rave's (author of Spin) latest novel, Waxed and ask him a few questions!
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Q: Waxed is based around three very different sisters. It's hard not to identify with or take something away from each one. Can you tell us about them?
Robert: Caroline is complex. She's like many of us who have known what we want in life since childhood. She's often made to be the villain by her employees and others in her social circle and she puts up a huge wall because of it.
Anna represents the millions of moms that go back to work after going through a divorce. It's not easy for anyone, but add to that working for your older alpha-female sister and complications are going to arise.
Sofia's characters asks the question: What if you have everything you thought you ever wanted, but still feel like you're missing out on something else? Does that mean maybe the relationship that you're in or the job you go to everyday is not right for you? We'd be liars if we said we never questioned these things at least once in our lives.
Q: While reading Waxed the term "Beauty is pain" comes to mind...
Robert: It's the idea that we do so much to make the exterior the best it can be, when quite often we use it as a distraction from an interior that is rather unkempt. The name of the novel has multiple meanings. It's obviously a reference to the industry these women work in as well as it's the name of the Carolina's product line. However, I loved the title because when a person is waxed they are removing something that they are unhappy about with themselves. When a woman (or man) gets waxed, they are left completely bare and exposed physically and for the characters in the novel, emotionally.
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Q: Women do lots of things like wearing makeup, getting their hair done- why did you choose waxing as a theme in the novel?
Robert: A flawless exterior doesn't necessarily equal a beautiful interior and the characters that come in and out of the Impresarios [Carolina's] salon in Waxed prove that point. The three main characters illustrate that notion even further--their personal lives are in disarray, but on the outside they do their best to look infallible. Life can be messy--but the reality is most people don't want to see that or rather feel that--we'd rather be around the person who seemingly has their stuff together. Setting this story in a waxing salon, where a person is quite literally letting it all hang out for their esthetician to see exposes a vulnerability that I found fascinating. It was an incredibly fun environment to explore some very honest and real emotional universal experiences.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from Waxed?
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Robert: I had so much fun writing the characters in Waxed and delving into an entirely different world than Spin. It's a novel that I think readers will hopefully laugh and be glad they went on the ride after they've finished reading. I know I learned a lot about myself with this novel. There are elements of my personality in almost every character, but I'm never telling which ones!
Waxed just released today (August 3)! I'm definitely adding this one to my must-read list!
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