As if the Garden State didn't have enough troubles, lawmakers in Trenton are prepared to level one of the foundations of the state economy: the Brazilian.
The state Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling is moving toward a ban on genital waxing altogether after two women reported being injured in their quest for a smooth bikini line.
Both women were hospitalized for infections following so-called "Brazilian" bikini waxes; one of the women has filed a lawsuit, according to Jeff Lamm, a spokesman for New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs, which oversees the cosmetology board.
Technically, genital waxing has never been allowed — only the face, neck, abdomen, legs and arms are permitted — but because bare-it-all "Brazilians" weren't specifically banned, state regulators haven't enforced the law.
"The genital area is not part of the abdomen or legs as some might assume," Lamm said.
Perhaps not, Mr. Lamm, but what do you say to the thousands of cosmetologists who are about to become criminals overnight? And what do you say to the millions of New Jersey women who will be forced to live with unwanted hair? And what of the state's jobs and economy? Will New Jersey next ruin pivotal wealth producers like the orange body spray sector, or neon underbody manufacturers, because of a few industrial accidents?
Perhaps Brazilians from trained cosmetologists pose a slight risk, but what of the dangers of unlicensed waxing, sure to occur when the demand is driven underground?
Spa owner Linda Orsuto, who owns 800 West Salon & Spa in Cherry Hill, estimates that most of 1,800 bikini waxes performed at her business last year were Brazilian-style.
"It's huge," she said, adding that her customers don't think their bikini lines are anyone's business but their own. "It's just not right."
She said many customers would likely travel across state lines to get it and some might even try to wax themselves.
How many more New Jersey women will die when the state returns to the bad old days of back alley waxing?