The politics of pubic hair


Where do you stand on lady gardens? Are you on the bald-as-a-badger, au naturale, bikini wax, G-string wax, or Brazilian side of the fence?

I pondered the hairy issue yesterday as I endured extravagant pain at my local beautician.

And I decided I’m oddly dogmatic when it comes to denuding the bush. While I’m all for a hedge trim, I don’t understand why anyone would want to wax it all off (it makes me itch just thinking about it), let alone laser it off FOREVER. The idea of having a little girl’s hoo-ha as a middle-aged woman freaks me out.

But sometimes I feel like a lone dissenter … it’s mega-popular in my neck of the woods.

Rachel Cross, who owns a beauty clinic specialising in laser hair removal and electrolysis, told Daily Life: “Bikini lines started getting higher with the trend for G-strings around 2000, but we’ve seen a big increase in Brazilians and Hollywoods driven by both 20-something and post-menopausal ladies, who either want to try something new in their marriage, or might have started dating again. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a trend confined to younger customers.”

A “Hollywood” is the most extreme version of waxing, where everything comes off. They call it a “Hollywood” because body hair is regarded as an inconvenience on photo shoots, red carpets and movie sets.

Oddly enough there seems to be a groundswell away from the bald-as-a-badger thing with some high-profile celebs.

Cameron Diaz has penned The Body Book, which has a chapter entitled “In Praise of Pubes.” In it, Cam praises the “lovely curtain of pubic hair” surrounding “that glorious, delicate flower of yours”. She urges women not to remove their pubic hair, at least not “permanently”, in case they change their minds at some point.

Meanwhile, last year Gwyneth Paltrow discussed how a sheer dress she wore on the red carpet left her stylists “scrambling for a razor” because “I rock a 1970s vibe”.

My antipathy to the bald-as-a-badgering may be jealousy talking: even if I wanted to get it all lasered off, I couldn’t. I’ve been told by various beauticians that I’m not – as a redhead – a suitable candidate. (It’s more of a brunette pursuit. Something about colour contrast.)

But …. hmmmmm … let me think … NO …. even if I was eligible, I wouldn’t go there.

Aside from the little girl’s hoo-ha thing, there’s the whole “it’s there for a reason” argument.

For example, in 2013 Medical News Today reported: “Brazilian waxes and other forms of pubic hair removal may increase the risk of viral skin infections, particularly Molluscum contagiosum.”

Any mother who has dealt with the (secret) scourge of molluscum in their kids will have no desire to introduce that horror to their nethers.

And then there’s just …. WHY?

Why can’t a woman be allowed to be her natural self without being regarded as being somehow sexually inferior? Does she really need to remove every bit of hair – aside from her scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows – from her body to be attractive to a man?

Take a look at this ad for Veet hair removal – “Don’t risk dudeness” …

Ooooh it makes me cross. That is not an empowering message to send to women about their bodies.

I’d like to think my attractiveness to the opposite sex comes down to more than how much hair I’ve removed. It shouldn’t be conditional on how much I’ve shaved, waxed and lasered.

Clover Stroud wrote that she asked her husband whether he found pubic and body hair unsexy or unattractive, he replied: “When you’re in love with someone, it’s irrelevant.”


Song of the day: Hot Chocolate “You sexy thing”







16 thoughts on “The politics of pubic hair

Add yours

  1. Not only is that Veet ad abhorrent, it’s not only about hair removal: notice how the “hairy” male is a larger size, ergo, waxing makes you skinny AND all woman. Gag.

  2. That ad is awful! What messages are we sending to young girls? We should be free to do what we want with our bodies… xE

  3. There’s no way I’m ever going to be bald down there. It’s unnecessary and wrong. And quite frankly most of the time I can hardly be bothered shaving my legs. I’ll neaten up if I have a special event – like donning a pair of bikinis – but that’s as far as I’ll go.

  4. I’m a very unhairy person anyway. Except for those three annoying chin hairs. I don’t even shave under my arms anymore because it doesn’t grow. It used to but it’s stopped. What’s that about? I would never let anyone dictate how I should groom myself and we should just do what feels right for us.

  5. I can remember when women stopped shaving at the knee and waxing lady parts was considered a fetish so in mainstream terms people talking about this now it’s quite a leap, it has always been around though.

    Years ago I used to work in a job wearing things that could be collectively referred to as “OMG where’s the rest of it!” so I’ve tried pretty much all of the styles at some point and all the chopping and changing of fashions didn’t leave me with a lot of hair to work with. From experience taking *all* the hair off, some men find it off putting because it looks pre pubescent, but there are different styles to suit different shaped women (kind of like how some women look better in boy leg undies and others in bikini briefs or a G-string) so it just gets shaped to suit the most flattering shape, it keeps things in proportion and you only really remove the top part if you’re wearing ultra low hipster things. I think it will pass like every other fad though once enough women have tried it and got bored with it or the low low bikinis and pants thing goes out of fashion.

      1. I’ve had laser hair removal elsewhere and I couldn’t imagine getting it done there, ouch! My eyes are watering just thinking about it.

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