Pubic Hair: Bald is Beautiful? Bushy is Back?

Over the past decade, Americans have been bonkers for Brazilians – waxes, that is. Millions of women have endured the monthly torture of spreading their legs for a stranger who rips out their hair with a patch of hot wax. All to avoid the potential humiliation of a lover seeing a pube peeking out from their thong. Bare bodies define sexiness according to online porn, Carrie Bradshaw, and Kim Kardashian who boasts that her, “entire body is hairless.” Even the current Wikipedia entry for Mons Pubis features only Barbie-bare bodies.  

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Now, the media is telling us that the pubic hair removal trend may be waning. Hundreds of newspapers and online articles have reported that two A-listers who used to be vocal proponents of waxing are coming out pro-pubic hair: Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz. Yet, if you watch the video of Gwyneth discussing her pubic hair on the Ellen De Generes show, you can see for yourself that she really is neither for or against waxing. Similarly, Cameron wrotes a few paragraphs against laser removal of pubic hair, and all of a sudden she’s a proponent of pubic hair? Seems more likely that Cameron found a great hook to promote her new book – brilliant strategy, since the book tops the New York Times bestseller list.

Our oversexualized pop culture loves talk of pubic hair, and loves pressuring women. Even the newspaper of record is jumping on the bandwagon. According to The New York Times Style section, in 2014 the Brazilian wax may be considered lowbrow. The article reports that: “In certain corners of Manhattan, the bald look of the Brazilian has become déclassé, more suggestive of a naked Barbie doll or a reality television starlet than an organic lifestyle of cold-pressed juice and barre classes.” Yet, when women grow a veritable bramble because of the pressure from a fashion reporter, that’s not cold-pressed juice either.

Thus begins what I’m calling, “The Great Pubic Hair War of 2014.” The media is fighting to control your pubic hair. It’s easy to be vulnerable to media pressure and trends, particularly if you are ashamed about your body. Now you can be ashamed if you don’t have pubic hair, or if you do! Either you kowtow to porn and the Kardashians, or you fit in with Gwyneth and the NYT Style section.

The only way to avoid having your pubic hair affected is to ignore those messages. Please, don’t remove or keep your pubic hair as a way to conform. Focus on what you want for your body and your lifestyle. Find autonomy with your own body. Learn to love your body and the choices you make with it. Then you will be able to tune out all the celebrity talk about pubic hair.

(For a scientific look at the popularity of pubic hair removal, you may enjoy this research article.)

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