(Photo: Trophy Wife Barbie)
The Politics Of... Pubic Hair
The politics of… is a new series exploring and dissecting, well, the politics of various social phenomena that don’t quite explain themselves.
Just how we're grooming, bodyscaping and sculpting our bodies seems more diverse now than generations before. Male grooming via 'boyzilians' are more common than ever and multiplying women are ditching beauty norms, going custom when it comes to pubic hair and where.
But, despite the many men and women willing to try something different when it comes to hair down there, it still seems like nobody has a clue what's best for your bod, what's most ~attractive~ to potential fuck buddies and, apart from Instagram, if anyone even cares what you've done with your pubic hair.
Everybody's thinking about it, everybody's doing it, everybody's spending money on it. But what is actually going on beneath everyone's pants?
If you're in the moment that someone's riding on your pubic bone, chances are you've thought about what someone else is gonna think of your genitals, hair and all. Girls grow up believing shaving is imperative, and the stereotype is we carry on slicing away until we grow old, grey and CBA.
For men it's a little more complex. The pressure appears less, but today's metropolitan gentlemen are also grooming away down there, and we've arrived to this funny label that gives me the creeps – manscaping. Sculpting is no longer a solitary solid in gay communities, but more straight men than before are chopping off their pubes, waxing their backs and generally giving a damn about what body hair they have. As 80% of men do some sort of grooming, masculinity is no longer reserved for the hairy.
A recent AskMen poll revealed, to no shocker, that men mostly prefer a brazilian (no hair, period) look on women. A total of 41% of the male respondents prefer a women with hair-free, pre-pubescent vulvas, compared to only 5% who said au-natural was chill with them. And yet, to make things rather puzzling, 38% like a trimmed downstairs. While this is a basic insight into the hair of heterosexuals, the poll found most of the dudes wouldn't not hook up with a girl just because she had a bush – or didn't, if he's in the 5%.
The men questioned also noted that a gyal who "didn't fuss about grooming but was comfortable in her own skin" is sexier than a "woman who put as much time and money as it takes into making sure she fits your idea of perfection". So whatever floats your boat is fine, right?
Current life for body hair is like a pubic panopticon. Wherever you go are messages of SHAVE YOU HAIRY DEVIL or DON'T YOU DARE SHAVE OR BE A DOOMED MENINIST INTENT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF GENDER EQUALITY. It's actually mission impossible to escape body-scaping advertising for both women and men, and one downside of life with a couple less gender constructs is we're all actually a bit clueless.
But within the pubic hair propaganda rammed into our pubis are some interesting facts about shaving that might help anyone leaning for a razor make up their mind. Behold, a biological argument to grow your pubes that doesn't have anything to do with feminism.
An ignored bit of pubic science has it that shaving is pretty dangerous to the skin, and not in a hot and sexy danger-fuck way. A study from 2014 found that, like with other bodily functions, pubes serve an evolutionary purpose. In fact, removing hair – waxing, shaving, epilating – creates micro-cuts in the skin, making it more inclined to infection.
This doesn't mean everybody should avoid cleaning their carpets, but it's important to consider when blasting every bush off is the norm.
Pubes aren't trends, or feminist, they're natural
Vehement bush-denier Alexa Chung once quipped that bushes were "seventies vibe" and, man, I had a lot of qualms. Despite its rising media attention at the time, female pubic hair is not something reserved for a decade; it's human, however lame that sounds.
Pubes aren't a source for fads or trends. I get it, you're thinking about growing out your snail trail 'cause Molly Soda has one and she's pretty hip these days. It can feel like a fashion statement in this modern haze to grow your pits in the hope of new feminist Instagram followers, I know.
But trends should be, and are crazes up for speculation when a Z-list brands something new, old or novel "cool". Like having anal on airplanes, rainbow bagels or making memes of Jeremy Hunt, body parts are not ever trendy. Or maybe they're always trendy, if it means we want to keep rocking them.
Would you call elbows "so in right now"? How weird would you feel informing your gran about the latest "fashion" at work to not cut your legs off. I don't know about you but it doesn't sit right that we still conform to reducing pubes to a matter of this season or last.
And let's face it, what's more "natural"? – getting hair stuck in your teeth during some fun time, or shagging a completely bald adult human?
The future is fluid
As well as pubic hair being a certain in life, the freedom to choose should be. Disregarding any pressures, in the horizon should hopefully be a world running on fluidity and the opportunity to pick and choose who and what you want to be. And that's how our attitudes to pubes should and will be.
Laura Schubert, co-founder of Fur, bespoke creators of pubic hair oil and stubble cream for women and men, is revolutionising choice when it comes to pubes. She believes it’s up to the individual when it comes to their fuzz, which is mirrored in Fur’s pubic hair care products. Hoping for pubic hair to get to the customisable, fluid status head hair sustains, her brand is attempting to further pubic freedom by opening the discussion.
"Pubic hair is taboo but we challenge this," she tells me. "A lot of women today feel pressure to groom a certain way – whether that’s from society, from the people they’re with, however they feel about it – we just want to present other options for people to feel well-groomed."
Reinforcing that shaving and grooming in general isn't a gendered thing – 40% of the people who are into their fuzz lotions are male – Schubert is aiming for a society rid of pubic pressures and regimented regimes.
"We would like, instead of going from ‘hair is in’, ‘hair is out’ to a more modern, relaxed approach – think about what you want to do, and do it. [Grooming is] about confidence in your own decisions and being who you want to be."
Read More - > The politics of... blow jobs
By Lydia Morrish, published on 27/04/2016