There was an article in The Telegraph yesterday devoted to the anxiety that many women experience over hair removal. The writer, Dina Rickman, is a twenty-something woman who admits:
When someone recently asked me what I think the biggest challenge is for young women today my on-the-spot answer wasn’t about equality in the workplace or combating misogyny, but what do to with their pubes. Angst about pubic hair comes down to one thing; women changing themselves because of what they believe is expected of them sexually instead of what they want (ask any 24-year-old on their way to a bikini wax if it’s how they really want to spend 20 minutes and see what they say).
I never really gave much thought to how much Iandscaping needed to be done down there. Maybe I’m just not into extremes. For example, I don’t have a uni-brow, but I don’t draw my eyebrows on either. I can get behind a little bit of grooming, but I have no desire to be hairless. It just seems like so much work. Then one night, a few weeks before I gave birth, the movie Knocked Up came on.
If you haven’t seen the movie, the basic premise is two people (Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen) hook up, get pregnant, and decide to try a relationship out. Well, there is a scene in which one of Rogen’s friends walks into the delivery room right at the moment that Heigl is crowning. He becomes visibly distressed at seeing a baby’s head emerging from a vagina. I become visibly distressed at seeing that Heigl’s vagina is completely hairless.
It’s obviously not her vagina, because she is not really pregnant. This gives me even more angst, because it’s a Hollywood-prop-vagina, and someone actually thought to make it hairless. Weird. I could barely even shave my legs successfully at that point. Was having a hairless vagina during delivery something I really needed to be worrying about?
When I stumbled upon an article on Thought Catalog called, Dear Girls, Please Shave Your Pubic Hair – my confusion reached a crescendo. The kid who wrote this is obviously someone who has spent a little too much time masturbating to porn, and not enough time actually enjoying a real sexual experience – with a real person. Jesus, there really were young men and women out there equating pubic hair with all things un-sexy and dirty.
The question I am asking is simply, When did pubic hair become the enemy? Also, I didn’t give one shit about the state of my pubic hair during delivery, so the only moment of pubic-hair-angst I ever experienced passed quickly and without consequence.