Look at that bush!

Body hair. We all have it. It identifies us as fully-grown women and not little girls.

We’re all spending thousands of pounds every year obliterating body hair in a fury of waxing, threading, epilating, lasering…

Because it’s something we think we have to do, to be attractive as a female.

I found myself apologising to a lover recently. “Sorry, I’m so hairy”. He didn’t seem to care & I shouldn’t have either. But here’s the irritating truth: I did.

Why?

I’m a proud feminist: I’ve vehemently argued for a women’s right for equality in any and every sphere of life. I truly believe in a woman’s right to keep her private parts hairy, hairless or coloured a glorious magenta pink if she so chooses. So why then, at my most vulnerable, did I secretly fear a bit of hair?

Because everything around me, from ads telling me to be ‘beach-body-ready’, Photo-shopped celebrity bodies peeking out of bikinis in glossy magazines & even a nurse’s obvious disgust at my hairy bits during a PAP smear– tells me that hairless is the “normal” way to be.

Some say porn is responsible, that decades of watching hairless vaginas have normalised it. But regular Hollywood movies & TV shows do it too– all those bronzed bodies don’t seem to have single sneaking pubic hair emerging from those perfect bikinis.

If you’re watching an old movie from the 60s or 70s, a luxurious bush on a woman look strange, deviant somehow. That’s because our brains have been bombarded over the last decade with thousands of images of women sans body hair. And we’ve been brainwashed by the media, magazines & each other into thinking hair is unnatural.

So let’s get this straight: body hair that grows naturally is abnormal. And a hairless body (which demands hot wax & pain) is the norm.

Sound strange? It does to me…


THE KAMASUTRA ON BODY HAIR

Open a book on the Kamasutra and you’ll be surrounded by pubic hair.

Women with lush mounds and girls with luxurious bushes. All flushed, lost in the throes of passion. From the look of them, they’re definitely not thinking “Hell, I missed my waxing appointment.”

It’s important to note that none of the pictures in the Kamasutra books one reads are actually from the time of the Kamasutra. They were created much later than 300 BC, when my favourite erotic manual was penned.

But that is not the point. Those pictures of women with glorious pubic hair captures the aesthetic of the time.

“Where a woman with hair on her private parts was a full-grown woman. A sexually desirable woman…”

2 Replies to “Look at that bush!”

  1. I know that I am performing a version of femininity when I shave and trim, and I feel that, in this way, I have internalised social conditioning. It is not something that I am proud of.

    Interestingly, my Mum has never shaved, waxed or plucked any hair – ever – and I remember my Dad saying that he liked a woman who kept her armpit hair. Indeed, when my Mum found some BiC razors in my wardrobe, when I was something like thirteen or fourteen, she was very unhappy with me. I had been given them by a friend who was extremely attractive (read: I wanted to look like her), and not only did I not dob my friend in; I also did not let on that I had tried to use a razor with just water (because I was an idiot who did not know what they were doing) and had very painful shins and calves!

  2. What’s worrying is that the next generation is seeing a rise in genital corrective surgery. It’s going beyond hair. What the hell has influenced this- porn, the internet!? Makes me very sad. Everyone is different. I don’t want to pander to these pressures they feel very male lead.

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