Hair Or No Hair? That Is The Question…

The way my mind works is a little bit bizarre, with the things keeping me up at night being slightly different than your average person. Lately I’ve had a few questions in mind in regards to pubic hair and I am so grateful to have an outlet where I get to bring these strange internal queries to an audience. They go something like this;

When did the presence of pubic hair in pornography become a category of its own? What is the importance of porn? How does porn impact sexuality and body image? Are we really living in a time where the natural way a woman’s body is created is something to trim, wax, shave and primp? Is there anything wrong with the bald hair style trend? Or should we be embracing a full bush like they did pre-1980s?

Body Image In Society, Culture & The Media

It is most definitely not a new concept that women have felt the need to modify their appearance, with females dating back thousands of years changing their bodies using a range of methods – corsets, tattoos, piercings and feet binding are just some of the many practices women have implemented over time to change their appearance.

Since I can recall, for the most part, I have been exposed to images in the media and in pornography that almost denies the fact that women have hair on and around their genitals. Do not get me wrong, I am all for women doing with their bodies whatever they wish. I do however question whether clipping their nether regions is an empowered choice women make or if over time they have been made to feel that it is not normal to be a la natural.

Some people believe that there is something unclean with women who have pubic hair, with this a false idea. Pubic hair is normal, and it is womanly.  I think Hank Moody from the series Californication said it best

“While I’m down there it might be nice to see a hint of pubis. I’m not talking about a huge 70’s Playboy bush or anything. Just something that reminds me that I’m performing cunnilingus on an adult.”

Woman with heart designed pubic hair
Image: Heart Shaped Pubic Hair

One of the concerns I have regarding the inundation of portrayals of hairless women is the effect it may have on young women coming into puberty or women who do not desire to remove their pubic hair. Just like the possible impacts of seeing only size 6 models on Instagram may have on a curvaceous size 14 woman, I fear only being exposed to women in porn who have no pubic hair may make women with hair feel less than comfortable with their bodies. The lack of representations in mainstream pornography of women with all different hair styles gives the impression that everyone is hairless or needs to be to be considered “normal”!

I have heard of many women who absolutely must have clean shaven genitals otherwise they won’t be intimate with anyone – this is based on what they fear the person they are being intimate with will think if they are not. It frustrates me hearing things like this because

  1. I think it is absurd that women feel they can’t experience pleasure without somehow changing their bodies and…
  2. Women get so preoccupied thinking men care so much when they really don’t!

What Do Men Think About Pubic Hair?

I have spoken to many (good) men and the consensus is, they are just so grateful to be intimate with a woman, they do not actually care about her pubic hair! I think perhaps the ideas we have about men being swayed towards baldness as opposed to natural is because of the portrayals in pornography, without this being the case in every instance. Sure, there are some men and women who prefer no pubic hair and that is a completely valid preference to have. Preferences and differing desires is what makes human beings unique and I encourage people to stick to what truly feels good to them.

Different designs for pubic hair
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Changing Your Appearance Is A Personal Choice

I accept the fact that women have complete choice in what they do with their bodies and how they change their appearance and I in no way wish to condemn women for choosing to go hairless. I merely bring up this query as a way of getting women to think about why they shave or wax. Is it for aesthetics? Comfort? Pleasure? Or perhaps it is just done because it seems like the only option.

A partner who does not expect you to be anything other than your most authentic self is the only person worth being with ladies so I encourage you to look at your hair styling habits and decide what is right for you. It could mean that you keep on keeping on (aka shaving or waxing) but you may in fact discover that natural feels best for you. Mix it up and try different things, don’t just do something because everyone else seems to be. Maybe a landing strip or lightning bolt is your style, or perhaps keeping your bush neatly trimmed is your cup of tea. Trust yourself, honour your true desires and feel empowered in however you wish to treat your body. The most important thing to remember is that nothing is sexier than a confident woman who respects and feels good in her body, hair or no hair!

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing






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