Recently, pubic hair has been the talk of my suite. Brazilian? Bikini Wax? Just a trim here and there? Au naturale? On the surface these conversations may seem like a women’s college cliqué, but they’ve led to deeper thought and conversation about the nature of our grooming.
For me, life past puberty has included a lot of time and money spent removing hair. I got frequent brazilians for years. I put little thought into my first one; every girl past a certain age that I knew was striving to be completely bare, so why not let a professional take care of it? Once a month, I payed a woman $40 to $60 to rip the hair from the most sensitive part of my body without a second thought.
Eventually, I got too fed up and stopped going to the waxing salon. I proudly proclaimed, I was too feminist to wax. How could I, a proud Barnard woman, pay another person to act so violently to my body? And all to look like a prepubescent girl, fueling society’s obsession with the infantilization of women? Nope, not anymore.
However, this ra-ra feminist attitude I was harboring was challenged by a friend when she made me consider how I got to where I was. I stopped waxing as a rebellion to the idea that I should, so it became a proclamation of my feminist spirit.
My friend, on the other hand, gets Brazilians and loves them. She’s also a feminist. But she grew up in the epicenter of feminist hippy culture in America. Waxing to her is a choice, even a rebellion against the norm in her town. It is an act of self care, making her feel sexy and happy.
So if waxing/shaving hurts or feels like a chore for someone else, then stop (or don’t start in the first place)! If it’s a treat you give to yourself, then by all means, shave or wax away! Hairless or full bushed, feminists can unite for one idea: the hair you have down there should be your choice and only your choice.
How do you feel about your pubic hair?