This Is What We Talk About When We Talk About Pubes

Illustration for article titled This Is What We Talk About When We Talk About Pubes

We'll probably be discussing pubic hair until there's a nuclear apocalypse and all the hair burns off our bodies. And with our skin frying in the sun, one woman will turn to another and say, "Well, I'm dying — but at least I look tan." At least that's how it feels to read yet another article about pubic hair, how much you should have and what shape it should be.

Here's a brief and not-at-all thorough history of our coverage of this issue: one current staff member proclaimed she was growing out her clown bush; one wondered if hair down there was back in style, as another had years earlier; we pondered how you care for your own more than once, and we mentioned the fixation others had on pubes, whether they're women, men or Kendra Wilkinson.


At this point it feels like we should probably just be saying, "Who fucking gives a shit?" But Dina Rickman, who wrote this piece entitled, "Like it or not, we need to break the pubic hair taboo" for the Telegraph (allegedly because this is an issue in Britain as well as in America), is right.

Rickman doesn't spell out anything we haven't heard before. She talks about girls she's met who constantly get Brazilian waxes and men who are disgusted when women have too much pubic hair. We've heard of these people before. Maybe we've even been these people. Rickman explains quite eloquently, however, why that's a problem:

"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..."

Her words sound strong – like, really? The biggest challenge for women is about what to do with their pubic hair? What about rape or abortion or the wage gap? What about the truly devastating ways women are treated in countries that aren't Rickman's England?

But what Rickman saying is true, because the stuff that seems stupid is actually the stuff that's harder to unpack. We can slowly legislate our way towards workplace equality or equal pay. What we can't do in any definitive way is force people to think differently about what women look like. These are the issues that keep holding us back, that infiltrate every aspect of our daily life, that inform the choices we make, that make us think of women differently than we think of men. And sure, these "issues" are so dumb. They feel like frivolous concerns. But the longer we don't take the perception of how a woman "should" look seriously, the longer it's going to take for the world to define what we deserve.


Like it or not, we need to break the pubic hair taboo [The Telegraph]

Screenshot via Scary Movie

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What is really pathetic is all the women who say they get rid of the pubic hair for themselves when it is really, truly for the men.

The men spoke and they said they like women without pubic hair, and women rushed to get rid of their pubic hair.

Now women say they do it because they like it better, even saying silly things like they like they way it looks, and that it gets sweaty.Nonsense. It doesn't get sweaty under most circumstances, and if it is, then chances are you need a shower all over, which would also get rid of sweaty pubes.

For all of us older women who spent the 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond fixing sexism, it is very disheartening to see women behave this way.