PSA: Pubic Service Announcement

Attention! Fall fashion is well underway from the iconic perennial September Issue of Vogue to the mélange of NYFF posts populating your Instagram. The hottest looks, newest trends and most dare-to-bare styles are in the air. One of the sexiest new looks cropping up is pubic hair.

 

That’s right– it’s back! But it’s not as simple as the old school porn star look. In fact, the new pubic trends are incredibly nuanced and highly influenced by a myriad of trends throughout the ages.

The history of how to style your mons pubis, is like most trends in women’s beauty and fashion, a revolving door of “love it” or “hate it.” But dare I say, this new pubic trend, may be striking a new balance. Associated with fourth-wave feminism, the pubic hair trend peaking out of panties, seems to take (wait for it…) personal preference into account. Say what?! That’s right. The tangled debate on whether or not pubs are good or bad has suddenly come to an end. Well, maybe not that suddenly… after all the conversation began in Ancient Egypt.

Let’s comb through the history to show just how epic this new declaration is.

 

“Civilized” & Barren:

Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were known to shorn all of their hair down there. The Egyptians would use flints and pumice stones, the Romans messed with early depilatory concoctions and the Greeks would even burn their bushes. Yikes! All for the sake of being civilized. Because, you know, it could be seen as unclean or unkempt to have pubic hair. Hmm, why does that sound like not-so-ancient history?

 


Carpet Change:

Fast forward to 1450, the first-ever pubic hair wig, aka the merkin, is invented. As it turns out, the Middle Ages brought a change in reasoning for going bare. Pubic hair was removed not for style, but rather for hygiene and erotic purposes. Pubic lice had become a real problem so the best bet in those days was to remove the pubes.


Bikinis & Razors:

By the time we reach the twentieth century, pubic hair had gone largely un-debated. It was a private matter… until it wasn’t. 1946 brought the bikini and thus, the razors. Also, as WWII led to a shortage of nylon stockings, women began shaving their legs on a regular basis. It was a glamorous time of tidy bikini lines and of course– no underarm hair. Throughout the 1950s, body hair was seen as masculine and unclean.


Embracing the Bush:

The swinging 60’s ushered us quickly to what we now call, “’70s bush.” Viva la sexual revolution! From the Vietnam War to the publication of Playboy, things were changing fast. This was a time to embrace your au naturale self, but with the boom of porn, it was also the first time in history that society at large was being exposed to others’ au naturale selves.  They were young, wild, and free.

 


Back to Bare:

That is, until the ’80s when shaving it all was more on par with power suits and coke habits. Weird if you think about the over the top make-up and big hair of that decade. It’s surprising there weren’t women rushing to perm their pubes and spray them with Aquanet. Instead, they used Nair.


Waxed vs. Hairy & Proud:

The 90’s made waxing the more popular maintenance method, but push back also started to emerge once again. With grunge and Riot Grrls came proud “hairy pits” and all over body hair.


Brazilian Debut:

By 2000, a line had been drawn. Really, it was more like a landing strip. Sex in the City our holy grail of sex trends, told women of the world that the Brazilian wax was the only way to splay. This mostly, if not entirely, nude look came to dominate. Innovations were more about better waxes, post care, and laser removal technology.


Everything, Nothing, & In Between:

Welcome back to today! This moment when pubic hair is back, you may be wondering when did this trend sneak back up on us? Was it that a few celebs, like Gwyneth Paltrow, claiming that they have pubic hair? Or a natural extension of normcore, freeing the nipple, and shows like Broad City? Did the patriarchy collapse in the middle of the night, causing all women to suddenly sprout fluffy pubic patches?

It was all of it and none of it. In fact, the same goes for the hottest pubic hair trend– it can be all of it or none of it. It’s totally up to the individual. Sure, there will be stats saying that 46% of men who vote on Cosmo don’t like pubic hair or that another percentage of men can’t get enough of it according to Vice. The proliferation of information that separates present day from any other era is the real reason pubic hair is emerging is 100% personal choice. Women can see that some love it, some don’t. There can be pain involved with removal, or pleasure gained from oral sex on a naked labia. The information and the history, the images and polling data, all lead to one conclusion. There’s no right or wrong answer. Only what’s best for you.

***

So wax, shave, bedazzle, as you please. Hell, get a merkin and #bringbackthebush. Anoint your hairs with Fur Oil or just trim enough to feel sporty. Mix it up! Just do whatever makes you feel like your truly sexy self.

Peace. Love. Pubes.  

 

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Discussion about this post

  1. markiza says:

    thanks for the history lesson, but I personally never needed you or any else to tell me what’s the trend is and wha’ts acceptable or not. Your last paragraph telling people that now you can decide for themselves is really empowering, I’m sure many experienced epiphany. But I only wish you would’ve advised out-loud that men should keep it neat and trimmed, for some reason they are not very concerned with this….cuz everything is about what women should do and blah blah blah…..advise men more, could ya?

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