Last week I went for breakfast with a good gal pal of mine and, sat in the picturesque setting of Lewisham Way inhaling those glorious fresh car fumes with our food, we had a good old catch up on life and our current probs with the patriarchy. On the misogyny smashing agenda that day was body hair…muff fluffs, lady gardens, whatever you like to call your love rug, we were talking pubes.
We waxed lyrical (hemhem) about the beauty of the bush and woefully recalled a time when some male friends proclaimed they would want a woman they’re sleeping with to be smooth as Barbie down there. Over our fry-ups we pondered this proclamation. Barbie has been giving young girls unrealistic ideals for 50+ years…and now she’s given them to grown men too (or maybe it’s all the unrealistic porn). Hair is natural and women should not be expected to remove it or made to feel that by keeping it they are unfeminine or dirty. If ladies want to remove it for themselves then crack on, but don’t do it for the approval of anyone else.
Our problems with waxing and the idea that women should remove all traces of hair/sexual maturity/womanhood etc. were many…
Firstly, waxing is extremely painful. Whoever said “beauty is pain” was talking rubbish. Beauty is not pain. My definition of beauty falls somewhere in the realm of being comfortable and feeling happy with yourself. And there are few ways to look comfortable or happy when you’re waddling down the street after having hundreds of hairs forcibly removed from your nether regions or your hips seizing up having had them splayed for the past half an hour to enable said forcible removal.
Not only is it extremely painful, it is extremely expensive. In London a full bush wax will set you back somewhere in the region of £35-£45. Now unless you’re earning the megabucks, which many aren’t, the waxing dollas stack up pretty quickly. That’s the same money you could spend on a nice dinner out every month, or a veeery decent night down the boozer – I know what I’d prefer to spend my hard earned pennies on *hellooo cocktail night*. And if you can’t afford waxing and resort to shaving then that brings a whole host of new problems in itself…ingrown hairs and shaving rash to name but a few, and, let’s be honest, nobody wants a rashy fanny.
Thirdly and most importantly in my opinion: if the men aren’t doing it then why should we? *Hat tip to Caitlin Moran* This is a question I regularly ask myself when trying to decide if something is a) sexist and b) something I should be advocating or questioning. It’s definitely no fail-safe but, on the whole, it seems to help weedle out the wheat from the sexist bullshit. I know very few fellas who have a standing booking with their waxer or are overly fussed if their short and curlies get a bit less short and a big more curly. So why should I care either? We’re all grown ups and ideally I’d want to be with someone who also looks like a aldut – not like an adolescent who hasn’t quite hit the big p-u-b-e-r-t-y.
I don’t believe that waxing is an inherently bad or un-feminist thing. I think if you enjoy being smooth down there then that’s your personal choice and that’s great. But I know so many women who refrain from waxing until the prospect of sex looms over the horizon and off they scoot to the salon. To misquote that classic 80s band Eurythimcs, it seems to me that sometimes sisters aren’t doing it for themselves – they’re doing it for the men. Women are continually assessed through a patriarchal lens, and it’s a construct we definitely shouldn’t be buying into and enforcing on ourselves. At the end of the day, I strongly believe that most men worth their salt do not give a flying fanny if you have a fully fledged bush down there or not. And if they do, they’re probably not the kind of
men boys you want to be sleeping with in the first place.