The Politics of Pubic Hair

As the documentation phase of this project ends (June 30 is the final day!), I have been typing up my handwritten daily journal entries. I wrote this one on July 20, 2010, and thought some of you might appreciate it.

“Back to waxing pubic hair – it is such a funny thing. I find it ridiculous and abhorrent that culture dictates what that part of our bodies should look like (and now that I put it like that, I think of FGN and the “re-virgin” plastic surgeries, which I won’t get into now). I mean, fuck’s sake, you even have Bill Maher doing a “new rule” on pubic hair.

“So, part of me feels guilty, as a feminist, that I do anything with my pubic hair. Surely I am naturally beautiful and should accept my body the way it is, hair and all?

“On the other hand, my pubic hair is a constant source of embarrassment. I didn’t start waxing until my early 20s, because that’s when I discovered waxing. What a relief! For years before that, I had tried to shave my pubic hair, but that just leaves me with lots of little red bumps, which is even more embarrassing than the pubic hair. It was so relieving to discover that with some hot wax and some temporary pain, I could be rid of all the offending hairs! Even better, I could go to a salon, and have someone get rid of them all for me with a magic wax wand!

“I remember when we were teenagers, we used to go to KD’s family camp in the summertime. Her Aunt Jean, a very cool woman, did not shave her pubic hair. I have an image of he holding court with us kids, on the beach by the lake, in her black bathing suit, arms crossed at her chest, her long brown hair flowing behind her, pubic hair sticking out either suit of her bathing suit.

“I still remember her and her unshaved bikini like with a mixture of awe and horror. Is that the choice women have – accept ourselves but flaunt convention, and become an embarrassment to ourselves and everyone else? Or wax it all off, be the pubic darling in our own minds and those of others, be able to prance around in all the knickers and bathing suits we want, unfettered by embarrassment – but know deep down that we are not accepting our natural beauty; that, in our most intimate, feminine area, we are letting others tell us what is beautiful and acceptable?”

By the way, if you want more pubic hair, check out the latest issue of Whore! magazine – it features a great article on Vajazzling – that is, the growing art of decorating your vaginal area.

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