Attack of the Pubes

Friday night, I was watching Knocked Up in a hotel bed and saw the “infamous” Katherine Heigl birthing/crowning scene. I’ve seen this movie before, and the initial shock of seeing a baby crowning has long passed because I’ve watched a lot of home birthing videos on YouTube. But, I was feeling disturbed and grossed out that the prosthetic crowning labia/vagina was completely pink and hairless. A crowning pink porn pussy. That had me thinking of a few things, first, that it was a bad prosthesis and that the perpetuation of the perfect pink, hairless, vagina is socially assumed for even a woman giving birth. Give me a break!

I’ve had a difficult relationship with pubes, I hate that I don’t feel comfortable pulling a Gaby Hoffmann and just let go, but my pubes are powerful and would end up looking like the Secret Garden. Despite acknowledging that removing women’s body hair is socially constructed, once again, by THE MAN and forTHE MAN, I still feel the need to do get rid of the hair on my bikini line. After all, while I’m on vacation, I want to look like Gabrielle Union riding a banana boat with her husband, Dwayne Wade and close friends, Lebron and Chris Paul without having Chewbacca poking out the side of my bikini. So, in the middle of winter, I spend hours of my time that I could have spent watching “The Great British Baking Cook Show” to get “beach ready” by epilating over half of my body.

The process of epilating my legs and armpits is done half-assed, just like most of the things I accomplish in my life. My bikini line is another story. A multi-stepped process that is both painful and infinitely annoying so that I can wear a bikini bottom for maybe three days without having to go back and pluck the strays and ingrown hairs.

Needing to have the perfect pink, hairless vagina (even when crowning!) is a marketing institution. We’re constantly surrounded by bare women in the media, products and treatments to get perfect smooth skin. The cost of maintaining our body hair is just another cost added to the thousands it costs us to be beautiful women (ahem, pleasing the male gaze). When characters have natural pubes in shows they’re usually dirty and crazy (think the old woman in the bath tub in The Shining). How is that suppose to help us feel comfortable with our body hair?

Being a woman with body hair, specifically, peeking pubes from your bikini line is considered political. It’s not a political trend but a choice that is difficult to decode in our reptilian brains. Gaby Hoffmann plays feminist women that are just comfortable about their body hair, this in itself, is a privilege that Gaby gets to experience. I follow body-positive Internet artists/activists like Molly Sodathat embrace their body hair. Yet, despite my respect for women that are choosing not to bother with the hair institution I can’t bring myself to let it grow.

This is just another inner battle of dealing with my femininity. I’ll begrudgingly and lazily keep removing my hair from my bikini line. However, after getting feedback and thinking about this further; my issue is not simply the hairless, pink pussy, but that I feel a physical forced reaction to pull hair out of my bikini line so I can wear a bikini. I don’t care if everyone in the world comes out and says they love pubes, you love pubes until you see them poking out the side of a bikini or you’re flossing your teeth with a particularly long one.

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