How Growing Back My Bush Helped Me Embrace My Womanhood

All because of my newly grown-out bush, I started feeling really good about loving every part of me.

Craig White

One month before I went to a nude beach for the first time at 59, I started dreaming up ways to camouflage my private parts, scars, pale skin, and stretch marks. It had been awhile since I’d needed to worry about beach-body stress.

Typically before going on vacation I spend a good long time picking out swimsuits that look attractive and hide any body areas that I don’t want to show off. But, since wearing a bathing suit at a nude beach was out of the question, I decided on the next best thing:

I’ll get a tan and grow back my bush!

Both of these were big leaps for me. My body hadn’t experienced a deliberate tan in 15 years, and my bush — well, let’s just say I should have invested in Gillette. I was very nervous, but I felt like having a little color on my skin and some natural coverage down below would give me the courage and confidence I needed in order to try nude beach-going. I figured my skin would survive a few sessions of a light bulb tan, and I knew I could always shave afterwards if I hated the return of the long-absent bush. I was on a mission, and there was no turning back!

I found a tanning salon near my house, and the first thing I noticed while I was filling out the client intake form was that I seemed to be the only person in there that needed a tan. I’d never seen tanner people in my life, including the receptionist and all the clients entering and exiting the tanning rooms. After a few minutes of waiting, I entered a beginner’s tanning booth. The receptionist showed me how to turn the bed on, and then I was left alone to read (and, of course, disregard) a sign that warned “Do not go nude for the first two tanning sessions.”

After three seven-minute tanning sessions in the weeks before I hit the beach, I was golden from head to toe, and my bush was growing back nicely.

When nude beach day finally arrived, I stripped down and starting looking around at the other nude sunbathers, only to discover that my master plan had backfired — I was the only woman on the beach with a bush! Instead of blending in, I stood out, and in those first few anxious moments, I wanted to go back in time and slap some sense into my month-younger self.

Craig White

But then a funny thing happened. I noticed that, even though I looked different from the other women there, having a bush did make me feel more confident. I felt like I was embracing my womanhood and all that being a woman entails, and I was happy and comfortable as I let my body be exactly how it naturally wanted to be.

Soon, I started wondering why I ever shaved down there to begin with, and the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous a bald V-spot seemed to me. Where did I get the notion that having a bush was a problem that needed to be fixed? That it was unsightly or undesirable? Was it from society, the media, a trend, or men? Most likely, it was a little of all the above. All I knew for sure that day, though, was that I was suddenly tired of judging myself based on other people’s standards of beauty. All because of my newly grown-out bush, I started feeling really good about loving every part of me.

I’m not a porn star who needs to show every crevice to her fans, and I’m not an 11-year-old pre-pubescent girl. I’m a grown woman, and I think having grown pubic hair is sexy as hell. I’m not saying that a little grooming is not in order, and of course everyone has different preferences, but for my part, I have no intentions of ever shaving down there again.

That day on the beach, I learned to love my bush — to view it not as something to be ashamed of or to hide, but as a beautiful, honorable badge of womanhood.

Sandra is an author, speaker and expert in personal and professional reinvention, authentic living, communication, embracing aging, beauty, holistic health, and intimacy. Her passion and purpose is to empower others towards healthy, happy, authentic living. To learn more about Sandra and receive your FREE eBook “5 Steps for Better Communication, Sex, and Happiness (Did I mention better sex?) visit http://sandralamorgese.com/

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on August 21, 2016.