I’ve been asked to shave before – and we’re not talking arm pits, legs, what-have-you. We’re talking good old vagina hair. Boyfriends, lovers, minor flirtations – from begging to threats, according to them, pubic hair is just not as cool as all out bare.
There was -
“It will look so sexy if you have nothing there!”
“Look… I’m not going down on you if there is any hair there”
“I don’t want to floss.”
“Will you at least do it for my birthday?”
I started dating when I was 16. And my first boyfriend protested going down on me unless I shaved. So did my second boyfriend when I was 18. Although, to the credit of the first, the second boyfriend stated that vaginas were disgusting. I should have broken up with him then and there, but I didn’t. And in retrospect, I’ve put up with a lot worse than an immature comment like that.
I think “immature” is an important word when dealing with this issue. I feel like society as a whole, and how we view our bodies – especially women’s bodies – is becoming more and more childish. Images of bare, female bodies constantly confront us on television and in magazines, and nobody can look like that, it’s impossible, because those images are photoshopped. Even if I shave off my pubic hair, my armpit hair, my leg hair, I still have hair on my arms and even some on my face. It’s thin hair, and although it’s not visible, it’s there – and it’s natural.
Back to being 16 and stupid. I did shave all my pubic hair off for boyfriend numero uno. And looking in the mirror, I looked like a distorted little girl. I felt so lame that I had shaved it off, I didn’t even let him see or touch me. Long before any of my own opinions on this had formed, or even before I had been exposed to the discussion we’re having, standing in the mirror, bare-shaven at 16, I felt gross and disappointed in myself. And when it began growing back I got to feel even worse /extremely itchy.
But it did grow back, and when the questions above have been asked of me, now my reply is always “no,” “no,” and “Go fuck yourself – it’s my body, and my choice.”
It is 100% a personal choice – your choice, in fact!
But this choice to shave it all off seems like an odd choice, one that I think has a lot to do with our own uncomfortable feelings about our bodies. Women count their calories, blow-dry and straighten their hair, put on makeup and perfume, get their nails done, and wax their arms, underarms, legs, and pubic hair. I mean, no wonder we love the spa! What an exhausting routine! But why? Men aren’t doing this They roll out of bed, put on unlaundered clothes, and maybe – MAYBEsome deodorant, and eat a burger and fries for breakfast.
These are extreme generalizations. And I know there are plenty of men who put in time for the appearance as well. But not to the extreme that I see women do it.
Our bodies are awesome. But they are also awesome as they are – which includes body hair. And so long as we take care of ourselves health-wise – why is the other stuff so important?
I’ve been labeled an extremist by some of the dudes I’ve been with. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t blow-dry my hair straight, and I don’t shave my pubic hair. Does that really seem so extreme to you?
I think the idea that no hair = better is directly related to the aesthetic you find in male-gaze porn. It’s actually way healthier to have hair on your vag, it’s there for a reason. I can understand that some girls shave it for themselves, but I really think that deep down, it’s this ideal we have from porn and not from what actually looks/feels better. Any person who refuses to go down on you if you won’t shave is not worth your time. Great first article, Sophia!