There’s been a lot of talk lately about bikini waxing, from the reasons it’s so popular, to the surprisingly young ages that girls start doing it. But the conversation just got a little louder–and more high brow.
The Atlantic just published an extensive article about Brazilian bikini waxes and the story’s racked up about 300 comments and counting. And London hosted the Muff March this past weekend, to protest the proliferation of vaginal plastic surgery options. We’re obviously in the midst of Vaginageddon here.
There seem to be a few obvious historical points in pop culture that point to who’s to “blame” for the reason female pubic hair is going extinct. The Atlantic traces the timeline nicely: The J. Sisters introduced the US to the Brazilian in the late 80s; Carrie Bradshaw got it all waxed off in an episode of SATC in 2000; Victoria Beckham declared in 2003 that all girls should take it all off starting at the age of 15; and of course, the porn industry probably started it all in the first place. Playboy started showing less and less bush, and porn movies followed suit. Teeny bikinis and super low-slung jeans (see: Tara Reid circa 2000-style) were the final nails in the pubic coffin. Which brings us to our current state of hairlessness.
No matter the reason women wax it all off–some believe it’s hygienic or makes sex better–the bottom line is that it’s yet another thing for us to be insecure about. And it’s increasingly younger women who are falling prey to the pressure to have a porn star pudenda. The most disturbing part of the Atlantic article involves college students. The under-30 set gets the most Brazilians–they’ve grown up with the notion that being hairless is the norm, and so have their male peers. And this is where it gets gross.
The Atlantic recounted a story wherein a college boy said “he had never hooked up with a girl who had pubic hair, and would frankly be disgusted to undress a woman and discover a veil of genital fur.” This apparently led a bunch of girls to freak out and wax immediately. And there’s tons of anecdotes about women refusing to go into social situations which might lead to sex when they’re due for a wax. And they have good reason to be worried, because guys are talking about your fuzzy cooch in a not-so-nice way. Per the Atlantic: “It’s not uncommon for a college-aged man to ‘go out of his way’ to make fun of a girl’s pubic grooming habits with his buddies after he’s hooked up with her.” Young guys are watching porn and assuming it’s reality. (Um, they should be fricking happy to get any pussy at all, be it fuzzy or not.)
Women are starting to buck against the notion that they need a so-called “designer vagina” to be considered attractive. Even strippers have started questioning the practice–remember the vagina beauty pageant? The Muff March ladies started protesting the trend of hairless ladyparts (with amazing slogans like “Get Your Mitts Off My Muff”), but expanded their march this year to include the quickly proliferating plastic surgery options. “Lady gardens are not just undergoing topiary, they’re having invasive re-landscaping,” as a flowery editorial in the Guardian puts it. The labia-prettifying plastic surgery industry is booming to the tune of $6.8 million in the US, according to the Guardian. Procedures range from labiaplasty to vaginal tightening and beyond. So not only are younger women feeling insecure, but now older women (who have had babies, etc.) can feel bad about their vag sag.
It’s enough to make you want to put on your granny panties and call it a day.