According to the Atlantic, American women are in the throes of a revolution. Yes more and more of you are choosing to exist with no pubic hair, with the highest incidence of non pub women in their early 20’s and sexually active.
atlantic: Indiana University researchers Debby Herbenick and Vanessa Schick found in a recent study that nearly 60 percent of American women between 18 and 24 are sometimes or always completely bare down there, while almost half of women in the U.S. between 25 and 29 reported similar habits. Herbenick’s numbers show a clear-cut trend: More women lack pubic hair than ever before.
In case you think this is a risk free or for the risk adverse amongst you, here’s a sampler of what’s in store:
Every four to five weeks, the East Asian Studies major undergoes a cosmetic procedure known as a Brazilian wax. An esthetician pours wax heated to 140° F (roughly the temperature of a steak fresh off the grill) onto her labia and spreads it like butter on bread. Half a minute later, she swiftly peels away the hardened wax — and with it, a full crop of pubic hair, freshly ripped from the follicles.
Which raises the question, what’s inspiring so many women to lay it bare, never mind the discomfort that being bare might cause:
But it’s on the fast track to the endangered species list, and its chief predators include the porn industry, smaller bathing suits and lingerie bottoms, and the Kardashian sisters (case in point: Kim once famously proclaimed that women “shouldn’t have hair anywhere but their heads”).
Kim Kardashian? Well then we ought to know it’s serious right? But before we all go jumping to the local salon one should bear in mind that people have been waxing since the Ancient times. What one should also be aware is that women used to abstain from waxing or shaving not only their pubes, but their armpits and even their legs, not so much because they necessarily found it attractive (which some people do contrary to the beauty mantra out there) but because it created a statement that a woman was not to be cordoned to an ideal Barbie appearance. That this was her way of striking her independence and her right to appear as she willed.
Is it any surprise then that we have come full circle since the heady days of the 70’s where most women experimented with at least hairy armpits?
This of course raises questions of what is acceptable in society, how women are being perceived and represented. Which is to say if women are often being white washed, digitally thinned and manipulated, preened should we really be surprised that so many females are acceding to the view that a perfect woman is a manicured one?
As much as women once found liberation in retaining their pubes they are now also finding liberation and a kind of sexual liberation by donning pubes all together. Being free of pubes has opened women to be free in other arenas, even if it ultimately is just a cosmetic gesture.
But not every woman it seems is a fan of the free hair pub look:
“I’m not a fan of looking like a 12-year-old,” Alanna says. “I think people should have hair down there. Our ancestors grew it for a reason. For protection.”
Apart from the fact that women’s clothes are these days getting skimpier and tighter inspiring some women to seek extra clarity, the notion that women are also getting a complete pub job because of the demands of partners is also questionable:
Drawing back the curtain of pubic hair exposes the clitoris, the labia and the vagina for plain viewing. There’s a tactile element, too: As one elated young husband named Mark explained to Glamour in 2009, “The skin down there is protected — it never really touches anything, it never sees the sun — so it’s ridiculously soft.
“You can’t really tell how soft it is until a woman waxes. Oh my God, you can’t believe how soft it is when you wax,” 28-year-old Mark gushed. “It’s extremely, extremely soft, so it feels great when you have sex.”
But if you want to cut to the chase of what’s inspiring the cropped bare pubes, here’s the simple tell all answer: pornography.
When a team of researchers from George Washington University took a closer look at Playboy’s representations of women’s genitalia throughout the years, they found that in issues dating from the magazine’s inception in 1953 up through the 1970s and ’80s, more than 95 percent of the centerfolds and naked models sported full, apparently natural pubic hair.
In the late 20th century, though, that changed. As Joseph Slade, professor of media and culture at Ohio University, puts it, the media legitimized voyeurism and turned it into a way of life; suddenly, porn viewers wanted to see everything more deeply and without the veil of hair.
And when everyone is being a voyeur on late night tv and the magazine stands it’s not so long before the temptation sets in our own day to day lives to appropriate new cultural cliches.
Slade cites two potential reasons for porn’s fixation on the bare vagina. “It could be attributed to visual pornographers’ desire to infantilize women,” Slade says, “or simply to make genitalia more visible to the camera. Male porn stars often shave their pubic hair for that purpose, too.”
Which raises the question are we adorning the female body or atrophying it to a crude disposition, a kind of temple that allows men and women to express their desires the way one uses a far removed motel for