Public on pubic hair
CW: CSA, sex
As part of the The Overlooked series, I wanted to open the discussion regarding the tabooed body hair - pubes. Pubic hair for everyone symbolises puberty; the beginning of a maturing body.
Yet in today’s society, regardless of us all growing pubes, young women and girls are faced by this pressure to shave, wax and groom the hair in our nether regions. A Psychology Today article explores the perceptions of the public on pubes, and how popular each option has become.
In a few relationships my partners have suggested I remove my pubic hair, but I still do not understand why looking prepubescent in the pubic area, makes me more attractive. Having been sexually abused coming up to and at the start of puberty, I cannot stress how protective I am over my female organs. At first, any thought of removing pubic hair or even trimming it daunted me. How can I put scissors or a razor near my most sensitive area? I always cut myself shaving my legs as a teenager, therefore the thought of accidentally slipping whilst grooming was scary.
One of my exes suggested that I shave so: they could see better, so it would look nicer, so they could stimulate me better, to improve sex, to improve cleanliness… you name it, he tried it.
The truth is having less hair makes you more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. I tried grooming my pubic hair once as a teenager and ended up with so many ingrown hairs. The whole tidier thing, I don’t understand either, how can something that bleeds monthly, ever be so strictly clean and tidy? The same goes for something near where you urinate out of. In addition, because of the abuse I have experienced I liked the idea of my parts being hidden. I like that my genitals feel mine again, tucked into a forest that only I can access.
This leads me to my last point - no-one should be able to tell you what to do with your body. Whilst this blog post may come across as blasé about pubic hair, it can have a huge effect on a persons’ self-esteem. If someone is telling you to look different, no matter which part of your body, it’s not nice - it’s horrible. You may feel like you share your genitals with another person multiple times a week and therefore they could have an equal say. They can express a preference, perhaps, but should respect your preference too, as it is always your body.
Illustration used: @the.vulva.gallery
PS: Check out this 101 on pubic hair by BuzzFeed, the memes are so relateable