19 Apr 2011 – If you think pubic hair on a woman is unnatural or weird, you aren’t mature enough to be touching vaginas. #FootIsDown #YeahIJustWentThere. (https://twitter.com/stoya/status/60371896063111168)
The naked female body is one of the most powerful and symbolic images. It represents sex, nurturing, vulnerability and confidence. It’s often exploited to produce the most shocking and offensive visuals (see more on this from previous research here :), while the choice to bare all is also used by women to show their strength, liberation and independence. Confusing right? But as discussed before, despite the ever growing changes of femininity, gender equality and female sexuality, it still functions within a hugely rigid and obligatory frame.
The mass media is looking through a set of short sighted peepers suffering a serious case of tunnel vision, with its sights set only on the skinny, young and hairless. And when it comes to female’s naked body’s hairless genitalia is the way forward. With regards to pubic hair we as a society have become completely averse to it. Men and women alike seem to think that clean shaven is the “norm” and most desirable. However, being clean shaven down there isn’t normal or even natural, regardless of sex and gender, similarly to all other regions of the body for that matter. Hair is natural. Hair is even more natural on genitalia. Why then are women flocking to the salons for the latest waxing fashions? Well this brings me to the next topic: porn.
Porn is very similar to advertising. It sets an “ideal” image of femininity and beauty. It creates an “illusion” which we as sexually repressed and always thirsty beings can’t help but feed into. Sex sells. Porn sells. Advertising sells. Sex is everywhere and porn has definitely influenced our ideas of body hair on women. In current mainstream porn the majority of women are hairless. It may be because it looked more attractive, you can definitely see more! Perhaps it’s because, as these individuals make money by having sex with lots of different people and are in a sense like athletes who are famously hairless, being hairless down there became a kind of a necessity. No one wants a sweaty bush in the way, even cyclists! Perhaps it’s cleaner. Who knows? My point is that for whatever reason, pubes on women in porn are rarely seen. If a bush is featured it’s usually seen as a “fetish” so is instantly elevated to something outside the “norm”. But how did this come to be?
As discussed previously, women are naturally less hairier then men, so maybe seeing a female’s vagina covered in hair denotes a sense of masculinity, which is why so many porn stars are hairless within porn. But as I already concluded body hair is natural so why are so many women depicted as having hair free vaginas? And why is it deemed attractive and feminine? Well, the answer for me is quite simple, society loves fantasy and youth. People tend to buy or watch porn as an escape from reality, where the women are beautiful, hyper feminine and completely up for having sex with 15 men at the same time (or whatever you’re into). Maybe a hairy bush simple doesn’t sell to the masses. Now youthfulness could be a little bit of a controversial subject with regards to porn, but the point is a valid one, especially in relation to pubic hair.
Pubic hairs’ predominant function to humans is an indicator of sexual maturity. It signals that you’re now ready to pro create with other consenting adults. Win. However, we are also conditioned that beauty equals youth and pubic hair is kind of a sign that you’re not so youthful anymore kid. Therefore, for women by removing that sign of maturity they are instantly made more youthful and therefore attractive. Caution: I’m not saying that having a vagina that resembles a 12 year old is attractive BUT society does push the notion that youthfulness is “ideal” so hair removal is simply a way of achieving that.
So yes us females can walk around freely in suit trousers, carrying a condom and credit card with our wedding fingers free of any commitment but there are still limitations and gender inequality especially in regards to body hair.
Another reason society has eliminated the bush from females, is because society is still terrified of sexuality. In fact whilst sexual education is being taught in schools from a younger and younger age, many children learn more about sex by watching porn and what a place to subliminally seed agendas. Heterosexual anal sex, piss play, etc. would never have reached their current level of popularity without pornography I feel. Now, with regards to pubic hair starting in the early 1990’s the popular porn actresses began to show sign of alopecia in the nether regions. First it was “trim,” followed by “landing strips,” and then all out bald. In the early 2000’s, to the horror of most porn purveyors, the men followed suit. What was behind this new trend? A vitamin deficiency? A disease? Was this a result of AIDS? No this was a well-executed plan to slowly marginalize the image of the sexual maturity. Anyone over the age of 26 was sent to the MILF/Fetish cue.
In 2010 came the appearance of porn star Sasha Grey in Entourage which featured her vagina and a hairy one at that and everyone went a little bit mental. The backlash was focused on that most egregious of sins committed by her…she had pubic hair! People were aghast, repulsed, horrified, disgusted, and just plain hurt that Ms. Grey would allow herself to be shown with that symbol of sexual maturity…pubic hair. This shows how society still has very narrow minded ideas on what is feminine and masculine. But Kudos to Grey for sporting the bush and despite not shooting people in the nude for this series, I may explore it in the future!