I am often attributed the opinion that every woman should have natural pubic hair. This is falsely attributed to me. I am also often attributed the preference for natural pubic hair on the women I’m attracted to. This is also falsely attributed to me. So I guess I want to state what my position is in no uncertain terms. I want women’s choices regarding their bodies to be respected as their own. I am irritated not by someone’s preference for no hair but by a person indicating that ALL women should do what they prefer. I also want there to be a more visual counterculture image of natural female bodies being sexy.
There is a strong visual coercion in western culture that seems to present only one option as sexy and hygenic, and that is hairless. That is also bullshit. Hair is not dirtier than skin unless you don’t wash and if you don’t wash the skin and folds on a bald vulva would be just as unhygenic too. That is the end of the hair and hygene debate. As for the visual well, what you find more sexy is totally up to the individual but we are saturated with hairless images. We have Kim Kardashian chiming in saying women “shouldn’t have hair anywhere but their heads”. You see it is not her preference that irritates me it is that she is telling women what they’re preference should be for their own bodies. I’m sure Kim isn’t enjoying being on the receiving end of what women “should” be and do recently but everyone thinks they have a right to weigh on on women’s intimate and personal choices about their lives and bodies…including Kim. So you reep what you sow.
I have at times removed my pubic hair and discovered I don’t like the process and I don’t like the visual. My preference for myself is natural pubic hair both on my vulva and under my arms. It doesn’t itch, there’s no shaving rash, it doesn’t get ingrown hairs, theres no pain, theres no regrowth issues all I need to do is wash it. It’s so simple and to me it is sexy. I didn’t always think this though and I endured hair removal as a teen though I disliked it immensley because hair on women was ridiculed as gross. It just so happened that in my ealry 20′s I met a woman with under arm hair, soft black downy under arm hair, and found it intensely sexy so I stopped shaving. I know seeing Sasha Grey with a full natural bush in Play Boy is what inspired Carlin too. So the visibility of natural femlae bodies in visual media is important to making sure women feel they have a choice.
A month ago I was riding on a tram and two school girls spotted my armpit hair and fell about in giggles exclaiming that it was disgusting. They did not get that from ‘porn’ they got that from learned behaviour from their peers and adults about women’s body hair, from young women’s magazines with people like Kardashian’s opinions in them. I recall being ridiculed in primary school for upper lip hair, I removed it from then until this year. Thanks to the image Carlin posted of Frida Kahlo I have stopped that also. The power of images is immense. The visual control of hair on women is omnipresent and oppressive. I was dissappointed on the weekend whilst helping my daughter relax and navigate her vagina to insert her first tampon to see she had shaved. I didn’t mention it as I think this is just because she has started puberty before her friends and is conscious of having hair where her friends do not. The desire to conform is strong. We are a herd animal and it is natural to want to fit in with the group. When the accepted and perpetuated group image is something we are not it is natural to feel the need to try and fit that image to secure our acceptance as part of the group.
So after all this I was so very very HAPPY that The Muff March got some coverage in a very popular young women’s magazine over here, called Clio. Seeing the issue of the oppressive socialisation of women’s body hair getting some mainstream coverage gives me hope that the debate over what women should do with their pubic hair will be shown for the bullshit it is. It gives me hope that the villification of natural hair on women will loose it’s power and women won’t have to feel that their is something unhygenic and ulgy about being their natural selves. That their choice about what to do with their bodies will not be inhibited by these negative and false notions about the natural option. It may be too ealry to celebrate but fuck it… I love this song.