In Praise of Pubic Hair

I was going to blog about narcissism today, or even how we need to be wary of communing only within our own ideological circles. Interesting things. Important things.

But then I read Fuck Yeah, Motherhood. It sparked a thought, and afterwards the topic of pubic hair consumed me, both as a feminist and as a woman who does not like dangerous hot wax or razors near her Lady Business. I felt it my duty to rant come out in favor of a woman’s right to have 70s bush.

I am not a hairy person. (Let’s give a round of applause to the genetics my mother gave me courtesy of the Cherokee Nation!) So my au natural is barely moderate. In fact, one could even call it sad and inadequate. But I still don’t want to spend my valuable time, during which I could be reading romance novels, to be wasted on grooming something only one guy gets to see. God knows that Sweet Babou could care less. He’s not afraid of a woman’s body, and he doesn’t need it to look like a porn star’s or an anime character.

I think this is the key to why he is so good in the sack. He really, really likes the female form. Not the airbrushed version that has no pores and is mysteriously hairless. Do you know models are waxing their freaking ARMS now people? I wish I were making this up.

What scares me about this trend is the fact that the ‘ideal’ of no pores or hair imitates the way a child looks. My eldest daughter is 5 and she, being a small child, is very thin and doesn’t have hair except on her head and her pores are invisible. She has no ‘flaws’ to airbrush out in her pictures.

Therefore, whether they know it or not, the media is sexualizing children because the way a child looks in real life is now the way a ‘sexy’ woman looks in the media thanks to photoshop. Just with big fake boobies attached to their skinny, hairless, pore-free bodies.


Why do they want women to look pre-pubescent? Or like a very young girl just starting to bloom into her adult sexuality? Because some men, men who are not as wonderful as my Sweet Babou, are afraid of adult women. Adult women have power, and a lot of masculinity is ascribed by the male ability to woo and win women. A young girl doesn’t have that kind of power. She is vulnerable. Thus, she is “sexy”.

Someone hold my hair while I puke.


In short, those men who are afraid they don’t measure up, fear women. Many types of Rape, child-molestation, and the rising number of assaults of Japanese school-girls is blamed on this fear of real, adult women.

Now think about this … when did Twiggy and the waif look come in? It came in when feminism was starting to get its freak on during the 60s and 70s. The more power women get, the more impossibly thin and pore-free the models get. The patriarchy knows women are strong. But if we are dieting, waxing, and clarifying our pores we don’t have much time or energy left over to fight for our rights.

So now my pubic hair is a political statement. Greatness.

All hail the 70s bush! Bring forth the boy-cut bathing suits!

About Betty Fokker

I'm a stay-at-home feminist mom.
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50 Responses to In Praise of Pubic Hair

  1. Sure Thing says:

    Now you got a use for the Afro-sheen! Snort.
    And I love the snap previews – I could see my blog.

    And the disempowerment of appearance is nothing too new – take the corsetry that stifled breathing and brought about attacks of the vapours. It just takes different forms as the threath changes.
    *Says the girl who just went for her first fitting for a corset – bodice-only for a bridesmaid outfit.

  2. Sure Thing says:

    Ack! Threat – I knew something looked wrong!

  3. MaineBetty says:

    This has been in my thoughts, too. I have a 13 year old niece, who is BEAUTIFUL, but is now obsessed with body hair, which she has, and will have, to a greater degree than most other females.
    The connection between this hair-free standard, the sexualization of children, and fear of adult women, actual human bodies, it’s disturbing.
    So, yeah, let’s hear for the adult woman’s body, as it actually IS.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Yes! I’m not trying to dictate how women should groom their own bodies, but I wish it would be what they ‘like’ not what they think is ‘correct’. Brushing your teeth is good socially sanctioned grooming … a Brazilian pubic wax is nobody’s business.

  4. Lizzie/London betty says:

    Once again you’ve hit the nail on this one.
    But if only it were just the hair – one of my daughters did her dissertation on the vast increase increase in labiaplasty in the under 18s ( she said her supervisor had noted a 400% increase in 20 odd years of practice).Once they are denuded there’s plenty of opportunity for guys/media to make them insecure about what they have under the hair.
    Poor little things haven’t finished growing and they are feel they have to have these ‘perfect labia’.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Someone should tell them that is a man is that close to the Garden of Eden, his EYES are not what he should be using!

      The perfect labia?? Are they putting it on their passport photos now?

      I need to lie down.

    • Becky says:

      Good God. Not to be a prude or anything, but if the under 18s are familiar with a wide enough range of lady bits to be judging their aesthetics and considering surgery, I think there’s a bigger problem than the handful who actually have the surgery. I’m all for women seizing their sexuality. Ahem. But it’s alarming to me that girls are asking for this stuff, and parents are evidently going along with it. Boob jobs are bad enough. At least breasts are visible when clothed. The only people who will ever know what your labia look like are those who get to see you naked. Correcting a deformity is one thing, but letting your teen get labiaplasty because it’s not pretty enough? Uh, no.

      And on the topic of pubic hair, living in a subtropical climate, the 70’s bush can be a misery. I try to keep things tidied up in the summer for comfort. But this winter, my first north of the Mason-Dixon line in more than 15 years, I plan to let it grow to my knees!

  5. Lora says:

    Here, Here!

    I cannot stand hot wax on my EYEBROWS for crap’s sake. Ain’t no way that molten goo is going south.

    I am deeply deeply appalled/nauseated/revolted by the infantilization of women through the twisted standard of media- and patriarchy-dictated beauty. Ew.

    A seven year old in my class last year, big blue eyes behind round glasses, waist length ponytail, missing eye tooth came up to me and said, “I feel sad today because I’m fat.” Um, first off she was rail-thin. Secondly she was SEVEN FRIGGIN YEARS OLD. I told her to look at me because I was telling her the truth. You. Are. Perfect. I made her repeat it three times. The third time she smiled. Makes ya wonder.

  6. Alastair says:

    Great post, Betty Fokker. I think that there is nothing in all the world as beautiful, expressive and desirable as a woman’s body, and I entirely agree that the degrees to which some women — and, even more tragically, some girls — go to in the pursuit of perfection are egregiously destructive. Your Sweet Babou sounds like a good, stand-up, grown-ass man, and there are too few of those in the world.

    I do wonder, though, if the pressure to be Photoshop-perfect can be pinned entirely on men. This kind of unrealistic beauty is primarily promoted through media outlets which are, generally, run by women, for women; I would contend that there are pornstars who are less artificially augmented than some Vogue models. Not that men are blameless — after all, it was men who decided that a woman’s worth should be expressed solely by her beauty, rather than by her many other qualities.

    In the end, of course, the matter of blame is much less important than stopping the insanity now, today, this minute. A standard of beauty that is actually, physically impossible does no-one any good, least of all the women who are told that they are ugly because they don’t match up. Every woman is beautiful.

    And Betties? Doubly so. :)

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Of course ‘men’ aren’t the sole culprits, and many men are allies, not enemies, for feminist ideology. What I’ve done is used feminist terminology that has been unclear, and you have my apologies. The Fokker abases herself with chagrin. The patriarchy is not *men* per se … it’s the socio-cultural structures that aid and abet the construction of gender, often to the detriment of both men and women. It is perpetuated by many people, male & female, because they grew up with it and don’t think about it. Then they subconsciously work to perpetuate it because it seems “normal” and thus, correct. So when I grouse about the media and patriarchy, I am not grousing about “men”. Although the misogynist asshats can suck my metaphorical dick, of course. But I am never talking about Alpha Betty’s favorite Scotsman :0)

  7. SuzRocks says:

    You totally need to go and read this post by Lojo- you guys are like two peas in a pod. Except she’s Canadian- Which I suppose you could be Canadian- or Mexican. I don’t even know what you are. But you mentioned red hair- so my bet is you’re not Mexican.

    Anywho- I had told her that once a long while, when I was living in the jungle, as there was no booty call on the horizon, I decided to let it all grow out. I lasted a little more than a month and then I couldn’t handle it anymore. Because unlike you- I am…uh… more furry. So now I let it grow until it annoys me.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      I’ll check her out. I am originally from Kentucky and now I live in a small town in Indiana. It’s so middle-Americana it could kill ya.

      What will you do about comfort when called to duty? I guess as a nurse you’ll have access to facilities more than average. I wanted to be an Army nurse when I was young, because of M*A*S*H, believe it or not.

  8. toni says:

    Again, with the brilliance.

    Really, I don’t want to be a homogenous Barbie doll, plastic, hairless, inexplicably top-heavy, and imminently bendable, just like every other Barbie doll out there, with interchangeable outfits. I want to be my own damned self, memorable for what I bring to the table, not for being a decent carbon copy.

  9. Skye says:

    Ever since I found out about this whole hairless-woman thing going on I’ve been a bit crazed about it. As you said, there is choice, and there is “this is the only way to be beautiful.” I know two beautiful young women, now about 30, who feel dirty with body hair and who would love to be entirely hairless from the neck down. One is even saving money to get body parts lasered clean of hair, one bit at a time.

    I think that today’s standard of beauty definitely sexualizes children. Some of those gorgeous, big-eyed models are only teens anyway. Why would men be interested in girls rather than women?

    And yes, women often set standards of beauty, too. But they aren’t the ones who ask the rest of us to dance. (Well, except for that 15% of the population thing.)


    • Betty Fokker says:

      I knew men like Sweet Babou were out there, but I knew there was no guarantee I’d catch one with my womanly wiles, even though they are clearly mighty wily. But I knew I didn’t want someone whose love would be predicated on whether I were thin and hairless enough. Sadly, many women feel it is they who must change rather than suffer from being unwanted. It hurts emotionally, but it is also scorned socially … it is hard to be strong when strength is anathema to your enculturated expectations. So I know why your friend wants to be hairless … it just makes me sad for her. REAL love takes you as you are.

  10. Clever Betty says:

    Speaking of sexualizing children, anyone besides me offended by Bratz dolls. Worse than Barbie IMHO.
    Another thing that is an example of so-called beauty keeping women down is high heels, I think. Who decided that a woman’s legs look better when she is standing on tip toes which is what high heels do? Of course, before that there was foot binding. And there is the ever popular keep-them-barefoot-and-pregnant school of thought.
    People are also afraid of women being mobile, apparently. And it is definitely people and not just men. I can’t remember which but the origin of either Blanak or Choo is a woman.

    • Lora says:

      Those Bratz dolls are nasty looking. Technicolor makeup on wide-eyed childlike outsize heads which dwarf their miniscule bodies in scanty hip-hop video fashions. When one of my students brought a lot of them in for show and tell, I asked why she liked them. They’re pretty, she said. I told her I was glad she enjoyed playing with her toys but I was glad my body was not that tiny because I wouldn’t be able walk/run/swim dragging that big old head around.

      • Betty Fokker says:

        My husband and I call them Whorz dolls and we don’t let people buy them for the girls. Barbie may have some issues, but at least she doesn’t idolize looking like an abused 12 year old drug-addict hooker.

      • Delia says:

        My niece had those when she was a kid. She’s 15, now. Does she think she’s too fat (she’s a rail), wear low cut shirts and push up bras and too much makeup, and cut herself in her spare time? Why yes she does!

        Here’s the conversation she had with her mom while we were at her brother’s graduation party:
        Her (texting the whole time instead of interacting with anyone): Mom, can I go for a walk?
        Mom: Walk? Where?
        Her: To the park.
        Mom: Why? (Not, “No, this is your brother’s graduation party.” but “Why?” Which just about made my head pop off.)
        Her: Because there’s boys there and I want to look at them.
        Mom (laughing): You’re going to have to wait till later.

        Oh yeah, that’s healthy.

  11. Sierra says:

    I’m one of those women who shaves her legs, etc. pretty much every day. I don’t do it for anyone but me, though. I’ve got a slight case of hyperesthesia, so I’m sensitive to the way things feel, and the sensation of jeans tugging on the hairs on my legs will drive me batty until I’m angrily stripping all my clothes off in the living room. When I was little, I would complain that my clothes “hurt” when I got tired. (Obviously, waxing is not for me, and depilatory creams burn my skin off.)

    That aside, the whole “hairless” craze drives me crazy. Those of us who have genetic predispositions for being slightly fuzzy for warmth (thank you, Dutch ancestry) or who have hormone issues are bound to get complexes because we’re not perfectly smooth. I remember reading an article about body hair on women, and how in India that slight film of hair in the cleavage was actually considered attractive at one point. It was a sign of fertility if it was more noticeable. And the whole “little girl” look really makes me nauseous. Between that and the increase in breast implants, I feel like I’m watching a bunch of Barbies and Skippers walking around. *sigh* Our society makes me sad.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      There are some cultures who have historically wanted the netherparts nude. But (until the Western construction of beauty started influencing them) their ideal was clearly a grown woman who had removed her Lady Hairs. And men had to get rid of their fuzzy places too. That just seems much less creepy.

  12. Bitchin Betty says:

    Unfortunately this is not a new development but one that crops up throughout history. Some cultures tweezed all body hair before marriage so the woman appeared “pure”, yeah, you can read childlike for pure. I can’t think of anything I am less likely to ever have done than to have my pubic hair ripped out with hot wax or any other method. I was extremely thankful for the boy cut bathing suit when it became popular a while back because I am a rather hairy girl. Any hair removal I do is for my own comfort and if some guy doesn’t like it I plan to tell him that I’ll wax mine as soon as he waxes his, and I want to be there to witness it. I live in the south so shaving pits and legs in summer are pretty much a necessity for your personal comfort as is trimming the pubic area if hairy like me. Winter grooming is something I don’t bother with except the pits as I do have some majorly busy sweat glands. Why the hell would I pay someone good money to inflict pain on me? Luckily we have managed to raise my niece to love herself the way she is. She is now almost 16 and loves her very curvy body, her hair and everything else you hear females whine about.

  13. Delia says:

    One of the many reasons I felt skeevy the first time I saw Sex and the City. The show concerns itself with three things: how high and expensive the shoes are, how expensive and exclusive the handbag is, and how recently they’ve waxed. Those are supposed to be feminists? Give me just one small break.

    When my husband and I were dating (I was Very Young), I refused his advances because I hadn’t shaved. When he found out that was why, he said, “And?” So I jumped him. That pretty much set the tone. I shave when I feel like it and he doesn’t seem to notice much either way. Keeper.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Definitely keeper!

      I never liked SITC either and I always thought of it as anti-feminist. Since when is an obsession with material goods and whether or not you could ‘get a man’ been feminist? Or using sex to keep your emotional distance? Plus, I could not relate since I could give a rat’s ass about shoes.

    • Sierra says:

      I had a similar experience with my boyfriend of a year and a half recently. “But I’m prickly,” I protested. “So?” For me, the prickles are a problem. For him, not so much. My brain kinda of exploded at that realization (and then exploded again a bit later when he proved it).

      I can’t stand SITC. I love shoes, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not a brand-name gal. If the style is pretty, I swoon. I don’t care who made it. Besides that, the women are so shallow that I can’t even watch commercials of it. I wonder if there should be an addendum to the Bechdel test for female characters to include shoes, shopping, and sex.

  14. lunarmom says:

    Stand aside, I’m marching in wearing my Birkenstocks, with my hairy armpits on display. I discovered very soon after hair began to grow under my arms that when I tried to remove it I ended up with a blistering red, itchy, hideous rash. NOT better! As I have gotten older, that hair I ignore and have not tried to remove for many moons now, has begun to thin and lighten (and my mother is, in fact, Mexican). I do take down the leg hair round about the first of June (because it does sometimes get warm-ish here in Oregon, for a few days or so), but otherwise I pretty much figure that hair grows in places it needs to be.
    Once again, Beloved Spouse and I were thinking no one else was appalled over this hair-less child look. Whew! It’s not just us then, other folks (Fokks) are as enraged as we are. Passing a Gap for Kids the other day he remarked, “isn’t that lovely, mini-hoodlums and Whores R Us?”

    • Betty Fokker says:

      You may also keep your husband :0)

      You know what sent me over the edge? Thongs for 5 year olds in a major department store. My head exploded like I had just seen the Lost Ark.

      • Carol says:

        That is JUST WRONG!!!! What the hell is wrong with the manufacturers and the people who buy them for their wee girls??? Thongs for 5 year olds! So very wrong. I know you will both protect your little ones to the death.

  15. Sure Thing says:

    Ah, in terms of comfort – I need to wax the armpits – any thing else leaves me sweating and then stinking like I haven’t been bathing for two days while working in the hot sun as a ditch digger.

    And I don’t believe the whole having hair = not clean. I bath twice daily dammit. I’m clean.

    As for everything else – I live in a subtropical zone where the temp goes up to 35 celcius or more and the humidity is quite bad – some things are necessary for comfort.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Comfort and personal choice are obviously something feminists are foursquare behind. It’s feeling like you HAVE to in order to be pretty that drives us nuts. God knows I shave everything but my head when we lived in Dallas. Sweet Babou also went for the nudi-bits look because the heat was just killer.

  16. lee says:

    I don’t shave. Anything.

    I live in a temperate climate, we are having summer, and I can and do wear a bathing suit with fur everywhere (Everywhere) before I will suffer though shaving anything ever again. The rashes, the pimples, the slices and scrapes and misery – never again.

    The nice thing about politeness is that only my mother is allowed to comment about this. No one else is allowed to acknowledge they have noticed, except behind my back. I’m good with that. Of course, if someone did ask me about it, I have no idea what I’d say… probably a medical condition, invented on the spot.

  17. Lilly says:

    Awesome. I love this post, and I’m so glad it caught my attention in the comments of TheBloggess.

    For one, I like to keep mine shaved, but I live in the south and it is quite hot here in the summertime. Winter? Eh, maybe once a month and then only because it gets caught in my panties and pulls, so then it’s either shave or go “commando” and then it would be cold (cause like I said, it is winter time then).

    And why take a razor to your legs? I bought a wonderful contraption called an electric shaver (for women!) and I can shave both legs without water or shave gel in under 5 minutes. Sure, it leaves them feeling like they have day 2 stubble, but it’s a lot quicker and easier!

    By the way – I’m totally bookmarking your blog. Mwah.

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Many Many Thanks!

      I am glad you liked it. I’d blush, but it’s clear that I have no shame or modesty, so who are we kidding?

      I also click stuff off the The Bloggess comments. I’m all, “Three Money Poop Attack? Huh?” and have to go see what is what.

  18. Star Betty says:

    Yay 70s bush!

    I worry that Teh Porns, they are sweeping the nation – and teens will grow up thinking that the laydees are supposed to be bare. Bring back vintage porn!

    In other news, I had to ask my high school ex what a lady’s vagina looks like these days – I was worried that I was out of touch with the poon style zeitgeist. At least in SoCal, they are bare. He doesn’t know what they do with it, but it is gone by the time he sees anyone’s ladybits. (He himself does not care, and is slightly disturbed by the whole trend.)

    Me, I like to be able to feel a gentle breeze in the summer, but razor burn makes me all HULK SMASH.

    Speaking of which, you will love this: !!!

  19. Danon says:

    The first time I ever shaved my legs was on a summer day when I was 10. I remember this because I was being made fun of for hairy legs. I am Italian and true to the form my feet stink sometimes and my hair is dark…my skin is olive and also has pours..

    I raced home and locked myself in the downstairs bathroom where all I had was a white and yellow Daisy disposable razor and a Purple Body Shop bar of soap. For nearly 2 hours I was in there….I had no idea what I should do but I knew that if I cut myself someone would know and if I didn’t hurry the fuck up, I was gonna get caught in the act lending into going into school the next day with one amazingly smooth, soft fur-less leg and the other looking like I was ferric.

    I got the job done, there wasn’t blood or anything but…I remember how amazed I was at this…now, as a relfection, it wasn’t the leg hair that was the problem…it was waking up one day and realizing that I had grown an afro between my legs…Where did this come from??? How did it get there???? And…how the hell am I going to get rid of this…if they all laughed at my legs..can you imagine what would happen???

    I asked my mother what to do…she told me that you just need to tidy things up…since then, I too have always felt like the immaculate body is nothing but a disgusting Freudian theory….I hope that women embrace thier hair more…it totally is great in the winter! And BettyFrokker…I know you mentioned something about ribbons..and this intruigues me.


    PS. this is my first time here, and now you will never rid me.

  20. Betty Fokker says:

    Thank you Danon! I checked your blog, and it was good. But the topic didn’t lend itself to Fokker Wit, so sorry about that.

    I’m glad you like it and I am glad you’ll be back. Welcome to the Fokking world of Fokker.

  21. For what it’s worth, my view is don’t shave or wax. Please! I just don’t get the current trend of most women to want to remove their pubic hair. In my humble opinion, pubic hair, like hair on your head, adds to looks and appeal. Without hair – everyone looks much the same. Plus, maintenance must be a real pain – pun intended.
    In fact, I feel so strongly on the issue that I have started a one-man crusade to bring back pubic hair :)

    Pubic hair is sexy. Keep it.
    No guy in his right mind is going to turn you down because you have it – and guys like me will love it!

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Have you ever seen Life of Brian? You know the scene where Judith runs out buck nekkid with 70’s bush glory? I always thought it made that area more special, more mysterious-looking. It’s prettier, in my opinion, than the landing strip some women currently use. I hope your crusade works!

      • LOL! I haven’t thought about that movie for ages!
        I agree totally about the 70’s bush glory.
        Of course, every woman has the right to choose how they wish to groom their topiary, but for me… I like it as nature intended and my mission is to counter the porn-driven pressure that some women may feel that they are supposed to look like an 11-yr old!
        Nice to have someone agree with me :)

  22. Louise says:

    Never encountered your site before, but I love this article and the comments! I came here looking for more info on labiaplasty – there’s an article on a local paper’s website today, and some of the “oh what’s wrong with it” responses make me want to puke.

    On the subject of Sweet Babous and their ilk – my gorgeous Frenchman (yes he really is, it’s not a dubious euphemism, lol) makes a point of telling me, as well as demonstrating, that he likes Every Darn Thing about my bod – whether it’s a cuddly belly, the shape of my bits, or hair distribution. I don’t shave anywhere except my toes (Hobbit-hair does get pulled by one’s socks). Shaving’s a pest. Waxing ain’t gonna happen (masochism isnt’ my idea of fun). I’ve no yen to look like a child, or, God forbid, a porn star. My oxters stay hairy because they’re more comfortable that way – whenever I’ve tried removing the hair, I’ve been sweatier and in danger of chafing on hot days. Come summer they’ll be visible as usual, and if anyone doesn’t like that, it’s a) their bad luck and b) none of their business anyway. Vive la France and hairy French bits! :)

    • Betty Fokker says:

      Welcome Louise! I’m glad you found my blog … although it’s always amazes me what searches bring people here. Congrats on the Good Man and the refusal to modify yourself!

  23. Pingback: The ‘Hairless’ Craze – Grooming and Aesthetics For Men and Women » Myrna Beard

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