by Sarah Marcantonio
Our world’s war on pubic hair is never more apparent than in the summertime, when TV commercials and Internet ads tout the necessity of super smooth hairless skin. While some brave young women dare to rock the bush — whether as a bold feminist act or an ironic retro fashion statement — pubic lawn mowing is still the norm in the 21st century. But there are legit reasons pubes should make a serious comeback:
1. Hair removal costs WAY too much money. You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how much your razors/shaving cream/waxing/laser-ing/electrolysis cost, since they seem like necessities — but over a lifetime, it adds up. A bikini wax can cost anywhere from $35 to $80, on average, and to maintain hairless skin you’ll “need” one every 3 to 6 weeks. Even if you’re spending the minimum, waxing still costs you over $300 a year. If you use cheap razors, you’ll still spend about $5,698 in your lifetime (according to LookYoungAtlanta.com). Think about all the things you could be spending that money on!
2. It takes up WAY too much time. In addition to the money, trimming and shaving and waxing takes time! Let’s (under)estimate that the average woman spends 15 minutes shaving twice a week, starting at age 12 and continuing through age 55. That equals almost 50 days! Think about taking a 50-day vacation, a month-long retreat, or intensive 6-week workshop instead of spending all that time shaving.
3. Pubes protect you from infection! Unfortunately, our genitals are pretty prone to infection due to their warm, wet environment. One thing that makes you more likely to get an infection? Going bald. It’s not unheard of for women to be hospitalized because of infections due to waxing, especially if your immune system is already compromised. Open cuts from shaving and burns from waxing are also a hazard for infection. Pubic hair acts as barrier and keeps gross things from getting inside you (like dirt). It even helps act as a buffer between you and STDs! (The one possible exception to this rule? Pubic lice. Without hair to latch onto, they can’t stick around. But reports of their extinction may be grossly exaggerated.)
4. It’s just NOT comfortable! We all know what it’s like to have a terrible itch that won’t go away — that’s hair regrowth, in a nutshell. Shaving and waxing also causes burns, cuts, bumps, and rashes — none of which makes for a party in your pants. Add to that the awkward embarrassment of third party “help” getting up close and personal with your cracks. Save yourself the hassle and humiliation and keep it au natural!
5. Who are you doing it for? Let’s say it’s 1972 and everyone, including the people you’re interested in having sex with, are totally fine with pubes. In fact, they think they’re sexy. Would you still invest all this time, money and pain into removing your down-there hair because you like the way it feels? Or would it be a non-issue? Would you be relieved that this was one area of “beauty maintenance” you didn’t have to deal with? If you answered no-yes-yes to these three questions, then you need to admit to yourself that you’re removing hair because of some arbitrary beauty standard imposed by a commercial culture trying to sell you products you don’t need and porn that’s not realistic, and because you’re afraid that some manipulative people might shame you for being you.