My friend recently returned from travelling the world. He popped over for a chat and mentioned he is seeing a new woman, who apparently I’ll love because she does 'fillers and laser hair removal'. I laughed and told him he had been away a long, long time and things had changed in the world.
For a while, modern grooming hadn’t been making sense to me. Waxing was really painful, shaving left me prickly and with spotty ingrown hairs and Immac (sorry, Veet if you are under 30) stopped being on my shopping list when John Major was PM, so it became obvious that I needed to find another way. And then I found her. An absolute goddess I met on a retreat. Sexy, funny, wise, talented. And hairy. Oh the fullness of her lady garden and armpit hair were quite inspiring and her courage and confidence was staggering. I wanted to be her and, as a bonus, think of all the money I’d save on grooming.
Many of my friends are 'natural women'. My business partner Laura with her full bush, leg and armpit hair was on a date with a hot but unfortunately dim guy in the summer, who was discussing the merits of bimbo type looks when she loudly said to him, 'Women are hairy, they smell and they bleed. Deal with it'.
Part of the problem is that men often don’t know what a woman’s pudenda is supposed to look like. The choice these days is huge - playboy waxes, Hollywoods, Brazillians and now with a vajazzle you can get rid of the nasty hair and have pretty crystals stuck on instead (according to Jennifer Love Hewitt, 'they make you feel good about your privates').
Come on ladies, we don’t need shiny little stickers or pre-pubescent mounds to feel good about our pubic areas! My body made and bore a child, it’s danced til dawn on many occasions and it’s let me trek a glacier. My woman-parts are a place where I want nice things to happen, not having my hair ripped out in an agonising blur.
With hair my bush feels womanly, non-conformist, obvious and proud. Without hair it feels silky and girly and neat but I’m not that person, I’m not neat - I’m like a force of nature, and I’m certainly not girly. I am a fully paid up member of the women’s brigade and damn do I have the curves, the passion, the compassion, the wisdom and the anger to prove it.
Many feminists believe it’s because men are trying to keep women down by keeping them looking like small children, that they aren’t able to cope with a 'real' woman. Maybe I’m just lucky - my husband is a fairly evolved man who doesn’t need a landing strip to find his way to the good bits and he isn’t in the slightest bit intimidated by my womanly-ness. He does sometimes refer to my “thighbeard” in jest, but in all seriousness we’ve discovered a compromise. He shaves his face so I don’t get stubble rash and I shave my armpits so he can actually face having sex with me. Some may say I’m letting the feminists down in this half-hearted approach, but it’s not the feminists I want to grow old with (unless they are really hot and can take out the bins, in which case husband is no longer needed).
The truth is I’ve never liked the feeling of my leg hair getting stuck on my trousers and have no strong opinion on my armpit hair, so the compromise felt fair. I have always hated 'dealing' with my bush. It hurt and cost money and I really identified with the story in the Vagina Monologues that after waxing 'it felt puffy and exposed, like a little girl.'
I appreciate some women don’t like their hair, and that’s cool, I am all for individual expression, but I’d urge you to explore why you don’t like it. If the reason comes down to feeling prettier or because you believe it isn’t 'nice' or your partner would prefer it, then please remember that women died so we could get the vote - how do you think they would feel about a vajazzle?
Claire is a Wellness Practitioner and the owner and manager of the Balanced Wellness Centre in Havant near Portsmouth. She has been practising since 1994 and is passionate about wellness!See my profile »