In terms of cosmetics, perfumes and carbs,
less is more. However, some would beg to differ. Regardless of your
political affiliations, a number of magazines are currently
publicizing a campaign of another variety. Recent issues of
Cosmopolitan, Glamour and GQ have all reported that the
“natural bush” will be back.

Rebecca Ramsey

What?!

That’s exactly what I asked myself, especially when I
thought about how people here would react to this trend. The
student body may fall victim to many a fad, but due to things I
have heard, along with my own personal views, I cannot see this
predicted craze sweeping over campus.

The coital-area coif is a topic that does not garner much
conversation, perhaps because a lot of people still laugh whenever
they hear utterance of one of the euphemisms for the area below,
but maybe it really isn’t that racy at all. The nether
regions are a part of everyone, and it’s an entirely personal
decision whether or not to don an “au natural” style or
to bare it all the Brazilian way. Still that has not prevented us
from hearing everyone’s opinionated expectations.

According to Glamour’s sex tips from men this month, men
“don’t care whether you’re waxed.” This is
what I would like to think, since I can imagine a girl
uncomfortably hiding in the dark to hide her unkempt appearance is
as annoying as a guy worrying if size matters.

However, after consulting some people here, I find conflicting
results. A few of my female friends looked at me in horror when I
told them about this hair scare. I even frightened away a lady in
Starbucks when she overheard me talking about this issue (it could
have been because of the inappropriate genitalia humor, but who
knows?)

When I spoke to a male friend about the issue of pubic grooming,
he insisted “that guys think that any hair is gross”
and that when guys talk to each other about their hookup stories,
they ask: “was she shaved?” Well, well, well.

Pubic hair is a natural yet unavoidable part of growing up.
Theories for its presence range from it serving as a signifier that
our bodies are capable of reproducing and for storing pheromones to
attract potential mates. That said, doesn’t that make you
wonder why we even get rid of it then?

We do it because it is aesthetically pleasing to us and simply
because it’s just cleaner and more comfortable getting into a
bikini when we’re groomed. Women should feel at ease being
women, and that is regardless of your down-there hair quotient. To
get the record straight, if you wax, you are not a porn star, nor
are you trying to look like a nine-year-old (that’s what
I’ve heard), and if you go as God made you, you aren’t
dirty.

The pressure to be bare still remains. It comes from magazine
ads, female peers and oftentimes, from guys. I am reminded of the
all-too common story of a guy asking his girlfriend to become bare
for the purpose of satisfying him. Hey, my ex-boyfriend had a hairy
back, and even though it grossly resembled Austin Powers’
chest, I would not make him wax just for me.

There certainly are more insulting requests he could make, and
while we don’t need to worry about those now, just know that
they are of larger concerns pertaining to third parties and areas a
bit past the one here.

Clearing the private parts can result in painful, unflattering
and expensive repercussions. Shaving, is easy on the budget, but
re-growth is often accompanied by irritation and shaving cannot be
done daily (and no one likes stubble). As for waxing, the
smoothness lasts weeks longer than shaving and the hair grows back
finer, but it is a costly method of upkeep. With that in mind,
think twice if you are curious about hair removal.

To shave/wax/use depilatories could add some sizzle to a
relationship, as long as both parties agree, but if a guy requests
his partner go bald, maybe he should too … have no fear, it
will grow back!

My roommate affirms that if you ask a guy to shave or wax for
you, you are sure to be a goner. Sad, but maybe true. (She also
jokes in all seriousness that “I don’t want no scrubs,
I like them so fresh and so clean”). Ah, male grooming. My
male friend — you know, the one who shudders at the sight of
a hair — also admitted that “every guy trims … a
lot.” Still, I’m not sure if a trim qualifies as equal
rights. Either a guy has got to bare it all or maybe we should just
forget about hair removal altogether. Hmm … in both cases,
maybe not.

So, if men are out there grooming, when are they doing it?
“If a guy is going out, he’ll be more inclined to tidy
up down there. But if there’s no girl in the picture, he
probably won’t give a s—t,” remarked a guy whom I
questioned.

Well, we care, but not because grooming makes things easier to
find (although it is a perk). There are more important things to
think about. Intimacy is fabulous, but if you cannot enjoy it
because you are worried about the way you look, you can’t
enjoy being yourself. What this “natural bush” campaign
boils down to is that the political is personal and we should just
stop beating around the … you know.

 

— Rebecca would be more than happy to explain the
difference between the illustrious Brazilian and the bikini, the
hot and the cold, the painful and the excruciating. Contact her at
ramseyr@umich.edu.

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