I’m 16 years old and I’m in an esthetician’s salon. I’m getting my eyebrows done. Not because they’re particularly hairy, but because that’s what I’ve been told to do. Normally my mom is here too, but today it is just me. The esthetician finishes tweezing the last hair, looks at me with a side-glance and asks expectantly: “Is there anything else you want done?”
Yes, I’d like to rip out all of my pubic hair, please. You know, because society has told me that at 16 years old, I should be back to looking pre-pubescent. All my friends do it – the ones with the boyfriends and the ones hoping to get boyfriends. The magazines tell me to do it, the porn I watch tells me to do it, the boys at the neighbouring high school make hairy jokes, so you better freaking do it.
$35 dollars later, it’s like puberty never happened. At home I peel off remnants of wax, pluck a forgotten hair and stare blankly in the mirror. I think to myself that it looks like the head of a bald eagle.
Ten years later, my boyfriend is running his hands through my wild bush. My hair is not curly or straight. It’s an in-between kind of style, something unique to me. It gets all bunched up while toweling off after a shower and then quickly flattens under the weight of my clothes. My hair is racing to escape out the sides of my underwear, slowly making its way closer to my thighs. The right side seems to be winning.
My boyfriend has this thing where he rubs his beard in my pubic hair and it makes us both squirm. He goes crazy when I send him naughty photos of my hair. He asks for peeks when I leave a room. He asks for a feel when we’re cuddling on the couch. He reaches for a last stroke as he’s falling asleep. I tell him I’m writing about my pubic hair and he turns and says: “You mean how it’s glorious?”.
Accepting my pubic hair was a step towards becoming the person I am today. It’s a big ‘fuck you’ to the society that told me I had to change my body to please men. It’s a big ‘fuck you’ to anyone who gives a shit about what I do with my own body. It’s a way that I embrace who I am. It makes me feel my sexiest. I often find myself running my hands through it, lifting a leg to see just how long my sneaky hairs have grown, making sure it is still as wild as ever.
This isn’t to say that choosing to shave or trim or wax isn’t a valid choice. The important thing is for everyone to do what feels right for them, without the influence of others. When I was 16 and self-conscious and wanting to fit in, I made a choice based on other people – a painful choice. Now, I wouldn’t change my bush for the world. My boyfriend trims his pubes and you know what I love about it? That he does what makes him feel the sexiest. Whatever you choose – just make sure you’re doing it for you!
I’ll always advocate for the bush, but that’s just me.