Pubic hair exists for a reason. It is a line of defence against various nasties down there. Shock horror, it even grows on vulvas and the surrounding areas. But, some time between the bush-whacking 70s and today, pubic hair on a vulva became persona non grata.
Maybe the obsession with pubic hair removal stems from our fixation on youth. Every second ad is to reduce wrinkles or cover grey hairs, tuck your tummy or lift your face. This is overwhelmingly targeted towards the more feminine of us; the George Clooneys are left to peacefully age while the Maggie Gyllenhaals pass an invisible use-by date. Or is this the Lolita complex in action? The sexualisation of young women and girls in many parts of daily life has led to a point where some people feel that having a vulva that resembles a young girl’s is the only way to be sexy.
Before someone yells something about hygiene, I’m going to point out that if you claim feminine-presenting people who happen to have hair below their eyebrows are unhygienic, you’re simultaneously and inextricably calling every penis-possessor who doesn’t shave dirty (which, um, rude).
Of course, everyone is allowed their own personal preferences, whether it’s to shave or not shave, to prefer shaven or not-shaven partners. You do you, boo, you do what makes you feel sexy and comfortable and happy in your own skin.
But with the exposure today’s youth have, the incredible saturation of media and pop culture that generations before us didn’t have, it is near impossible to distinguish your actual preferences from what you have been told from birth your preferences should be. Just as a person who grows up with racist parents and limited experience of the outside world is more than likely racist themselves, we can’t always know whether our wants — especially for something as purely aesthetic as pubic hair — are not simply something that has been fed to us until we critically analyse why we think the way we do.
Even if you are unwilling to examine why you feel the way you do about hair on vulvas, at least don’t be an ass about it to other people. If someone trusts you enough to let you see, don’t make rude comments. This may be a hairy topic, but it is something to think about: how much of what we want is simply a lack of knowing anything else?