Letting your garden grow

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“I’m sorry, I haven’t shaved.” Delivered sheepishly, with a cringe.

Le sigh.

I know it’s been awhile since I was in college (I mean, not THAT long <cough>), but let me just say that the scorched earth look was uncommon back in my day.

However. I like to think of myself as a hip old. I read Jezebel. I tweet. So I get that the social mores of grooming from my day are a thing of the past. It’s all about the prepubescent look now. Got it.

Or is it?

*****

There are upsides to this trend of complete hairlessness. Well, um, so there’s one. Crabs, a.k.a. pubic lice, that notorious entity of teen nightmares, is practically nonexistent today, rendered obsolete by a wave of wax and razor blades (wow, so that’s not a completely terrifying image). When I finally saw my first case ever last year, I was actually a little excited, with that thrill that comes with the discovery of a rare and endangered creature. I know, I know. JUDGE.

But the quest for bare skin doesn’t come without a price. Razor burn, ingrown hairs, folliculitis, microtrauma from waxing and shaving, and oh so much more… And, I dunno, all those many hours dedicated to lady area maintenance that could be redirected towards…saving the whales? World peace? Kardashian marathons? Take your pick.

I’ve heard the back and forth – it’s all porn’s fault! it’s my choice, and it’s hygienic! – but I can’t help but feel as though this trend is working against us ladies more than for us if you feel as though you need to apologize for being a smidge grown out when you come see me for your Pap.

*****

But. BUT! There are signs that the pendulum might finally be swinging the other direction.

Recently, those leading arbiters of classy, American Apparel, created a window display with mannequins wearing both domestic-construction spandex-cotton blend and full bush. Bold move, AA.

Seriously though, pubic hair’s been all over the news lately. (Pun not intended! I mean it, now THAT would be unhygienic.) You might have missed the articles in Slate and The Guardian, but you can’t deny the legitimacy of the New York Times. If the gray lady is deigning to write not one, but two, pubic hair trend pieces, you know it’s both a legit happening and maybe a year or two behind.

So there you go, ladies. Feel free to shave or not shave, wax or not wax, but please, at the very least, know that regardless of the choice you make, you should never feel the need to apologize for it.

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