Shave Your Crotch? Nobody Really Knows But Everyone Seems to Care

'Vogue,' science, and my pants weigh in.

My Internet notifications informed me that Vogue now says women don’t have to shave their pubes anymore. I rolled my eyes, and then I did a little dance. A few months ago, science said we should all stop shaving our genitals too because we might be at greater risk of STDs.

But the women who want a more streamlined look are still waxing crotches and assholes, and paying for it.

From Vogue:

Pop-culture moments have had an impact on women’s preferences, according to Paz Stark, owner of Stark Waxing Studio in Los Angeles and New York. She says that while many women still prefer to remove some hair, a triangular shape, rather than the skinny “landing strip” of the ’00s, is currently in favor—a development she likens to the rise of thicker brows. “Ladies are saying, ‘I do want a cleanup, but I want it to be fuller and more natural-feeling,” she says. “I feel like Brazilians are 100 percent here to stay, it’s just on people’s own terms now.” In other words, the days of the tyrannical, take-it-all-off aesthetician are over.


I hate shaving. Really, I do. And waxing is some totally painful, wicked experience that I could never get used to, just like wearing terribly uncomfortable clothes and shoes. Of course I have some kind of weird luxury of confidence (or serious detachment from the real world) that tells me I don’t have to worry about what other people think.

But I've had this pussy hair conversation with many women. Often single women will say to me, “Ohhhh, you don’t have to get waxed anymore because you are married.”

Oh wut?

I love explaining that despite a few good ol’ bald-crotch years in early college, I went full bush well prior to graduation, and have been proudly bushed for years. I never even bothered with a fucking landing strip. I also love to tell people that the loads of men who have been down there have not questioned my hair, ever. At least not out loud. I’ve surveyed plenty of pussy goers, almost all of whom say this to crotch hair: I don’t fucking care.

Recently a married friend texted me this:

Her: How often do you get waxed?
Me: Never.
Her: No really.
Me: Why?
Her: (Husband) says I should get waxed more.
Me: (Divorce him).

It’s unfair to shame people for preference, right? Even if that preference stems from some unfair societal beauty standards? Right? Right?

I don’t know. If a potential sexual partner, hey, even including my husband, had something to say about my body hair, I’d tell them to shut the fuck up and maybe resort to violence. That’s how much it angers me that someone else would think about my body, and expect to have input on what my body should be. For that matter, I definitely told my friend to divorce her husband. I wanted her to be as mad as I would be. But maybe she’s into razor burn and sweaty, bald crotches? And also, uhhhh, what she does with her pubic strategy is not up to me.

I have the world’s most sensitive skin. You know what works? Leaving my fucking body hair alone.

I have another friend who waxes (and doesn’t have time for many/any partners). She does it because it makes her feel good. Sometimes we get drunk and I challenge her on this, asking does it actually make her feel good? Or does she just feel good because society tells her this is good? I’ve digressed. She waxes once every six weeks.

Like everything else, including this trim or no-trim shit, there’s a lot of complicated layers to the pussy-scaping argument.

Instead of saying that I am Pro Bush to strangers or women who don’t understand feminism, I often go the middle-of-the-road truth: I'm susceptible to severe razor burn and wax burn. I have the world’s most sensitive skin. Yes, I’ve tried everything to fix it. You know what works? Leaving my fucking body hair alone.

Never have I given up on a random one-night stand because my legs were hairy, or my pits, or especially my pubes. Why would I miss out on the joy of pleasure and sex? Should I squirm in pain inflicted by after-razor terror?

Recently, drunk at another bar in New York City, a group of women and I had this convo (again). My oldest friend and ex-roommate, who had seen my pubes many times, exclaimed that my white-woman-straight-pretty pussy hair was a lot different than her “Puerto Rican Curl Fro.” She explained in detail that her and I were dealing with a whole different kind of maintenance. Still, I said, let it grow and see what you think. She reported back weeks later. It was a big No for her.

Am I not shaving as some kind of anti-society-beauty rebellion? Or am I simply not doing it because I’m lazy, my pubes are fine, and well, hey, I hear they are real pretty? Just because I don’t raze the pube field doesn’t mean I’ve earned some feminist medal. Still, I won’t lie, I kind of feel proud that I don’t feel pressured to make my vagina some objectified object deemed beautiful through trimmed baldness. Also, skipping the waxing is a cheaper way to live and really does make it one less errand to run/do.

Be a bush or be a bald eagle. You can be both, or either, whenever you want.

A few weeks ago, many of us saw Mozart in the Jungle star Lola Kirke on the red carpet at the Golden Globes with beautiful armpit hair flowing right through her arms against the softness of her yellow dress.

I decided I’d let my armpit hair grow. It grew in some wacky, small square patch. I had a few really long hairs. It felt weird and itchy. Why didn’t I look as beautiful as Kirke? Where was my full, thick, pretty armpit hair? Why was it so wiry and scrawny and patchy?

Here’s what I figured out quickly: I’m not as thin, or nearly as beautiful as Kirke. So I was sorta this monster-esque large woman with squiggly armpit hair.

And one day, my husband said, “Woah what’s up with that?”

I mean, I could have lit the fucking house on fire right there.

I berated him about my choice, my body, my look, he shouldn’t care what I look like, etc. etc. etc. etc. He basically laughed in my face and was like, “Woah, I was just curious why after six years you have that weird chicken hair growing from your pits.”

I shaved that day. I realized that my feminism requires me to have shaved pits, with some pink razor bumps. For all the right and wrong reasons.

If we are really talking about beauty standards here that are in line with the idea that you do or don’t have to trim your bush, I have to say, Alicia Keys is not as inspiring with her #nomakeup thing either. First, she’s pretty as fuck. Like, my face does not look like hers. My #nomakeup face might just be a butter face. Same goes for Ashley Graham who boasts of her size 16 body in Sports Illustrated, etc. Yeah, she’s fine, because she’s a model and her face is reallll pretty.

Is my size 16 butterface meant for #nomakeup, armpit hair, and tight clothes? I'll be the judge of that.

Maybe a full bush is where it begins and ends for me. Maybe I gotta stop telling my friends what their pussies should and shouldn’t look like. At the end of the day, I don’t really care.

Here’s Tavi Gevinson who just says it best:

“I don’t really have a take, beyond whether or not I make the choice for myself. I'm not interested in dictating what other women do with their bodies and appearances. [Not shaving/waxing] It saves time.”

Shave or don’t shave, wax it off or buzz it down; really, I’ve done it all. I will probably change my mind based on my mood, my weight, my sex life, blah blah blah.

Be a bush or be a bald eagle. You can be both, or either, whenever you want.