During the weekend, and a slightly unusual conversation, I happened to overhear the following:
“Pubic hair isn’t nice! It’s there to cover up the ugly bits!”
It got me thinking about a recent trip to Brighton. I’m usually quite snap happy with my camera or camera phone, and I managed to take a wonderful shot of a sign outside a beauty parlour, basically a night version of the We heart Vajazzles image above. When showing these photos to family members, they wanted to know what a Vajazzle was, and why women get them. To simplify the what, I told them it’s when girls shave their lady parts and dip them in glitter. The why was a little trickier.
Now pubic hair is normal. It’s there to stop infection, and provide friction cushioning in a sensitive place. It’s also been argued that it’s designed to trap hormones and body odour, to increase our attractiveness to the opposite sex. So why is it so undesirable?
Well, personal hygiene for one. From way back in the 1450s, and probably earlier, women would shave their pubic hair as a way of getting rid of lice. They’d wear a pubic wig, or merkin.
The upper class Victorians used to collect curls of pubic hair as sexual souvenirs, and lovers used to exchange these as tokens of affection. Puts the crappy bunch of garage Carnations in perspective doesn’t it?
In western societies, we’ve always been reluctant to show hair below the neckline, and with the increase in popularity in bathing suits, bikinis, and micro bikinis, something had to go. If you add porn into the equation, it’s rare to actually see a porn star, male or female, at the very least trimmed, and sometimes you have to actually go hunting for pictures of videos showing people au natural.
If you’re going to turn into a personal gardener, and trim your bush, there are plenty of options to choose from: wax or shave, neat and tidy, landing strip, American style or the full on wax, as well as all the interesting shapes you could style…Tantric topiary anyone?
Now, thanks to various celebs and shows such as The Only Way Is Essex, the British public has taken this grooming a step further, and are glitzing up their lady gardens with sparkles galore.
Urban Dictionary has several different definitions, and to my surprise, it is not only classed as a noun i.e My vajazzle is much more sparkly than yours, but also a multi purpose verb…
Vajazzle (V) – 1. To decorate your vagina with sparky stuff 2. To use ones vagina as a brainwashing tool e.g. for personal gain.
So how do ladies, and indeed chaps, feel about this extra addition to their beauty regime? Turns out to be a mixed bag.
Back in the day, Hair was one of the largely discussed topics in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. I have actually performed this a few years ago, and the story is from a woman, saying that her husband made her shave, and she didn’t like it.
I’ve got friends who shave and friends who wax, and most girls agree that it’s nice to be tidy…all agree that shaving can cause bumps and rashes, and waxing hurts like hell. I have to agree on both points, particularly the last. After being handed some free strips on a trip to Bristol, I thought I’d be all grown up and give it a go. Half an hour later, the screaming began, and it took gritted teeth and a long shower to rip the remaining strips off and get rid of all the wax.
I know a lot of male friends like to keep the area tidy as well, although I’ve only known a couple of men to actually wax…and generally they waxed their chest hair as well. I know it’s been appreciated when I’m tidy, and I have had a few requests to go completely bare. I don’t mind either way, but yes, it can get itchy the day after, and it does look a little strange, like you’ve turned porn star.
The danger with trends in porn is that people who watch it forget it isn’t real, and emulating porn in anyway can be a green light to having porn style sex. I’m not saying the hair removal is by any means the only cause of this, but it shouldn’t be an invitation for men to start singing ” Boom – chica – wow wow!” and hitting it jack hammer style. I mean, we don’t watch an episode of Sharpe and expect a bloke to turn into a swash buckling soldier…although it wouldn’t be a terrible thing. 🙂
As for going down the vajazzle route, I don’t know any girls who’ve done it, but a few guys have seen them, and didn’t quite know what to say. I’m try to appreciate them, but it think it’s taking the whole body beautiful a step to far. The only 2 people that have the right to be that sparkly are Tinkerbell and Edward Cullen, and I’m not even sure about Edward. No wonder Bella took so long making her mind up – an all over vajazzle doesn’t exactly say butch does it?
Personally, I like to keep it tidy, but I recognise the fact that as a nation, we’re clearly still so squeamish that we’d rather cover up with tinsel than be proud to bare all. Considering how much money is being made from the hair removal industry, it does make me wonder whether we’re really being hygienic, or slaves to a sheep shearing like fashion, with vajazzles being the latest in a line of denim dungaree, 80s shoulder pads, or flared jeans. The only good thing is, unlike the jeans or shoulder pads, we can safely say that we won’t be showing our kids pictures of our vajazzles in 20 years.