Why You Need To Know The Complicated History Of Pubic Hair Removal

Photo Credit: Aqua Beauty and Spa

Photo Credit: Aqua Beauty and Spa

Women spend more than $10,000 on hair removal over their life; 95% of women under 30 remove some to all of their pubic hair. Why?

Every year pubic hair is declared “back”—from the Daily Magazine in 2012, to the Telegraphin 2013, to Women’s Health Magazine in 2014, to Alternet in 2015. But is it really? How does pubic hair make a comeback every year? Clearly, we desire pubic hair to be vogue. Now, bathing suit season is upon us. What do I do?

As a woman, I am very aware of my four options for downstairs: shave, wax, groom, or go au naturel. When I started developing as an adolescent, I was surprised when things started to change. Having played with hairless Barbies for all my childhood, I guess I had been beguiled into believing pubic hair didn’t occur until you were much older. Regardless, I embraced the changes and journey of becoming a woman.

In my mid-teen years I became aware that women were shaving and more “risqué” girls were starting to wax. As my body developed and low-cut jeans, bikinis, and shorter shorts started to fill my closet, I, too, hopped on the bandwagon that believed hair was unfeminine, unsightly, and needed to be removed. That is until this year, when I decided to examine the wagon I was riding.

In a recent U.S. study conducted among 2,000 sexually active women under the age of 30, 88% of the women ages 18-24 reported removing some to all of their pubic hair. Fifty-nine percent of the women reported their pubic hair status as typically or sometimes completely hair-free. In another study published this year, 49.8% of the women reported being typically hair-free. Only 4.1% of women reported not trimming or removing any pubic hair, leaving 95% of the women with groomed, trimmed, or removed pubic hair.

Evidently, the overwhelming majority of women under 30 remove some to all of their pubic hair. The next question on my mind was why? In another study asking over 600 women what their motivations were for removing pubic hair, the most common reasons were, “It looks better in a bathing suit”; “It makes me feel attractive”; “I feel more feminine and more comfortable”; and “I think it’s cleaner.” Other common though slightly less popular answers included, “partner likes it”; “men prefer it”; and other reasons related to sex.

Reading these reasons cited for hair removal sparked a desire to learn more. Is pubic hair removal merely a Western generated phenomenon? Is hair removal filled with rich insight or is it merely a current stubbly blip in the historical lens of personal care?

Read the full story on Role Reboot

Meet The Inspiring Positive Body Image Blogger, Leyah Shanks

Why should someone be worried about losing his or her hair when fighting cancer? Leyah Shanks certainly believes no one should feel less attractive bald, and as a woman who leads by example, she has undergone the razor.

Photo by Carolyn Henry Photography

Photo by Carolyn Henry Photography

 The 22 year-old Scottish native, blogger, and founder of The Body Confidence Revolution is an advocate for positive body image. Her experiences of being bullied from a young age made her acutely aware of the unattainable standards and intense pressures herself and other girls place on themselves. It is those experiences that have forged her into the confident woman she is today. Fortunately, instead of succumbing to the pressure and feeling the need to change her body, she channeled her energy into learning the ins and outs of the media industry to learn about body image prejudice. Over the years she has earned faithful followers who help her promote positive body image on her crowd sourced Tumblr. 

Now, after a family cancer scare in 2014, she has turned her attention to cancer and hair. Earlier this year, Shanks promised she would shave her head if she could raise £500 for Cancer Research UK (approximately $932 Canadian). In an interview with More to Her she said,

Fortunately for us, our incident was nothing more than a scare. After what felt like decades of sheer hell, we were given the all clear and the feeling of abyss faded away. Other people are not so lucky. I couldn’t help but think of everyone who has ever been in the awful position of being diagnosed with cancer and feeling compelled to take back control of their own body [to] shave their head before the chemotherapy made their hair fall out.”

Well true to her word, she raised the money and underwent the razor. Aside from feeling accomplished for raising money to help defeat a terrible disease we wondered how it felt being bald and expected nothing less from her answer:

It was the most liberating thing I have ever experienced. I felt extremely humbled by the amount of money I had helped to raise for such a worthy cause and empowered to be hopefully showing people that being a woman doesn’t mean conforming to ideals of beauty that none of us asked for.”

Photo by Carolyn Henry Photography 

Photo by Carolyn Henry Photography 

Clearly, Shanks is a strong woman. We then wondered how she defined an empowered woman?

 “A woman who is unapologetically herself, who understands that individuality is [not] bad thing and appreciates the same in other women. Someone who doesn't bring others down but seeks to inspire others even if they differ greatly from herself."

And her advice to her former 12 year old self in developing a positive body image?  

“Don't look to magazines or music videos for solace. Your body is not something to be ashamed of but something to celebrated. Understand that life is a journey and that your body will change many times throughout the ride.”

Well Leyah Shanks, you have won us over and love the powerful example you are setting for others. You are a woman of your word and a force to be reckoned with. 

Do HIGH END sex workers have empowering professions?

Investigating the increasingly hot topic of whether or not high-end sex work is an empowering choice for women has left me feeling rather unsettled. Not only are various individuals attempting to legitimize this profession of servility but they are even trying to argue that it is an enriching experience.

Photo credit: Role Reboot

Photo credit: Role Reboot

 

Perhaps high-end escort owner Kristen DiAngelo’s documentary American Courtesans started the trend. Then there was Gwenyth Montenegro’s article in the DailyMail, which was followed by BMagazine’s pro-escort story told by a high-end escort named Jessica. There was also the former Manhattan Madam, Kristen Davis (read her articles herehere,and here).

Now, I realize that only a small percentage of women actually believe that sex work is empowering. Therefore, I am only speaking to a small percentage of our society and those who might be swayed by it because it is this minority that is shouting loudest.

So here is my voice, and please hear me loud and clear. First, by saying that sex work is healthy and empowering diminishes the majority of sex workers’ voices for whom it is not empowering in any way. So what if a couple women in New York and L.A. feel empowered, what about the millions around the world who don’t?

Read the full article right HERE published on Role Reboot