I go to Rio

We need to talk about Brazilians and I don’t mean the 192 million people that inhabit the fifth largest country in the world.  I’m talking carpet, bush, pubes and muff.

Despite gaining traction in 2001, the removal of one’s pubic hair can be traced all the way back to ancient times with pruned pubes regularly depicted in artwork.  Initially considered a little controversial it’s now about as normal as plucking one’s eyebrows thanks to the rise in accessible pornography and endorsements via Sex & the City and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Despite claims that a Brazilian wax results in increased sexual benefits there is no scientific evidence to support this and some research suggests the Brazilian, landing strip, Hollywood, XXX or whatever your word of choice is fast becoming the norm due to increased cultural pressures.

I’ve made the pilgrimage to Brazil in preceding years – the journey itself is not particularly pleasant and I would suggest that one purchases a first-class ticket – but the dilemma I now face is my influence as a parent.

The problem with having children is that they are generally an incredibly inquisitive sort.  Any kind of bathroom ritual is usually done with an audience.  They are in the nail polish drawer, they are pulling out makeup remover wipes, they are attempting to brush their hair with toothbrushes and this is all before I’ve stepped foot out of the shower.

Sure my daughter may only be 16 months of age but will the choices I make now somehow contribute to the societal pressures she faces later on?  And how do I explain to a 22 year old wax-happy beautician that I don’t want to look like a pole-dancer named Destiny (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?

It’s not only women under pressure.  An Australian study in 2008 showed that 66% of heterosexual men had removed hair to varying degrees.  I’ve heard women speak in scorned tones about a man’s failure to trim his hedges.  How the modern man navigates the terrain between man-scaping and holding open a car door I don’t know.

If fashion is cyclical then perhaps the abundant hairstyles made famous by 1970’s porn flicks will have a revival by the time my children hit puberty.  Maybe I don’t have a guiding hand at all.  Maybe I’m over-thinking the whole thing.  Please tell me I’m not alone with this one?

Have you reconsidered your “hairstyle” since children came along?



  1. Mumabulous says

    What a hair raising article! (Sorry). I which society would collectively get over its current hair o phobia. Depilation is such a tedious business. Yet I’m going to suck it up and get the lawn tidied up for summer.
    Love Mumabulous

  2. Deb_BrightandPrecious says

    LOL Carli, you’re cracking me up again. On a serious note, I think there is a societal pressure. I have a theory (could be wrong) that the pressure started with men expecting it, and now – like all men-driven expectations of how women should look – it has become a thing women passively pressure each other about through fashion/celeb/gossip talk etc.. A bit like the weight issue. But the bit that i find most disturbing is why men like it so much. Because when you think about it it makes women look like pre-pubescent girls. Why is the pre-pubescent look is more sexually appealing to them than a grown up woman look? (Join dots if you will). Grown women who naturally grow hair there. And it’s there for all sorts of reasons. I keep it there simply because I try to embrace who I naturally am and the truth about being a grown up woman. It’s my stand as a feminist. Anyway.. off soapbox now. :)

    • says

      I know plenty of women enjoy it but I do wonder to what degree that has been influenced by societal pressures – whether conscious or not. The thing I find disturbing is the trend seems to have started to appeal to young girls – I don’t want my children to have these hang ups at 13!

  3. Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo says

    While I do a bit of tidying up, I have never gone the whole way. As far as I am concerned if my man wants me hair free then he is not wanting a woman…

  4. Gin says

    Don’t only be concerned about your daughter – think about your son too! As the mother of 3 sons I do not want my boys to be surprised when they see a natural pubic area for the first time on a partner (because they are not going to be seeing it hairy in porn). I want them to know what is normal on grown women. I want them to accept their future sexual partners lovingly whatever they choose to groom.

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