In a study , researchers found that more than 80 percent of women in the U. Ironically, now I feel more womanly and free than I ever did while I was shaving. Why was I even removing it? Some groomed for sex, some for vacation, and others before a healthcare visit. There are plenty of good reasons to keep your pubic hair intact. It protects your vagina from dirt and bacteria. It was just me who had, and upheld, this expectation.
So one day I stopped. I understood then how the simple act of shaving my bikini line had turned being naked into something performative, something wholly for another person and not myself. None of these women, myself included, were tweezing, waxing, shaving, or going through other painful beauty rituals because they thought it would make their lives easier or make sex less painful. And I am fully grown. We broke up a few months later. Some groomed for sex, some for vacation, and others before a healthcare visit. Soon after, I was shaving every other day from armpit to ankle, walking out of the shower like a glossy seal just emerging from the ocean. It had never occurred to me that I was supposed to groom my pubic hair until fooling around in the back of a Ford Focus with a particularly unwoke boyfriend at age Once I was made aware that my hair was unsightly, I never wanted anyone to see it even accidentally again. In my conservative small town, I had just one sexually active friend, who didn't get into the topic as she recounted her lurid hookup stories before choir practice. But then there would be a trip to California or a date with a hot barista that would prompt a clean up. I thought back to fourth grade, when my principal handed us those pamphlets going over all of the gory details about puberty. It was just me who had, and upheld, this expectation. Was everyone in the world shaving their pubic hair except for me? There are plenty of good reasons to keep your pubic hair intact. This was, of course, as ridiculous as it sounds. Things started heating up, and it was hard to miss his not-so-subtle grimace when he was surprisingly greeted by Bob Ross when he was expecting Pamela Anderson. But it did the trick: The thought had never occurred to me that a partner of mine should groom himself. My mother, who carefully instructed me on the art of shaving my legs, never explicitly told me it was something I needed to do elsewhere. No one ever inspected me or gave me a dirty look if they happened to catch a glimpse of hair, like I was a participant in some archaic beauty pageant. Recently, I went on a trip to Mexico with my husband and his family—my first beach trip since ditching the razor. My husband and I moved into a mid-century ranch house about nine months ago, and every time I would shave, it would stop up the drain and leave a long trail of hairs behind. Get the best fashion, beauty, celebrity exclusives and shopping advice straight to your inbox. Ironically, now I feel more womanly and free than I ever did while I was shaving. Why was I even removing it?
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