To wax or not to wax

I am currently reading “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran, it’s very funny! Laugh-out-loud funny! She is a couple of years younger than me so I can totally relate to what she has written. I have recently finished reading chapter 2 ‘I Become Furry’ and it made me think of my Flirty Friend’s comment on how she in the last months of pregnancy probably wouldn’t bother with personal grooming in the nether regions, which sparked a further discussion on how most women seem to undertake a fair bit of grooming where I work prior childbirth which I have found rather peculiar. Maybe it is just part of their regular grooming in fact. I’m guessing this has to do with the modern times we are living in and the age group who gets pregnant. But doing some more research on this, it could be a combination of both modern times and muslim cultural practice. It is apparently common practice for both women and men in the muslim world to wax all over once they get married and where I work there is a high percentage of Muslims.

In America apparently nearly 60% of 18-24 year-old’s are sometimes or always completely bare and almost 50% of 25-29 year-old’s are too. In the UK the statistics in general are that women in the age group of 18-44 are more likely to remove their pubic hair completely than those over 45, as they think men prefer the manicured look. Speaking to a couple of girlfriends in the 25-29 age group, full grooming of the vulva had either been tried once, never to be done again or something done when with a regular partner.

Ms Moran writes about how the times have changed and how waxing only the bikini line in her teenage years was bizarre, marginal and for porn models only. My experience was different as my best friend was Turkish and sugaring is big Turkey, handed down in the generations like a family affair, the women folk getting together for a sugaring session, again Muslim culture. So I have often sugared/waxed my bikini line, legs and underarms since my teenage years. When moving to London there was no dificulty in finding salons to accommodate me on this because of the cultural mix in London. Fastforward 20 years and waxing more than your bikini line is now a routine part of many women and men’s personal grooming even in the Western world.

Ms Moran and others blame the porn industry, as it is now so assessible on the internet, for the trend of complete removal of pubic hair. The porn industry has adopted this kind of pubic hair removal for both men and women for better penetrative shots. Personally I find it’s a little creepy, like being pre-pubecent, surely our men want women and not young girls? Equally I want a man who looks like a man and not a pubecent boy! Some will argue that it sensual and hightens the sensation for sexual pleasure, sure I say to that, but for that we only need to shear away in the most intimite parts of our vulvas and does not include the anterior vulva, our visible triangle, which in my opinion seperates women from girls. I don’t know how this works for men?

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I wanted to look at this from a feminist standpoint but as men are also undertaking this practice it’s not a feminist issue at all, someone aptly put it down to freedom of choice versus group pressure to conform to uncomfortable standards. Erotic grooming trends have changed through the ages but dates as far back as 2000BC. So with this I want to say, groom however you want but be sure it is your choice rather than about conforming to some kind of sexual ideal that is not your own idea of sexiness. 

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6 Comments

Filed under childbirth, Midwifery, New, Single Woman, Women

6 responses to “To wax or not to wax

  1. Not a chance. I find the whole thing creepy and bizarre — not to mention painful. I’m 54 and Canadian, so it’s generational and possibly cultural. Take me as I am or not.

  2. I agree, I think the porn industry has too much influence – that and I have had 2 bad experiences, 1 I swear she nearly removed part of my labia and the second lady spent more time massaging my inner leg than waxing, painful and then weird – so I don’t do it anymore. I do have friends who normally don’t wax but will go get ‘tidy’ before birth, which I find even more strange – I just figure midwives and Dr’s have seen it all before so wouldn’t even care 🙂

    • As a midwife, and I’m sure my fellow colleagues would concur, I really don’t care about there being a bush there or not, all I care about is baby coming out safely and minimal tearing for the new mother!

      • Have to say, I Loved Caitlin Moran’s book, and gave it to my 17 year old niece, who devoured it and then lent it what is now a very tattered copy to every single girl in her class! I’m considering buying some complimentary copies for my local library. We’re not doing a great job of talking to girls about real life, real relationships, the media are putting over this airbrushed version of reality, which I vehemently object to, you can’t buy a single magazine that talks about any version of life I recognise. It’s all so one-dimensional.

        The hair issue is one of many issues about being genuinely female, in every possible sense, it seems that society now can only accept us in a watered-down, limited version of ourselves, which as a midwife, I totally reject.

        Am I ranting? I don’t know, but I think Caitlin kind of gave me permission!

      • Absolutely, ranting is permitted! Especially when making a valid point!

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