Well, apparently this is a real thing now… Middle school and high school girls are waxing or shaving everything off because of some asinine idea that any pubic hair whatsoever is unattractive. Different cultures – of which the USA is certainly not exempt– have always held their varied, inexplicable beauty ideals and put their own breed of pressure on young girls, but this idea that she *must* be 100-percent unnatural in order to be not only beautiful but normal?
It begs more than one question… not the least of which who is seeing it to offer their judgment anyway at such a young age?! Without getting too far into the issues of premature sex and how porn affects the ideals of developing girls and the expectations of developing boys, we did want to explore the topic… Why has all the hair disappeared down there? Why has THIS of all things, become the ideal?
This, more than the fact that the age women are getting botox seems to be earlier and earlier, or the fact that today’s role models include women who are anything but natural, or than any other issue of appearance, needs to be discussed. Because this is not even an issue of outward appearance. This isn’t an issue of kids picking on the girl wearing shorts who hasn’t started shaving her legs yet (another that shouldn’t be an issue, of course). This is a body part that is underneath layers of clothing as said girl walks the halls of her school.
That means that a few things are at play that aren’t are prevalent with other standards girls face today (and we all know the list is endless): Both guys and girls are seeing something they, at a young age already shouldn’t be exposed (ahem) to and projecting it onto their young peers – and judging them during these most intimate moments (whether a romantic exchange or just girls seeing their friends and casting judgments)… And further, they’re THEN going and talking about it. It’s spreading.
But this ideal has to come from somewhere. Kids make up a lot of stuff, but when it comes to insecurities especially in the way of the human body, they get it from somewhere. The fact that labiaplasty is on the rise (with 87% doing so for purely aesthetic purposes) because of this vaginal shame, shows that there IS some mystical (or not so mystical… Porn, plastic surgery obsessions, extreme editing of photos widely available on the internet…) force driving this perception of normalcy that’s decidedly abnormal.
Perhaps it is that culturally, we’ve wanted to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks who found pubic hair uncivilized, even though many European cultures didn’t mind leaving it in its natural state. Societies have also likely built off the Egyptians who used beeswax to remove leg hair. More likely… And much more America’s style… marketing got the best of us. Around the same time women’s clothes became more revealing, the first women’s razor came about, and with it a strategic marketing plan. How are you going to sell your women’s razors? By telling them they need to remove their hair, of course. Along with the flood of pro-hair-removal advertisements came more beauty ideals on the pages of popular magazines. Interestingly enough, China, a culture that never much cared for hair removal, is now being marketed to, and the Western influence is making shaving more of a thing. The thing we have to remember about this is the same thing we have to tell our daughters: These people are selling something. They are selling you an ideal so you’ll buy a product.
Outward appearance has always been open to the scrutiny of the public eye. But the truth is that many of the girls feeling this pressure to be bare aren’t exposing themselves to anyone, yet they still feel pressure to act this way. Think about it: in middle school, you haven’t seen what all the other girls look like. It’s an incredibly high pressure time that leads to far too many instances we’re eager to leave behind once we finally do get through it. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to look like, and you just hear from everyone else what you must do… Then you’re bound to take it as the final word.
In the end young women should do what makes THEM comfortable. If they find themselves doing something, they should ask: is this for me? Besides, when she’s old enough to consider sexual activity, *she* deserves to be with someone who finds the most attractive thing about her to be that she feels beautiful about herself. No one else has a right to determine what makes her feel beautiful, not ads, not TV, not other girls, and not any young man. The age-old rule still applies… if they don’t like you for who you are, they’re not your real friends (or lovers) anyway.
So we ask you – where do you think this came from? Why has all the hair down there disappeared in recent years?