Believe me, I?ve tried
Photo by: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock
Sometimes, it feels like there?s no end to the list of things that make me feel like I?m failing as a woman. The latest one is trying to grow my pubic hair.
No matter how long I go without shaving, my pubic hair ends up looking more like patchy teenage scruff than it does a full-bodied bush.
I want to rock it like a 70s porn star. Instead, I look like I was way too timid with the wax.
I Never Let My Pubic Hair Grow
I?ve had a bad relationship with my pubic hair from the moment it started growing. As soon as it started growing and becoming noticeable, I grabbed the razor.
I can?t remember the first time I shaved, but I do have a vivid recollection of the standing in front of my bedroom mirror admiring the results and enjoying how smooth it felt.
I?m not entirely sure why I never allowed my pubic hair to grow, even when I first hit puberty, but there are a few factors that definitely played a role.
For some reason, I always had this idea that there was something dirty about pubic hair. Growing it made me feel kind of gross, so I took care of it early and regularly.
I also felt shame at my body hair more generally. When I was 11 years old, my crush made fun of me for having hair on my legs. I was mortified. From then on, I vowed to stay smooth.
And of course, I just so happened to come of age with porn in the era where a bald pussy wasn?t just common, it was the only thing you ever saw on screen.
Once in a while, you might witness a thin, discreet landing strip. But unless you had a thing for vintage porn or went through the trouble of finding obscure magazines that catered specifically to a fetish for hairy women, porn was a bush-free zone.
The message was clear: some women might decide to let their pubic hair grow, but hot, sexy, fuckable women didn?t. And even though I didn?t often think of myself as fitting into that latter category, I sure as hell wanted to.
At 16, I let a guy down my pants. When my boyfriend slipped his fingers into my panties and felt how smooth I was, he was shocked and expressed his appreciation for the way I kept myself bare down there. That sealed the deal for me. His reaction convinced me that guys care about this a lot, so I decided never to fool around with anyone unless I had shaved recently.
Trying Out the Natural Look
I shaved religiously as a teen and I kept it up for years into adulthood.
Recently, though, I started getting curious about growing it out.
For one thing, porn took a hard left in terms of pubic hair. Shaving everything off was no longer a given but just another option. More modest trims became popular, and especially since I started watching more amateur porn, I saw the full bush making a small comeback.
Women displaying their natural look without any shame whatsoever seemed so empowering, and I wanted in.
But mostly, I wanted out ? out of the discomfort that came with shaving. I have been ?blessed? with very sensitive skin. So, shaving everything off usually leaves me with razor bumps and uncomfortable razor burn. And I?ve just been getting sick of it. Even if I didn?t like the hairy look, I was willing to give it a try just to give my skin a break.
But I couldn?t say for sure that I ever even disliked the hairy look because I never actually tried it. So, I decided to grow out my pubic hair for the first time in my life.
I had visions of a powerful womanly look.
It didn?t exactly turn out that way.
I gave it time. I left it alone for as long as I could. But instead of a glorious mound of hair, I only managed to grow something thin. And not thin in a cute way, but patchy and scraggly.
It wouldn?t even be right to call what I grew a bush. Even the word ?fuzz? seems generous.
In my early 30s I learned, for the first time, that I simply can?t grow a bush. So, disappointed, I grabbed the razor again. Better bare than what I had going on.
There?s More to Being a Woman Than Pubes
One of the reasons I feel so disappointed at my failed attempt to grow a bush is that there is often some pro-pube rhetoric that frames it in terms of womanhood.
Basically, you can either shave your pubic hair and look like a ?little girl,? or you can embrace your bush and look like a ?real woman.?
I?m sympathetic to that way of thinking, especially when there are so many women who feel that shaving is what they?re expected to do, not what they want to do. But not everyone who?s doing it is on a quest to look like ?an 11-year-old pre-pubescent girl.?
First of all, some women just think they look better that way. And if there?s nothing wrong with women getting piercings or tattoos because they think it looks sexy, then there?s no reason to judge women who shaves for the same reason.
But then there are those of us who just can?t grow a full bush no matter what.
Anonymous post on /r/AskWomen
When I was younger, I felt ashamed at having pubic hair so I shaved it. Now, the pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction and I?m starting to feel embarrassed that I can?t grow enough of it.
Sometimes I feel like I just can?t get this womanhood thing right.
So now, I?m stuck between two ideals I can?t meet. If I let it grow out, I never achieve a sexy, full bush or even a cute landing strip. If I shave, it?s razor burn city and I?m left bumpy and red.
But I?m try to remind myself that there?s really no wrong way to do pubic hair. You just have to rock what you got and shave what you want. And even though I?m still not fully comfortable with my options, I know that as long as I?m doing it for myself, I?m doing it right.
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