Female body hair trends always seem to be changing. Recently women have been taking to Instagram to show off their dyed armpit hair, but before that there have been a whole lot of different messages telling women how to deal with their pubic hair.
I once saw a manager at my local Wilko's store who had actual bonsai trees under her arms. I was stunned, but years ago that would have been the norm for many ladies.
Throughout history there have been a few key instances that changed the way pubic hair was viewed and dealt with. From hair-loving Queens to technological advances, pubic hair is and was a big deal.
Someone back in ancient Egypt accidentally spilled honey on themselves and discovered "sugaring"
In a culture that were fanatical about staying cool, hair removal was a big thing for the Egyptians. A sticky paste would be applied to the skin, then a cloth would be pressed onto the paste and stripped off, removing hair. Much like the waxing we do today, experts say the sugar-based paste only stuck to the hairs, which made the whole process much less harrowing.
Ancient Rome - Tweezers were all the rage
"The process of female pubic hair removal was also popular in ancient Rome, but their techniques were slightly different. Like the Greeks, they did employ plucking, with special tweezers called vosella," Desmond Morris writes in his book, The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body. "
1450s - Some bright spark invented the merkin
The original pubic wig dates back to 1450, which is actually frightening. Apparently ladies shaved off their 'lady garden' in a bit to combat lice and to keep clean. They would then don said merkin, in a bid to avoid offending anyone with their shaven look. Pubic wigs did have a seedier side however; prostitutes would wear them to cover up signs of disease such a syphilis. Gross.
1547 - Catherine de Medici became the Queen of France
Apparently a woman who hated shaving, crazy Cat forbade her ladies in waiting from removing their pubic hair from 1547 to 1589. Those bushes must have been super impressive.
1915 - The safety razor is born
Now a household name, Gillette marketed the first razor at women back in the early 1900s, claiming that body hair was "unsightly" and "objectionable" and needed to be removed.
1946 - some bright spark (probably a man) cut a bathing suit in half
The bikini is born! Men everywhere were rejoicing in the streets, but women were now wondering what to do with their short and curly pubes. Thank God for the safety razor...
1967 - The summer of love
The hippy message of peace and love meant that women threw away their razors and embraced the au naturale lifestyle. Sexual liberation meant loud and proud lady gardens.
1996 - The Vagina Monologues changed the game yet again
There's a section in the play The Vagina Monologues about how going full-hairless was creepy and degrading — which was a pretty common thought at the time. As a result trimming became the norm, making sure there was a little something for people to look at.
2000 - Carrie Bradshaw got a Brazilian
In 1987, Jocely, Jonice, Janea, Joyce, Jussara, Juracy, and Judseia Padilha opened the appropriately named J. Sisters salon in Midtown Manhattan, where they began offering what they had dubbed the "Brazilian wax." However when one of the most iconic female TV characters of modern times went Brazilian, it became a national obsession.
Who knew that Carrie Bradshaw (who of course is a character in a TV show) could have such a profound effect on how women dealt with their pubic hair? I mean I loved Joey from Friends, but I wouldn't have copied him if he decided to dye his hair ginger. Either way, I hope you enjoyed our wander through the history of pubic hair. It was positively hair-raising at times wasn't it?