June 23, 2011

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Thanks for my friend Lisa Cockburn for sending this great pubic-hair related piece of bathroom wall graffiti from a cafe in Edmonton:

If you’re having trouble reading it, I’ll sum up the fine print:

Tell Us Why You Are Beautiful:

-I smile from my heart

-I started feeling beautiful when I stopped comparing myself to other women

-I see beauty in everything around me…

also, my pubic hair is purple

(to which people have replied ‘That’s awesome!’ and ‘You win, that is fantastic!’)

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Well, unsurprisingly there’s been lots of buzz about “Julyna” these last few days. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? See my last blog post). Seems there is nothing the media likes more than an opportunity to talk about pubic-hair-shaving when it’s in a “awww…but it’s for a good cause!” context.

In fact, yours truly even got to discuss the issue with a reporter from The Globe and Mail, Canada’s ‘national’ newspaper (I’ll post the article when it is published).

I found out about “Julyna” when I got a flurry of emails and Facebook posts from friends who figured it was something I might be interested in (and indeed, I was!). That’s because when you study something like pubic hair, it’s easy to back yourself into a tidy (well-groomed?) little corner. Anytime anything vaguely related to the hair the grows in the nether regions of the adult human body comes up…I spring to mind.

Last night, for example, I got a great message from a friend (thanks, Pia!) drawing my attention to a new publicity stunt that Gillette is trying out in Germany.

(Ah yes, another day, another marketing campaign…)

According to Bella Sugar, Gillette’s marketing people in Germany have apparently left thousands of beach towels lying around on the grass in public places in that country. The towels feature silhouettes of distinctly male and female figures in striking hues.

What’s odd is the cut-outs.

The areas on the otherwise silhouetted bodies that would normally bear hair (on the female body: armpits and pubic area / on the male: armpits, chest and pubic area) have been cut out, allowing the grass to push through in fresh, green defiance.

The towels also features the logos for Venus and Fusion, gender-specific brands of shaving gel/cream.

From what I understand, the sight of all that grass rearing its unkempt head through the strategically placed holes is presumably supposed to compel you into self-grooming action. After all, you don’t want to risk looking like you’ve got…uh…GRASS growing on your body.. uh… right?

It’s a truly bizarre campaign being foisted upon a country that’s generally been kinda cool about women flashing the odd au-natural armpit.

More than a few people have noted the absence of grass-leg hair on the towel-woman’s body (though one supposes it was easier to be selective and create three holes, rather than cutting away the entire silhouette in a statement of you-know-this-is-all-supposed-to-be-hair-free-right?).

As Bella Sugar’s Associate Editor, Miriam Lacey, put it, “I mean, the fluffy grass looks so nice and fresh that it almost makes me want to stop shaving…”

(And if anyone in Germany is reading this, please let us know how the campaign is going! Have you seen any towels? What’s the response been? Are people, inspired by these towels, furiously mowing their ‘lawns’? Send word…)


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