Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that (impending faculty strike aside) the end of my Master’s degree is in sight. I’ve been writing this blog as part of my research project, along with a weightier paper that is sort of bogging me down these days.
As passionate as I feel about the issues I feel lurk around the edges of discussions about body hair (issues of gender performance, self-esteem, sexuality, societal expectations on young women, etc etc etc), there are days when I just can’t find the will to get focused. “PUBIC HAIR!” I sometimes think to myself, “AHRG!”.
But then I get emails like this. And it all feels like it’s been (and continues to be) time well-spent:
I just wanted to write you a quick email to thank you for writing your blog. I am a young woman going into my third year of university (also at Queen’s!) and pubic hair maintenance/removal is not something I’ve ever really seen or heard discussed before. I’m very glad I found the discussion on your blog. I know I’ve internalised a lot of messages from magazines, movies and books about female pubic hair as unattractive and gross, and these messages made me very confused and insecure because I started to wonder what everyone else was doing ‘down there’, and about what I should be doing as well (and also, what guys expected). Your blog helped me to realize, though, that I’m not the only one feeling that stress/pressure, and also that the pressure to wax it all off is perverse, and unnatural, and very problematic. Thank you for that! Also, your blog helped me to bring up the topic of Brazilian waxes when my Mom and sister and I were on a road trip earlier in the summer! It was the first time I’ve ever discussed pubic hair with anyone, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to bring it up if I hadn’t had your blog to reference. So thanks for that too! (PS, my mom was completely shocked about the popularity of Brazilian waxes and also that some guys refuse to have sex with women who have pubic hair).
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing and for reminding me that it’s worth the effort. This is why we need to keep talking, writing, sharing. There’s still lots of work to be done!