BY MIA FREEDMAN
If you’re not confused about pubic hair, you should be. Because it’s anarchy out there. As underpants all over Australia scramble to acclimatise to surprising new working conditions, it’s becoming very difficult to keep track of who’s doing what downstairs.
Over my summer holidays this year, I noticed a new phenomenon: groups of shirtless young guys strutting around town with their shorts pulled down low. So low it was obvious if you cared to look (and they seemed to really want you to) that they had no pubic hair. Yes, apparently pubeless adult men are a thing. Did you miss that group email too?
Perhaps men noticed that we were having such a hoot with our hot wax, sharp razors and expensive, painful lasers that they wanted in on the good times too.
Well, welcome to the party, brothers.
Not that manscaping is new. Some blokes have been doing mild pubic maintenance for years, just a bit of back-burning to keep things under control.
But the Bro-zilian? I had no idea that was going on. Or rather, coming off.
I have a few friends aged around 20 and this week I demanded they quiz their mates and give me a status report on male pubic hair (I’m feeling a Walkley and a job offer from Four Corners after this).
Here’s what I learned from a bunch of guys aged 19-25:
- “I personally trim up my general area. Not the full blown bald eagle, but ship shape easy breezy.”
- “I don’t wish to comment but I shave my legs, arms and chest so you can guess.”
- “Smooth as a billiard ball. Less friction when ummm swimming…”
- “Neat and tidy, nothing drastic.”
- “Once you start it gets addictive. If my head looked decent I’d probably shave that too.”
- “I don’t get blokes who shave their legs, underarms of forearms – they’re freaks. But I support blokes that shave the forest between their legs. Surely no girl wants to be confronted by a prickly porcupine? I do it out of respect to women. And I reckon it helps me pull a few.”
- “Everyone blames porn, but that’s bull. It’s been going on for decades.”
- “Of my fifteen close mates; half have nothing and the other half all say they have ‘manicured mountains.’ There isn’t a single bloke that’s all-natural.”
- “I’m not the biggest bloke down there, so I’m not ashamed to say I do it to try and earn me a few extra metres in the size department.”
- “When I asked my girlfriend to get a Brazilian, she made it pretty clear I would have to get the Bro-zilian in return. She told me it was for the same reason – the feel.”
- “My girlfriend explained it like this; no one wants to eat a stringy mandarin when all that white stuff gets stuck in your teeth. She said it takes the fun out of everything if you have to spend an hour at the end coughing up a hairball.”
- “I think hair use to be a representation of masculinity. The amount of hair on your chest displayed how much of a bloke you are. But times are changing… for the better.”
- “I’ll never shave it all off. I don’t want to look like a two-year-old. But I’ll often have an occasional hack at it with some scissors in the shower. You’ve just got be careful you don’t slip.”
- “Some of the scariest blokes, the ones you run away from on the footy field, have all admitted over a few beers that they’re regular manscapers. Admitting that you take part doesn’t mean you’re girl anymore, it’s just normal.”
Well, there’s a bit of info to digest over brunch. Whether it’s the infiltration of the porn aesthetic into mainstream underpants or a shift towards hair removal equality, the pubes they are a changin’.
But wait. Just when blokes appear to be embracing bikini-line maintenance, there’s been an unexpected pubic hair push back. From women! After decades of pain many are saying adios to the Brazilian and re-cultivating their formerly arid lady gardens.
Leading the charge back to the bush is columnist Caitlin Moran who rails against the way female pubic hair has become a pariah in the past 20 years, not to mention a financial burden, with the average Brazilian wax costing up to $80 a pop and regular laser treatments running into the thousands.
“I can’t believe we’ve got to a point where it’s basically costing us MONEY to have a fanny,” she writes. “They’re making us pay for maintenance and upkeep of our lulus, like they’re a communal garden. It’s a stealth tax. A fanny GST. This is money we should be spending on THE ELECTRICITY BILL and CHEESE.”
Not all of the women going free-range are politically motivated. Many are simply jack of the hassle. Others are diverting limited funds towards school fees or rent. And some are merely craving a new aesthetic in the same way flares begin to look appealing after years of skinny jeans.
Kind of makes you nostalgic for the simplicity of the 70s when everyone just looked like a yetti and got on with it.
So, pubic hair. Long, short or not at all?