movies

Wait... was that a full bush in Fifty Shades of Grey?

Image: Universal Pictures 

If you didn’t get to the cinema to see Fifty Shades of Grey last week, crushing early reviews from Lisa Wilkinson and Mamamia’s Rosie Waterland have probably turned you off ever wasting your time.

But those other writers who have seen it, and who are quite possibly looking for something, ANYTHING, positive to come out of the 125 minutes they’ll never have back, are all talking about Anastasia Steele’s pubic hair. Namely, her unwaxed and unshaved full bush.

“Against a backdrop of sleep-inducing BDSM and laughable emotional development, those pubes were the real stars of the movie. More importantly, the presence of female body hair in a film so mainstream, so hyped, marked yet another milestone in the ongoing pubic renaissance,” writes Isha Aran on website Fusion. “For now, it appears Fifty Shades is something of a (happy) trailblazer and could potentially mark a turning point for body hair in movies.”

Samantha Escobar echoes this sentiment on The Gloss: “There are multiple flashes of Anastasia’s pubic hair during the film… it at least means that pubic hair is finally becoming mainstream again.”

Related: DIY torture: the day I waxed myself

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen full bush on screen (foreign films, anyone?), but in such a commercial release it’s been touted as a revelation, a movement of sorts. If a blockbuster that’s already made US$9.6 million in its opening weekend shows a female actor with an untended lady garden, then this should mean something, right?

Wrong.

In a recent interview with HuffPost Live, Fifty Shades director Sam Taylor-Wood is questioned about her decision to show Anastasia Steele’s (played by Dakota Johnson) character with a full bush. Which incidentally isn’t her real pubic hair, it’s a merkin (a glued-on wig).

Related: “I let my husband wax my vagina when I was pregnant.”

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“There’s pubic hair! She actually has a bush, which is fantastic!” exclaims the overly-excited interviewer.

Taylor-Wood responds, “It was a conscious choice. Dakota and I had a very funny discussion about the arc and journey of her pubic hair… that she should start one way, and she goes on this journey with it, and in line with how it’s written in the book is the journey of that.”

Ah, so it’s how it’s written in the book. Then basically we're applauding Hollywood for not changing a pivotal part of the plot because in general female pubic hair is considered to be awful? That thought is even more depressing than the movie itself.

It makes sense that the character, a sexually inexperienced young woman, wouldn’t be regularly getting Brazilian waxes. And as anyone who’s read the book knows, (SPOILER ALERT HERE) Christian Grey shaves Ana’s pubic hair in book three of the trilogy.

So by the third instalment of the movie, her pubic hair ‘journey’ will be complete, and she will appear on screen pube-less. Even if it is a few years before we get to the third sequel, if by definition we’re saying that this overly-hyped and commercialised movie showing untamed wild public hair is a win for women who prefer to not shave their pubes, won’t showing it shaved in a few years time put us right back to where we are now?

Not having seen the three seconds of screen time the merkin gets myself, perhaps I’m missing something here. I’m not sure, but I’m definitely not willing to spend $20 and two hours of my time finding out.

My advice is don’t waste your time with the movie. And don’t waste your time worrying about your pubes. If you want to shave them do it, if you don’t, then don’t. If your partner is pressuring you to, then ask them to book in for a Brazilian first – they’ll soon change their mind.

Here are some other famous pubic hair moments in pop culture history:

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