real life

"Do I tell an acquaintance about what's going on with her pubic hair? I'd want to know..."


I need some help with a dilemma.

I am a single mum who takes my kids to the local swimming pool.  Every time I go there there’s another mum – who I suspect is also single – who doesn’t seem to realise there is a LOT of lady hair poking out the back of her swimmers and down the back of her legs.

Should I tell her? I would want to know if that was the case. And if so, how do I tell her?


Pubic hair dilemmas are our favourite kind of dilemmas.

This question was submitted by a listener of our bi-weekly podcast Mamamia Out Loud, and for once we were in furious agreement.


This is for many reasons.

First, it is possible, if not likely, that the woman in question, let’s call her Ellen, knows her pubes are on show. What if she wants to let them out into the world? What if they wanted to meet you? See the sun? Feel the air on its shaft? Her pubes certainly aren’t hurting anyone.

… Unless they’re racist pubes. Are they racist pubes? Homophobic pubes? Predatory pubes?

And by telling her she has a pube situation, you’re essentially saying, ‘Excuse me, Ellen, yes hi, just wanted to let you know you’re upsetting everyone with your bum hair and you no longer have permission to be at the pool. Bye now!’ And we don’t want that for Ellen. Because we like Ellen.

Second, say she doesn’t know about her bum pubes. In that case, she will certainly get quite a shock when you tell her. She might feel embarrassed or ashamed, and it’s not like she can do anything about it at that very moment unless you hand her a razor out of your handbag and smile, supportively, while she performs a bum shave in a public toilet. Then, her butt hair will go all over the floor, which is a mess for the cleaners but also other patrons. Do you want to be walking around barefoot on bum hair? Do you?

Third, and most importantly, you know the saying: If a tree falls in a desert and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Yes, well, if a bum pube pokes out of one’s swimming costume, but one never knows that the bum pube pokes out, THEN DID A BUM PUBE EVER TRULY POKE OUT? (Yes). But that’s not the point. The point is… wouldn’t we all want to live a life without a conversation with an acquaintance about curly pubes growing down our legs?

“AH!” those in disagreement yell. “BUT isn’t it a sisterly act? To let a woman know? I’d hope someone would tell me if my bum pubes were out of control. I can’t see them for myself, unless I stand upside down in a full length mirror!”


And, indeed, they have a point.

We ought to tell someone if they have lettuce in their teeth, or toilet paper stuck to their shoe, or a period stain on the back of their white pants.

There’s a reasonable expectation that that person didn’t intentionally leave their house with half a metre of toilet paper covered in excrement trailing from their left foot. In such a case, two seconds of discomfort is worth saving them from later embarrassment.

But that’s where the 10 second rule comes in.

If the person you’re speaking to can fix whatever it is in less than 10 seconds (pen on their face, skirt tucked into their undies etc.) then let them know.

But if it takes longer, then leave. them. be.

And bum pubes falls into the second category.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments…

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