Hot wax, tweezers, excruciating pain and that’s all before the expense and insidious itch of regrowth. What is it about Brazilian waxes and why are we doing it to ourselves?
The issue moved out of the beauty salons and into the streets earlier this moth when the first ever ‘Muff March’ was held in central London.
With slogans including ‘Keep your mitts off our muffs!’ and ‘You’ve put my chuff in a huff!’ the group matched down Harley Street, the go-to street for cosmetic surgery in London. The Muff March included an appearance by the Muffia, sporting nude bodysuits with a bountiful display of lustrous pubic hair.
Organised by the group UK Feminista, the Muff March protested what they see as the pornography influenced obsession with removing pubic hair, and its association with a surge in the number of cosmetic vaginal surgeries taking place.
A report in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed that in 2008 the number of cosmetic vaginal procedures increased by 70% compared with the previous year: 1,118 labiaplasty operations (trimming or removing the labia) on the NHS. The private Harley Medical Group reported over 5,000 inquiries about cosmetic gynecology last year, 65% of which were for labial reduction, the rest for tightening and reshaping.
This move towards designer vaginas is seen as a direct result of the Brazilian, which has led women -and men- to scrutinise the area with a metaphoric fine toothcomb.
The idea of waxing legs, underarms and upper lip, just to start the list, is pretty uncontroversial. So why have our vaginas become a political battlefield?
According to UK feminist and author Caitlin Moran, there is only one reason why women are getting their lady-bits stripped bare: Porn. Moran argues that what started out as a industry decision in the late 80’s to get rid of pubic hair to help with lighting and camera angles has become part of many women’s standard maintenance routine, as uncontroversial as a half head of foils or a pedicure.