What are your intimate grooming habits saying to your daughter about her changing body? Photo: Getty
Never before in history as the humble pube been less popular.
With grooming options ranging from ‘underwear escapee’ tidying to ‘bare as the day’ we must ask the question does complete eradication of it the second it casts a shadow in our knickers send a negative image to our pubescent children?
Mother of two, Cassie Saddington, has been receiving IPL laser removal on her pubic region for about the last five years. Her personal preference is the French style, aka Verticle Hitler, removing all but a small ‘landing strip’.
“My 10-year-old daughter asked me why I had nearly no pubic hair and I told her it was for two reasons. The first being no matter what I did I would get ingrown hairs quite badly. They were painful and red and would frequently get infected. I also told her it was like some people have long hair, short hair and dyed or not dyed. It's personal choice and no bigger deal than plucking your monobrow, another thing we have been blessed with.”
Intimate grooming is indeed a very personal choice, and like that hair-do you sported in high school, what suited you once may not suit you forever.
Mandy Dos Santos was once an avid fan of the Brazilian.
“I used to get them regularly as I thought that is what my husband expected - he’s Brazilian. Since my eldest has started to ask more about vaginas and genitalia in general in the last year, I haven't been getting as high or 'clean' waxing jobs. Not only because we are talking about nature and bodies more, but also because I don't want to look like a pre-pubescent girl. Seeing my daughters’ bits and seeing my own clean bits kind of freaks me out.”
After being in the waxing game for 20 years Jami Dunn is well acquainted with hairless bits and over time she’s seen a considerable change in crotch fluff fashion.
“Up until 2000 I had just pretty much done the standard bikini and g-string waxes. I had an almost 2 year break from beauty but when I went back in late 2003 I started to see a few clients booking in for Brazilian waxing and since then it has grown so much that I rarely do the standard bikini or g-string anymore, most women of all ages have it all off or some tend to leave the landing strip at the top of the fanwa. I have done a few hearts or triangles but the strip or bare is most popular.”
Although majority of Jami’s clientele are in their late 20’s and older there is definitely a trend for teens to remove all of their downstairs hair.
For 16-year-old Emma and her friends, pubic hair grooming is simply the ‘done thing’. Emma started when she was 14.
“I would say that the majority of my peers have the attitude to groom especially among females. I feel most males my age have the expectation for a female to be completely hairless however a large majority of my female peers also have the attitude that grooming/waxing/shaving is the more ‘acceptable’ thing to do.”
Is this because the traditional avenues for curious teens to seek their fill, such as skin magazines, porn or even racy, mainstream films, have nary a skerrick of hair?
Has the porn industry infiltrated mainstream psyche so deeply that pubic hair is now deemed unacceptable?
Kimberly O’Brien, principal child psychologist at the Quirky Kid Clinic certainly hopes not.
"Making a choice about managing body hair is another rite of passage for adolescents. Parents and professionals can help young people to be well-informed by researching the options, including the risks and pain associated with treatments. Peer pressure and the porn industry shouldn't be part of the equation".