For the past year my life has been consumed by pubic hair. It all started when I read an article in the New York Times, “Off to Camp, but First…a Wax?” Based on the headline I assumed the article would talk about the strange rituals of waxing, and that perhaps it’s a shame that girls are taught at such a young age that body hair is unsightly and wrong. I found the story much more depressing than I anticipated as it revealed that our rituals and expectations of beauty can derive from something as playful as summer camp.
“A precamp visit to the salon can seem like a new feminine rite of passage.” I learned. I also learned that “about 40 percent of hair-removal services [at J. Sisters salon] in late May and the first few weeks of June are for clients younger than 16.” Disheartening facts that made me thankful I stopped going to Camp Ramah at age eleven.
With this in mind, I thought it would be enlightening to make a documentary about the subject of women’s pubic hair, so I set out to do just that. The Untitled Pubic Hair Project [This link will take you to the film’s Tumblr, which is NSFW] uncovers the history of women’s pubes and the reasons various grooming trends have heightened over time. Through working on the doc I’ve met women with various grooming styles and strong opinions on maintaining a vulva. I’ve conversed with women like pornographic actress Nina Hartley, sexologist Carol Queen, Brazilian esthetician Jonice Padilha, merkin designers, erotic writers, gynecologists, and pubic hair scholars.
So naturally I also have a playlist of songs that either praise or criticize pubic hair. You can play these tunes at your next dinner party. It will be fun!
Also if you have suggestions for what this doc should be titled, I’m all ears. I’ve been considering Pretty in Pubes, Full Metal Bush, When Harry Met Shaving, and Pubes: A Love Story.
T.I.— “No Mediocre”
“I never f*ck a b*tch if she don’t do her hair/No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there/Girl I should see nothing but p*ssy when I look down there.”
According to T.I. you’re a mediocre b*tch if you have pubic hair. He also rhymes “there” with “there” and that must irk some people. Perhaps it’s the steel drum and Iggy Azalea rap that enchants the ears.
Amanda Palmer— “Map of Tasmania”
“Soft and sweet and shape like a triangle/Some girls want no shape and they shave it all/That’s so whack, it hurts with the stubble/Walking ’round and look like an eight-year-old/I say grow that sh*t like a jungle/Give ’em something strong to hold onto/Let it fly in the open wind/If it get too bushy you can trim.”
Amanda Palmer praises pubes saying she prefers a jungle of hair when she shows off her “Map of Tasmania.” She does mention that some maintenance may be required for those who feel extra bushy and want to clip some strays. The music video is also inspiring for those considering merkins.
Dead Kennedys— “Stars and Stripes of Corruption”
“Like a great eternal Klansman/With his two flashing red eyes/Turn around he’s always watching/The Washington monument pricks the sky/With flags like pubic hair ringed ’round the bottom.”
The Dead Kennedys don’t have time to care about anyone’s pubes because they are busy defacing monuments via urination. However, they can’t help but see pubes and phallic imagery whilst doing so. In “Stars and Stripes of Corruption” they make a beautiful analogy of how the flags at the bottom of the Washington Monument curl and twist in a pubic hair fashion. A thought for all tourists of the DC Metropolitan area to consider.
Lady Gaga— “Pokerface”
“I won’t tell you that I love you/Kiss or hug you/Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin/I’m not lying I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning.”
Lady Gaga clearly does not have pubes, but it should be noted that both a hairless and hairy muffin can bluff.
Big Punisher— “Still Not a Player”
“I Could go downstairs/little brown hairs everywhere/’You nasty Twin!’, I don’t care.”
Pig Punisher just doesn’t care and he has yet to encounter a fire crotch.
The Wild Knight— “Beaver Patrol”
“My favorite way of getting kicks/ I go down town, I hustle chicks/ Beaver Patrol! (Beaver Patrol!)/ One good thing that’s on my side/ It’s a big bad car, it’s out of sight/ Beaver Patrol!”
Garage band The Wild Knight released this song in the 1960s, so it’s fair to assume that the beavers they are referring to have hair.
Mr. Muthaf**kin eXquire— “Good Pu**sy in Chicago”
“So we got some piff to smoke/And we got some liquor, yo/Gift it like it’s Christmas and my/pubic hair is mistletoe”
Mr. Muthaf**kin eXquire doesn’t make any mention to his preference on women’s hair maintenance. But he loves talking about his own pubes and wants you to associate them with the merriest day of the year.
Eminem/Obie Trice— “Drips”
“She foaming at the lips, the ones between the hips/Pubic hair’s looking like some sour cream dip.”
Overall Eminem and Obie Trice are incredibly rude and misogynistic throughout this song and quite possibly their entire oeuvre. But hey, they’re not outright insulting a woman’s pubes, rather acknowledging that they exist and look like they are covered in everyone’s favorite baked-potato topping during moments of arousal.
Gravy Train!!!!— “Jonny Makeup”
“I’m really really goin’ through it/so when are we gonna do it/I grew out all my pubes trying to look like a dude/in hopes that you’d someday screw it.”
Pubic hair is seen as a masculine feature in Gravy Train’s song about socialite musician Jonny Makeup.
Juicy J— “Bandz a Make Her Dance”
“You say no to ratchet p*ssy, juicy j can’t.”
While it is unclear how Juicy J defines a “ratchet” p*ssy, he just can’t say no. And while hair has nothing to do with the cleanliness of one’s vagina, it is safe to assume that Juicy J is into both hairless and hairy varieties—as long as it’s there and he’s at a strip club, he wants it all.
2 Live Crew— “Strip Club”
“She laid on the table, then opened her thighs/No hairs on the p*ssy, which made my dick rise”
They don’t outright criticize a woman with hair, but the 2 Live Crew do emphasize that they are easily turned on by the hairless types.
The Black Crowes— Amorica
While the Black Crowes don’t sing about pubic hair, I’d be remiss not to mention them for their album cover art. Their 1994 Amorica famously appropriated an image from a 1970s Hustler spread, where a few pubes peaked out from a woman’s American flag bikini bottom. The few straggles of hair caused the cover to be censored. So there you have it, pubes are not only regarded as dirty, but obscene.