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Pubic Primping | Evolution of Personal Grooming for Women


When I was in high school and college, there was no big push to make your pubes pristine. When summer came, you tidied things up down there. Other than that? You pretty much went au naturale. 

Today? Not so much.

To make your “private area” acceptable for today’s society you have to wax, shave, put jewels on it and bleach your butt.

Who started all of this anyway?

When did women start over-caring for the hair down there?

History of Personal Grooming for Women

Au Naturale Pubic Area

In the 1970s (and before), many women let it all hang out. It wasn’t unusual to see a woman in a bathing suit with some bush peeking from behind the bottoms. It was, after all, the seventies…remember the Afro? (Duh.)

Trimming, Shaving and Waxing the Pubic Area

The women who didn’t want it all hanging out, trimmed, waxed  or shaved the “hair down there.” This was generally just around the edges so it was tidy when you wore a bathing suit or short shorts. No biggie.

And then…

A Completely Bare Pubic Area

Enter the late 80s and the explosion of the “Brazilian”–a procedure whereby wax is heated to 140° F  and poured onto a woman’s labia, peeling away the dried, hardened wax and the hair along with it (by its roots).

However, it was the eighties and people were skeptical. They thought having no hair “down there” was weird, and too little girl like. Until? Sex & The City.

Once Carrie and gals got Brazilians, the trend took off and became a big deal. Completely bare is still a hot item for many women–whether they shave it or wax it.

“Every woman should try a Brazilian wax once. The sex they have afterward will make them keep coming back,” Eva Longoria told Cosmopolitan Magazine in 2006.

ALSO ON PRIME PARENTS CLUB : Over 40 Women Splashing Hair with Hot Colors, and Other Tips for Awesome Hair at Our Age

Other ‘Private Part’ Trends

Pubic Shapes

It’s hard to say exactly when people started shaving shapes into their pubic hair, but there seems to be a consensus that it became popular in, of course, fashion.

“Tom Ford had Mario Testino photograph Carmen Kass for a Gucci campaign exposed and waxed into a ‘G’: fashion’s ultimate instrumentalization of pubic hair,” Jezebel reports.

Lighting bolt or initial, anyone?

Merkins–Wigs on Your Vagina

Once we waxed it all off, then we wanted it back. Enter the merkin–a tiny wig for your hoo-hoo. (Uh-huh, really.)

Word has it that after years and years of waxing it bare, it’s hard for some women to grow it back. So, when they want hair, they go merkin. And, you can get them in a variety of colors, textures and styles (like pink feathers!).

Some women think this is fun. I just think, “DUDE! Urine! Blood! Bodily fluids!” (I mean, have you ever seen wet feathers? EXACTLY.) I guess you could always go all “Bozo the Clown” for a good laugh.

Vajazzling the Pubic Area

Wow. As if the Bedazzler wasn’t enough for our clothing in the 80s, today we have come up with a way to bead up our va-jay-jay.

With vajazzling, you add jewels or beads (in shapes) to your pubic area to make it all pretty. Supposedly. (Think those little kid bead tattoos, except for your pubic area.)

A little trivia to impress your friends on game night: Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt first coined the term “vajazzling” according to

Anal Bleaching

So, just to get you up to speed: we’ve grown it out, trimmed it up, cut shapes into it, shaved it off, put a wig on it and jeweled it. Then, someone (probably a man) thought, “Hm. Exactly what else can we make women spend their time on in the grooming process? Oh yes, their a**holes.”

Anal bleaching–yes, having someone bleach the area around your butt hole–supposedly became well-known after (who else?) a porn star mentioned it on “Doctor 90210.”


A professional uses a cream to lighten around the anus and the inside of the butt cheeks to give the whole area a more even tone. (You can also do it yourself,but not sure I would recommend that.)

Where Are We Today?

Of course, not all women are doing the trendiest things.

“Brazilian waxing is largely practiced among the young, white, heterosexual Sex And The City and Gossip Girl demographics,” reports The Atlantic.

However, the post on suggests that pubic hair is back in again based on what we’re seeing with fashion ads depicting nude models with–gasp–hair down there.

Thank goodness, I say.

(Oh, by the way, in case you are wondering, according to surveys most twenty-something guys have never seen a woman with pubic hair and deem it “disgusting.” Yep, those are your sons out there, people.)

My Pubic Primping History

I’ve trimmed, I’ve shaved, I’ve gone completely bare and let it go to au naturale, and, you know what I think? I think I’m already exhausted enough. I can barely make time to get my hair cut on a regular basis (“regular” in this house meaning every six months when I can squeeze it in between running a business, a four year old, a Destructo Dog and a Ninja Cocaine Kitty). Now, I have to worry about my butt hole appearing clean and fresh enough?


Now, where is that bra I needed to burn?

What are your thoughts on pubic primping? What do you want to try, or which ones do you think are ridiculous?


Image: Korat

Along with being a contributor to, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate.


  1. Kirsi

    April 19, 2016 at 11:37 am

    “To make your “private area” acceptable for today’s society you have to wax, shave, put jewels on it and bleach your butt.”

    I don’t understand why nowadays the fashion says that you have to be a whore.

  2. Regan

    September 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Okay…too too funny, and also really needed tonight.. I think you need to go to The Naked Monkey & do an exposé…maybe even a giveaway. LMAO

  3. Robb J

    September 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Great story on one of my favorite topics to debate (..and yes, I am being serious!).
    During your research, did you find any info/support on the ‘straightened and frosted’ look? Just curious…

    • Prime Parents Club

      September 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      First of all OUCH, and secondly: are you asking “for a friend”?!? /jackie

      • Robb J

        September 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        Why yes, I am asking for a friend!

  4. Kimberly from The Beehive Blog

    September 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Seriously? if a man cannot handle the lady bits all natural then he should go find a Brazilian-Infatuated teeny bopper or a Porn star. Too much time, too much fuss and all created by MEN or bizarre Hollywood Starlets, I am sure. Frigging made me LAUGH tho – standing in the grocery store line, you can look and wonder – who is vajazzzzzzling? LOL

  5. Crystal

    September 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I just…I can’t even…there are no words. WIGS?

  6. Christin

    September 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Oh my gosh! I am reading this while waiting in line at the DMV! So I had to cove the subtitles AND I really had to stifle my giggles. Too funny!

  7. Margaret

    September 24, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I just got my hair (on my head…) cut Saturday. It was the first cut I’ve had in 13 months–Do you think I have time for this crap?

    I figure as long as I keep my legs shaved fairly regularly, you know–to preserve the line of demarcation, I’m good. I trim and clean things up in the summertime, but the rest of the year? Au Naturel, baby…

    • Prime Parents Club

      September 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      “line of demarcation” made me CACKLE! /jackie

  8. Wade

    September 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Wow! I had NO idea. I’ll just sit over here in the man cave and observe.

    • Prime Parents Club

      September 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      HAHA! That made me laugh RIGHT OUT LOUD, Wade!

    • Crystal

      September 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Is there room in the man cave? Because some of this stuff is freaking me right the heck out.

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