Maiden hair—yes, it’s a moss but it’s also pubes. And, fun fact, the moss was actually named after pubes (you learn something new every day). Now how would you feel if someone named you after pubes? I can’t imagine it would service your self-esteem but I digress—let’s talk about the curly black stuff (or the blonde stuff or the red stuff. I’ve never seen the colourful stuff myself but I’ve heard some people have it).
I have a lovely specimen of the stuff myself—like a carefully manicured lawn I like to keep it lush but short and clipped, neatly trimmed so that none spills over the edges. Sideburns are for the face and even then you’d have to convince me of their value.
I have only ever waxed all my pubes off once—and by all, I mean all. It didn’t hurt aside from the occasional tickle when the beautician would accidentally scratch me with one of her unrealistically long, exquisitely coloured talons. One of my pet peeves is women complaining about the ‘pain’ of waxing. Get a grip, babe—no one’s pulling teeth and odds are one day you’re going to be pushing a watermelon with arms and legs out of that little hole so chin up, ripping a few little hairs out is the least of your worries.
So I was convinced into this ludicrous situation by a friend who swore to me it was the best thing I’d ever do, and I went in tentatively, already laden with doubts. Add to that the compromising and utterly revealing positions the beautician coerced me into (I don’t even think my gynecologist has had the privilege of such spectacular views) and I was heavy with a sense of dark foreboding.
It wasn’t until the beautician flipped me finally onto my back and snapped the elastic of her plastic gloves, beaming, that the import of that foreboding became clear. I looked down at the now bare space between my legs and my heart skipped a beat. I looked like a freak.
“What do you think, honey,” the girl asked as she wet a cotton wool pad with a lotion that smelled overpoweringly of tea tree oil.
“It’s…” I was speechless. “Nice?” I fought back tears as she rubbed the lotion on my raw skin. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much my vagina now looked like a foetus. It was not pretty.
As I dressed, paid, and walked out to my car, I was in a daze—every motion felt blurrily surreal. There was an alien between my legs. I was Roswell. Reptilian and foreign, like the smooth, slimy head of a bald toad, the thing between my legs no longer felt like it was mine.
When I got home I stood in front of the mirror, naked, staring at the eunuch before me. God it looks like Marilyn Manson, I kept thinking, and the thought made me cry. I cried and cried and I called my stupid bitch of a friend who tricked me into thinking this would be a good idea.
“I look like a creep!” I sobbed into the receiver.
The voice on the other end laughed. “It’s OK,” she said, “you’re just emotional. Having all your pubes ripped out will do that to you.”
I hung up and turned back into the mirror, horrified at the re-emergence of my little ???????—my ‘little bird,’ the name my traditional Greek grandmothers used to refer to my little girl bits back when they looked like the unfeathered body of a hatchling. Gone were my woman parts, and in their place the 10-year-old girl landscape that I had romantic memories of from my pre-menstrual youth, but that now seemed so severe.
It was absurd. I felt sick. This pre-pubescent slot did not belong on my grown-up body. I immediately started to hate every man that wanted a pubeless woman. I branded them all as dirty pedophiles, and cried some more. I just wanted my maiden hair back.
Needless to say, since the trauma of having a bare vagina, I’ve become very attached to my pubes. I respect other women’s decisions to rip them all out—sexiness is subjective and one woman’s grotesque mound may be another woman’s slinky aphrodisiac. But personally, my pubic hair makes me feel like a woman, just the way my large hips and cellulite do. My pubes and I are a team, like Franklin & Bash, let us henceforth never be separated again.