#FemTrending: No, You Don't Have To Shave

#FemTrending is a blog series with a feminist kick that wades into the waters of things "trending" in popular culture and politics. Written by GS&NS Digital Content Coordinator, Hailie Johnson-Waskow.


WARNING: Unpopular opinion ahead

If you don’t want to shave, you really don’t have to. 

Let’s back up a minute. I recently watched this video (http://www.nylon.com/articles/just-the-tips-pubic-hair), PSA go watch it. Seriously. And it got me thinking about pubic hair. 

According to a study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine in January of 2015, 95% of college-aged individuals will remove their pubic hair at least once a month; indicating a culture that is increasingly obsessed about what women are doing with their bush. This is especially problematic when considering, according to a study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 60% of women develop at least one health problem as a result of removing their pubic hair. 

The pubic hair removal industry has ballooned over a short period of time; the average American woman will spend over $23,000 over her lifetime exclusively on waxing. While it is exclusively a woman’s choice to decide what she does with her pubic hair (or any hair for that matter), women have largely been socialized to believe that not shaving makes them unattractive.  As the video explains, men often give the stipulation “well as long as you shave” in exchange for sexual favors; this forces women to engage in sexual norms that are often unwanted and, in the worst cases, damaging to health. 

Thus, my unpopular opinion. Ladies, if you don’t want to shave, you really do not have to. And, if a man tells you that you have to, he’s not worth it. As the video explains “If you don’t like having hair, then you don’t have to have hair. If you don’t want to do anything to your pubic hair, then you don’t have to.” 

Hailie Johnson-Waskow