Last month, South Korean designer Kaimin sent models down the runway at New York Fashion Week decked out in futuristic metallic jackets and… merkins. Yes, merkins, a.k.a. pubic wigs. Some models walking the designer’s show skipped bottoms altogether in favour of big, bushy, well, bushes, while others donned nude underwear adorned with faux landing strips.
Of course, Kaimin’s show might be the most recent indicator of pubic hair’s trendy resurgence, but there have been other signs that bush is slowly but surely making a comeback. Last summer, Amber Rose posted a sexy shot of herself on Instagram with the hashtag to promote her annual Slut Walk. And remember back in 2013, when Gwyneth Paltrow told Ellen that she was rocking a in her nether regions? Women either applauded or were appalled—at the time, the Brazillian reigned supreme and wax bars seemed to be opening up on every corner. Nevertheless, it helped to open up a discussion on how we dress up (or down?) our lady bits.
But now that the trend is swinging the other way, are non-celeb women as interested in going au natch, or are we still hanging onto two decades of barely-there pubic hair, which the patrons of porn would still have us believe is the sexiest choice? And how does the F-word (feminism, duh—what did you think we meant?) play into it all?
We talked to 10 women from across Canada about exactly that. Here’s what they had to say.
Sarah Hanlon, 29, Hamilton, Ont.
“Pop culture shaped my view of most things, pubic hair included,” says Hanlon, an outspoken cannabis advocate and the winner of Big Brother Canada’s third season. “My love of everything from the ’70s, especially ’70s horror films, probably has to do with my view that a full bush is the one true pube-style to rule them all.” After shaving recently, Hanlon has vowed to never shave again (“full disclosure: I say this every time I shave”) because she’s prone to ingrown hairs. She admits that at the moment she prefers her “small, dense bush” and would probably just pepper in a Brazilian for special occasions. “I am constantly talking to my friends about how awful the whole process of pubic hair-care is, and the only consensus that we have ever reached is that is all sucks.”