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.
Melinda Maldonado, 34, Toronto
Maldonado used to shave when she was a student, since regular waxing can be pretty expensive at a spa. Her current solution? She does it herself. “I’m pretty good at it now, and I’m happiest with cleaning things up, but not everything,” she says, explaining she prefers a landing strip. Her current routine (she waxes about once a month), leaves her feeling fresh and ready for the pool—or a little action. But make no mistake, Maldonado’s grooming choices are about empowering herself. “The consensus [among my friends] is that we’re not doing it for our partners, like you have to clean it up to ‘deserve’ pleasure. As women in our 30s we’re doing it for ourselves because we feel best that way.”