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.
Andrea Werhun, 27, Toronto
Werhun thanks her open upbringing for her relationship with her pubic hair. After seeing a few strays peeking out of her mother’s bathing suit at the beach when she was a child, a family friend commented, “the more pubes you have, the more friends you have.” “They were joking, but I took this adage as an indication that I shouldn’t be ashamed of the hair that was now growing naturally between my legs,” says Werhun, a former sex worker. “Thankfully, my mother ensured a wholly sex-positive upbringing in which I could ask her anything and expect a response full of honesty and humour.” After years of struggling with waxing and shaving, she recently opted for laser removal. “I’ve got no hair on my bikini line, lips or crack, but I do maintain an ample bush on my pubic mound. I got the life-changing treatment about two years ago and have never looked back.”