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.
Irim Siddiqui, 30, Toronto
Siddiqui’s family wasn’t super open about pubic hair growing up, but her mother did steer her towards trimming with a pair of scissors. “It wasn’t until university that I tried shaving and waxing—and [began feeling] quite self-conscious about having any pubic hair at all.” Now, after years of grooming on the regular, she sways between a more relaxed trim-and-shave schedule that depends on whatever she is feeling in that moment. And her friend group sees pubes in a similar way. “I talk a lot with my friends, male and female, about pubic hair. The consensus is overwhelmingly BUSH!”