Amy Poehler will be happy: The bush is back. Not Sr. or Jr. or even Barbara, though we’re sure she has experience on the topic at hand. For now Dubya is going to stick to painting his pets.
Back in 2006, when Poehler, the funny woman everyone loves to love anchored SNL‘s news-desk she chided a growing (or should we say waning) trend: “And ladies, what’s up with all the deforestation going on down there? You need hair down there! It’s a backup system for underwear! … There was a time when a lady garden was as big as a slice of New York pizza.” Talk about a vagina monologue.
As it goes, where one wanes, another waxes, and for years featherless lady parts have ruled the roost.
So much so that famous folks have doubted their ability to grow adequate hair in their nether regions. In 2008 Kate Winslet donned a merkin for her role in The Reader. Of the role she has said: “The film is set in the 50s, I couldn’t have just had a landing strip! I had to grow the hair down there. But because of years of waxing, as all of us girls know, it doesn’t come back quite the way it used to. They even made me a merkin – a wig – because they were so concerned that I might not be able to grow enough.”
But this polished look started years before Winslet took to the screen or Poehler derided Brazilians.
Many credit the porn industry and Playboy centerfolds for the transition from pizza slice to landing strip. That Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee honeymoon video certainly fueled the cause, as did Anderson’s harmonious “I’d rather go naked than wear fur,” ads for PETA.
But if we were to point to the first decade that championed pubic hair removal, it would have to be the 1960s– the introduction of the beach bikini and subsequent talk of a “bikini line” drastically changed the geography down under in the United States. Bikinis required more precise grooming. And never one to miss an opp for a dollar, the beauty industry (oh, now worth a cool 50 billion in the US alone), jumped on the trend. From razor to laser, ladies everywhere were not so subtly convinced that bare was best.
But perhaps if recent celebrity commentary foreshadows what’s to come, dare we say this trend has jumped the shark?
Now notoriously, Gwyneth Paltrow remarked to Ellen Degeneres, “Well, let’s just say everyone went scrambling for a razor,” in regards to her sheer-on-the-sides Antonio Beradi dress for the Iron Man 3 premiere. “I work a ’70s vibe. You know what I mean?” she quipped.
Blonde com-lady-patriot Cameron Diaz (and Paltrow shaver) also recently proclaimed that pubic hair is there for a reason, and to remove it is equivalent to saying, “I don’t need my nose.” In her newly released (probably ghost-written) book, The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways To Love Your Amazing Body, the actress dedicates an entire section, “In Praise of Pubes,” to the very subject.
When Amanda de Cadenet asked actress Busy Philipps whether she waxes or shaves on her interview show “The Conversation,” Philipps jumped at the chance to respond.
“I love this question,” the then expectant star exclaimed. “I do get waxed, but after I had my daughter I had this real epiphany. I felt like it would be really f–king weird if I had no hair on my vagina, because I have a little girl and I want her to look at me and think that grown women have hair on their vaginas!”
Hear, hear. Hair, there.
It’s a growing trend (yes, literally). Just last week, the merkin made another headline grabbing appearance. American Apparel, the much maligned retailer, leaped on the trending topic. They stocked their East Houston Street store window with merkined mannequins in opaque undergarments. The bush was so bountiful and anti-90s porn star, one commenter remarked, “That bush looks like it eats more than the mannequin.”
But whether this resurgent propensity for pubic hair is PR stunt or feminist manifesto, there’s no beating around it: 2014 is setting out as the year we return to more natural states. Time will tell if this proves true– average re-growth rate is about 3-6 weeks.
All we can say is hopefully this bush doesn’t leave a wave of domestic and international catastrophe in its wake.
If anything, maybe we’ll have more in common with our European mates.