Black, coarse, and curly. It shields me. It covers me me like a blanket. Each and every one — so perfect. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel like a woman.
My blanket was first removed freshman year of college. While surfing the web, my roommate ran into our room with a huge smile. She glowed of excitement while standing in front of me. I stared at her with a confused smile. Within a second, she grabbed her crotch and excitedly exclaimed, “I feel so clean!”
I looked at her even more confused. “I finally got a Brazillian. You have to try it out. It’s life changing!”
I smiled pretending to know what she was talking about, opened a new tab in my browser and Googled Brazilian. The result: Waxing…down there?
I kept thinking — wait, I’m supposed to remove that stuff? Forum upon forum, women had expressed the need to remove the blanket of hair covering their vagina. They wrote about Bikini waxes, Brazilian waxes, shaving and everything in between. They expressed how it helped with hygiene, confidence, intimacy, and so much more. Who knew something I always overlooked could have such an impact on my life? I felt clean. But I guess I wanted to feel the type of clean all these ladies and my roommate were expressing. So, I gave it a shot.
I went to take a shower, pulled out my razor and started shaving. I started near my stomach. So far, so good. Then I started going lower and lower. Consumed by curiosity, I couldn’t stop. Not till every trace of hair was gone. 15 minutes later (yes, it did take me that long), I was done.
The next morning, I woke up to a war-zone in my pants. My vagina was angry. Straight up pissed. Red puss-filled bumps and razor burns covered its skin. That day, I walked around campus like a penguin. All movement hurt and I was too ashamed to go see the campus doctor. And it kept getting worse. I could feel the prickles of my betrayed hair making their way back above surface yelling at me “remember us?” How could I forget? I felt itchy. I felt uncomfortable. I felt naked.
As women, we pick at every little thing on our bodies. We have a constant need to feel attractive, look youthful and almost childlike. We shave our legs, arms, stomachs, backs, chests, underarms and vaginas all in attempt to make our bodies look the way they did before puberty except with full-grown breasts.
Personally, I have no lacking of hair. I have dark hair on my legs. Long fine hair on my underarms. Hair on my stomach, back, and basically everywhere. Most of all, I have hair all over my vagina. And, as ridiculous as this sounds, years later, I still continue to battle with the hair between my legs. There are times I am so strong in sporting my vagina’s natural state and then there are times I decide to give it one more shot by taking a razor at it — only to regret it after I wind up on another dose of antibiotics to battle the hair follicle infection I self-inflicted.
However, to women who have sex, this battle between us and our vagina becomes a battle between, us, our vagina, and a man. Apparently, men like vagina, but not hair. They like how a vagina feels, tastes, and looks, but only when it is “clean.” And then, the next day, when they want to feel all its wonder again, the resurfacing hair makes them angry. “Ouch, your hair scratched my penis because the last time you shaved was yesterday.” Well, maybe if you were OK with pubic hair, your penis wouldn’t have gotten that little scratch that my vagina gets many of every time I put a razor at it. In many men’s ideal world, us women would be shaving our blistered vaginas on a daily basis or waxing on a weekly.
With that said, the battle between us and our vagina is not all male-dependent. We have a tendency to victimize ourselves. We tell ourselves and each other that in order to be beautiful and desirable, we need to remove every trace of hair from our bodies. Many of us automatically assume a guy will be repulsed by us if we leave our vagina in its most natural state. We fail to remember it’s OUR vagina. Not his, hers, or theirs.
If my vagina could speak, it would say: “I’m hot, sexy and perfect the way I am — covered with each and every strand of hair that protects me. I hope that some day, she decides to stop trying to remove my blanket because I’m beautiful the way I am.”
The hair on my vagina represents my womanhood. And as in the words made popular by Vagina Monologues, you can’t love vagina, unless you love hair.
Fresh & Fearless. A Kaur’s Vagina.