The New York Times Published a Trend Piece About Pubic Hair

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Jan. 30 2014 5:03 PM

The New York Times Published a Trend Piece About Pubic Hair

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Mannequins with pubic hair

Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian bikini waxes are out, says the gimlet-eyed gray lady, and a more natural look is in. (Or in New York Times speak: “Below the Bikini Line, A Growing Trend.”) Apparently some spa owners have noticed a decline in demand for pubic waxes; celebrities like Lady Gaga, Gaby Hoffman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Caitlin Moran have alluded to their shaggier lady bits (or appeared on magazine covers or sitcoms flaunting them); even mannequins have been spotted with undergrowth.

So why is this happening? Not the rise of the bush—women grow hair on their bodies and have always dealt with that fact in various ways—but the trend piece? Are the subtleties of pubic landscaping so endlessly captivating that it’s worth dealing with Cameron Diaz’s publicist on the matter? Perhaps it is just a fun exercise to try to connect every thing in the world to juicing. “In certain corners of Manhattan,” writes Marisa Meltzer, “the bald look of the Brazilian has become déclassé, more suggestive of a naked Barbie doll or a reality television starlet than an organic lifestyle of cold-pressed juice and barre classes.” Meltzer even gets an expert to back her up, quoting spa owner Angela Jia Kim, who says, “Our clients in particular are eco- and health-minded, and the grown look certainly suits a girl who is more au naturel.”

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But maybe the true purpose of this article was not to anoint a bogus trend or even to hover, UFO-like and questioning, over the mystic crop circles of the pubic zone. Maybe this piece was designed to smuggle the phrases “untrimmed thicket,” “lovely curtain … that surrounds that glorious, delicate flower of yours,” “full pubic bloom,” and “magical cactus” into the pages of the New York Times. In which case, success! Next year, NYT, when you assign a Style writer to pen the inevitable piece announcing the next new thing in pubic hair and how it is an outgrowth (heh) of our culture’s obsession with probiotics, please feel free to use these other euphemisms: overgrown briar patch, matted fairy floss, the nethergrove, corn silk nest of passion, flowing witch beard, sugar-spun twinkle fluff, and Elmo’s shrub garden.

Lest you think women have all the fun, here are some ways the paper has described male beards: “a thick Blackbeard tangle,” “chin bristles,” “full chestnut thatch,” and “as if thin metal shavings have collected on his upper lip and are being held there by a very weak magnet.”

Human hair: It never gets old.

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer.