In Defense of the Bush

This post deals with the subject of pubic hair, a topic that is still considered very much taboo but something I think needs to be discussed. In order to do it justice, I had to go a little more on the graphic side, so read with caution.

the-wolf-of-wall-street-4

Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Martin Scorsese preparing for a very intimate scene. (source: IMDb)

Martin Scorsese’s recent film “The Wolf of Wall Street” takes a larger-than-life look at the world of the stock market. Everything is in excess, from the cursing to the drug use to how much we see of Jonah Hill. But nothing shocked me more than the candid conversation between the lead and his father (Leonardo DiCaprio and Rob Reiner). What started out as a crude conversation about women’s appearances soon turned into a blatant debate over “the bush.” While I do have a soft spot for crude humor, this scene took it a few steps too far. This conversation (one that I hope doesn’t usually happen between a father and his son) was more than objectifying – it was strictly about the anatomy, not the women in question. Furthermore, it was extremely derogatory. Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) outright says, “I was never a fan of the bush.”

As a woman who has struggled for years with the question “to shave or not to shave,” I was infuriated. Who was this Wall Street guy, a supposed representation of the real men who work there, talking about a woman’s body as if he were ordering from a fast food chain? I decided it was time for Jug Report to have a dispatch from another front.

Petra

Petra Collins’ picture (source: Huffington Post)

Back in October, Petra Collins got national attention when she revealed that Instagram had deleted her account because of a picture that featured her pubic hair. Collins insisted that the picture was deleted simply because it did not meet “society’s standards of ‘femininity.'” Around that same time, Collins designed a controversial T-shirt for American Apparel that featured a very graphic drawing of a woman’s genitals. But American Apparel didn’t stop there. Recently, the clothing company shocked pedestrians by using mannequins with pubic hair. Many believe that this was simply an advertising stunt, but recognize the importance of this conversation. The mannequins were not any more nude than usual – just with a little extra hair.

American Apparel

(source: Time News Feed)

Why was Collins’ picture removed from Instagram? Was the picture violating the app’s terms of use? Our lives are filled with pictures of women in tiny bikinis – they’re practically a normal part of our everyday lives. The only difference with this picture is the slight shadow of hair. The underwear itself is more modest than what most Victoria’s Secret models wear. However, I have to believe that the same steps would be taken if a guy posted a similar picture. Instagram wouldn’t be okay with a guy’s pubic hair, right? But then I remember DiCaprio, an actor I respect, portraying his character’s disdain for a female body part. Male pubic hair has never been discussed that way, certainly not in an award-winning movie. The fact is some people actually talk like that, and some women are actually judged and even mistreated because of their choice not to shave. People tweeted pictures of the American Apparel mannequins with nasty comments, using words like “crisis” and “issues.” Humor is one thing, but not when the butt of the joke is absent or left out of the conversation entirely.

So I’ve decided – it’s time for women to talk frankly about the bush. Shaven, trimmed, or wild, it’s time to take pride in our choices. We’ve been fighting for the right to go “au naturale” for decades, and yet our decisions still define our femininity and sexuality. Forget about the razor – let’s fight to keep our bodies to ourselves, to be feminine on our own terms.

In the spirit of rebellion, here is a call for solidarity in the style of the musical “Hair”:

He asks me why
I’m just a hairy gal
I’m hairy noon and night
Hair that’s a fright I’m hairy high and low
Don’t ask me why
Don’t know
It’s not for lack of dick
Like Doctor Freud said
Darling

Gimme bush with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Kneecap length or longer
Here baby, there dada
Everywhere mommy mommy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My Hair

Let if fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for the fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain’t no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my…

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy,
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty,
Oily, greasy, fleecy,
Shining, gleaming, streaming,
Flaxen, waxen,
Knotted, polka-dotted,
Twisted, beaded, braided,
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My thigh gap if you can
Then my hair’s too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

They’ll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined
Biblical hair

My hair like Petra wore it
Hallelujah it was posted
Hallelujah it was taken down
Why don’t the media love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

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