‘Am I normal down there?’

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So the dissertation is in and I thought my pubic hair blogging days were over.  Apparently not.  I’ve decided to upload sections of my work for you to have a little read of.  However, first I’m going to get back into blogging with some comments on a recent report published in the BMJ Open, a medical journal that is dedicated to publishing medical research from all disciplines and therapeutic areas.  This study found found that girls as young as 15 are asking their GP’s about vaginal cosmetic surgery because of increasing concerns that their privates don’t look ‘normal’.

It’s  worth noting the vaginal tightening, labiaplasty (trimming of the labia minora and less commonly labia majora), hymenoplasty, vaginoplasty (also known as vaginal reconstruction), mons pubis liposuction, vaginal ‘rejuvenation’ or laser ‘rejuvenation’, G-spot augmentation and Orgasm-shot)  following liposuction, breast augmentation and rhinoplasty, labiaplasty was reported to be the fourth most common cosmetic surgical procedure according to US statistics in 2013, rising by 44% in the 2013 alone.

Lead author of this most recent study, Dr Magdalena Simonis from the University of Melbourne’s department of general practice is quoted in The Guardian as saying,

“When we talk about adult women into their 20s of course they are entitled to make their own decisions about their body and surgery, provided they are well informed and have good information and don’t have any mental health disorders that might be affecting their decision,” Simonis said.

“But the really vulnerable here are young women and teens impressed by what they see online and what a lot of the portrayals are like in pornography. I think we need to be carefully looking at those women and ensuring they are supported and better informed.”

Fashion, online pornography, perceptions of beauty and Brazilian waxes was found to be contributing to women’s dissatisfaction  and concern in relation to  their genitalia.  The results of this study mirror a lot of what I uncovered in my pubic hair research.

If you want to read on here is a link find a link to the published study:

The study

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Ahhh, it feels good to be back.

 

 

 

Naked Attraction

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Ok so I’m no longer activly working on this blog as I am now activly working on my diseration, but its only right that we talk about Naked Attraction, a new Channel 4 naked dating show.

Many of you have mentioned this to me because of its ‘content’ : naked people on a dating show choosing partners based on their private parts – sadly I’ve never seen an episode but it has been pointed out to me that a lot of the female contestants have bald vulvas and that it has pretty much gone unnoticed or commented upon on the show.  Surely this is confirmation that the hairless mons is now a totally taken-for-granted cultural norm ?    If any of you pubic watchers out there could confirm a lack of hair on the ladies on this show,  I’d appreciate your feed back as I’m State-side and can’t access CH4 on Demand.  Much obliged.

For those of you interested, you might want to read these two Huffington Post articles about the show.  One discusses a man choking on pubic hair (who now preferes nothing more than a midnight shadow on a lady) and the other is about a female (classy) contestant to thinks her vagina looks like beef curtains.

God I miss Cilla !

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/naked-attraction-pubic-hair-story_uk_57b2e8f8e4b08e6ad873e445

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/naked-attraction-vagina-beef-sandwich-twitter_uk_57a99b32e4b07285e131e8e9

The Pornification of culture

Ok, so I’ve been thinking about porn again, not in that way… for academic purposes !  I wouldn’t be the first person to make the connection between the normalisation of pubic hair removal among women and the fact that we are living in an era when two generations of teens  come of age with readily available access to pornography, for free, via the internet.  Porn is but a click away for all of us, but for children as young as eleven (according to a recent report) potentially seeing such graphic imagery; you have to ask how this is affecting their sexuality?    It is difficult not to consider an early exposure to images of the female labia in all its hairless pornographic glory (not my opinion) as not in some way influencing young boys perception of what they think women should look like.   Conversations I have had with young women confirm that peer pressure from boys (when they were younger) , who would talk openly as well as  explicitly about what they saw in porn and how they expected women too look, did influence / encourage / pressure them to remove their hair down there, from as young as eleven.   I asked my daughter and her friend recently, if they had ever heard any negative things relating to pubic hair from their peers, and my daughters friend quickly responded,  ” yeah, last week Chris, (a boy their age) said’, “I’m just gonna put it out there girls, you need to get rid of the hair on your pussies”.   These girls are 14, lets face it I come from a generation of parents who just don’t realise how much pornography is being consumed by youngsters.

 

Guess her muff revistited

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As many of you will already know, I am in the ‘writing up’ part of my research.  Expect a lot of posts as I will do anything I possibly can to avoid the actual ‘writing up’ required.  Today I have been going through your comments on my posts to analyze and potentially use as part of my research  (it won’t take me long, there aren’t many…quality over quantity) and I noticed that everyday since this blog started back in May that I have received visits from all over the world.  Excluding the most up to date post page, the most popular page almost EVERY DAY is Guess Her Muff.  Who would have thought that after all my academic theory stuff that this would come out tops !  I thought you might be interested in a response I got from the people who ‘make’ this site (I’m presuming they tracked me down because of all the clicks they were receiving from this site).

Among other things this is what they said:

‘about 40% of the submissions are self submitted, the other remainder of the content of the site is attributed to freely available web resources’, they go on to say that the sites ‘original mission, some 10 or so years ago, was a look at breaking down stereotypes, a “not judging the book by the cover” scenario’.

This last line confused me a bit, were they having a laugh or do we all look at other women and instantly try and guess if she is a ‘smooth criminal’ or a ‘hairy Mary’ (your names, not mine).  I have to admit this sounds like rubbish to me, but if you think they are ‘breaking down stereotypes’ I’d love to hear from you.

Maybe we are all  a bit over exposed to sexual images that we see everywhere, every day on tv, movies, advertising –  do you think pornography has filtered down into all aspects of mass media ? maybe that’s why lots of us are opting for a hairless mons, because its in our faces – so to speak ?

Cleaning the basement…

 

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A while back I went in to a local salon to have my twice year pubic wax. Of course I spent most of the time discussing my dissertation project with my waxer- maybe a bit too long actually as I went in for a ‘short back and sides’ but left with what I can only imagine is a new pubic hair craze – ‘the goatee’.   Too much information maybe…

To be honest, when I got over being mugged of my pubic hair, I reflected on the conversation which was actually really fascinating. We talked about pubic hair practices in Iran, as my attendant was Iranian. I asked her about the influence of Islam, as I read recently that the profit Mohamed suggested that men and women remove all pubic hair at least once every 40 days as part of a complete body hair removal regime. In her opinion, she said it was less about religion and more about hygiene. In fact, she was pretty certain that older Iranian women (who came of age when Iran was in a secular period)  removed their pubes more habitually than younger women and she suggested that cleanliness was the main motivation.

Loads of you recently sent me articles relating to a report that was published this month in the JAMA medical journal.  I read them, thanks, and then went straight to the source.  Like my research, this study aimed to measure the motivations behind pubic hair removal, unlike my research this was  a national report (the first of its kind) in America with a really broad demographic group. 3372  female participants took part, with 83% claiming to have removed or groomed their pubes throughout their lives (as opposed to 16% who had never groomed), 62% reported to removing all of their pubic hair and most said they did their own hair removal. Guess what was cited as the most common reason for hair removal ? you’ve guessed it, hygiene.

If you study mainstream advertising or even if you don’t, cleanliness is often part of the tag lines that accompany grooming products. Sure, we all want to be clean down there but do we have to be waxed to the max to achieve greater levels of personal hygiene ?  Errr no.  So clean and fresh is how we want to present our vaginas, that is fine – I agree, but when did pubic hair become so entrenched in dirt ? If no hair down there equates cleanliness for growing numbers of women, then pubic hair au natural is now by proxy unhygienic.

As you know,  I’m interested in the marketing of beauty products  as part of my research.  Sure, we are continually being sold the idea that pubic hair is dirty via mass marketing and advertising, why not, there is huge profit to be made here.   As part of my research I’ve been holding focus groups and I’d say for younger women hygiene is most often quoted as a motivation for getting rid of their pubic hair. However older women in my groups rarely, if ever mention hygiene. God, does that now mean that anyone over a certain age is dirty ? Hopefully, a bit of dirt didn’t do anyone any harm – damn, now I am sounding old.

The best of the articles that were sent to me was in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/11/should-groom-pubic-hair-shaving-trimming

Dissertation due in 6 weeks so if you want to be in it don’t forget to comment here. Time is of the essence.

 

All dressed up and no hair to go….

Some of you may have read this story yesterday as it appeared in a few news papers as well as numerous blogs and websites, thanks again to one of my blog followers who sent this to me. It is about a women who collected pubic hair via Twitter and made a dress out of it.   She is quoted as saying “I set to work with my eye mask, breathing mask and the thickest gloves I could find, because who wants to eat pubic hair? I thought of the design because of how gross it is. I thought what would be the worst thing to have on your dress.” In fact in most of the pieces written about her dress the words gross, disgusting and weird come up.

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My 6 year old just got up and saw this picture and said, ‘oh mum that looks weird’, however she thought it was made of silk, I didn’t bother to point out what it was actually made of.

Here’s a link to the story:

http://beta.theladbible.com/now/weird-woman-makes-a-dress-out-of-strangers-pubic-hair-20160705#