Project Bush

I’ve been asked lots about the background image of the blog:  On initial viewing most think it is a series of cocktail glasses instead of a wall of vaginas.

Mother_ProjectBushExhibition13

The image is an art piece that was shown in a public (not pubic) exhibition entitled Project Bush that was developed by ad agency ‘Mother’ in 2013

According to the blurb, Project Bush was  “a call to action for women to stand up to the pressures of modern society and present their bushes in all their glory. Whether waxed or never tended, young, old, black, brown or white, we want to display London’s lady gardens in all their variety, and demonstrate the choice that many young women –particularly – may not realise they have when it comes to waxing.”

Like this blog, the whole point of the project was to open a discussion on what women do with their pubic hair and why.  Do women feel pressured into waxing or shaving by porn culture, celebrity, media, fashion and peer pressure to conform to certain ideals ?

(I’d like to add here that as my research continues, I  think men are starting to be effected by similar pressures). Look out for my post on  groin grooming.

A journalist at the Huggington Post at the time when the project was exhibited,  talked to the vagina photographer who explained her motivations for getting involved with the project. “Initially,” she says, “I didn’t quite understand the concept. Then someone told me that girls as young as 11 or 12 were waxing their public hair and I thought yes, that was an  important issue.  Existing research into pubic hair practices has confirmed that younger women and girls are more likely to heavily groom.   The first ever comment on this blog that I received was from an 18 year old girl who had a very similar story, feeling pressured by boys from 12 or 13 years old to get rid of  her pubes.

This is one of the main motivations behind me researching pubic hair and writing this post.  I have a teenagers.  Yesterday, I nonchalantly ask my daughter and her friend if pubic hair had ever been talked about in school.  My daughters friend was quick to respond “yes, a boy in our class recently said” ‘I’m just putting it out there, you girls need to get rid of the hair on your pussies‘.  What could I say.

In the Huffington Post article the photographer when on to say that “The women who were photographed came in for different reasons.  A very small percentage were completely comfortable with stripping off, the majority were nervous and then full of energy afterwards. And they all had different reasons – some were concerned about how the media portrays women in general, others were concerned about the world their daughters were growing up in. Most thought: “This is one small thing that we can do.”

Choice is key here but are these choices well informed ?  If women want to wax and be in pain to get the desired effect then that is their choice. But if they’re doing it because they think it’ll please someone else, or that they aren’t beautiful if they don’t, or that it is more sexy, then that is where it gets complicated.

I think we need to focus on the next generation – the young people being pressured by other girls or boys or the media, constantly supported by trans-national beauty campaigns that sell us a hairless ideal.

Life is short.  Isn’t it time to refocus our time and energy on friends and family, enjoying life instead of wasting  time, energy  and money on trying to meet ridiculous standards of beauty?  This is not a call to arms to embrace hairy pits, legs and a full bush (or groin)  – I just think it is time we start to really take notice of these so called irrelevant issues.  Yes, pubic hair has been removed throughout history (as explained in earlier posts) but it is the WHY in current times that needs further investigation. Please share you thoughts on the issues raised here.  London Garden Suburbs Needs You !!

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4 thoughts on “Project Bush

  1. Currently working with Primary 7 pupils (11 year olds), talking about going to High School. They all have phones, instant access to the Internet so we have a chat about cyber bullying and the dangers of accessing inappropriate websites. Some are looking at stuff that they shouldn’t and I am sure that this includes porn. This will certainly give those young people a distorted image of the female body and what it looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sexting is a real and persistent problem for loads of kids in secondary school. Having once thought it was important to education my daughter about this, after reading current literature on sexting, I decided I also needed to talk honestly and openly to my (younger) son about this problem. Sadly, it is often the boys that are the instigators of this type of hyper sexualised behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Leila,
      thanks for commenting and getting involved – apologies I must have missed your link to Buzz Feed last week, although I’m not sure if the tide really is turning – there are constant pubic references on line and in the press claiming that ‘bush is back’ but the constant anti-hair, anti-pube discourse is still going strong and if you look close enough is everywhere in mass media and advertising. I’ve just done my first focus group with 18-24 year old girls and only one of my participants was attempting to grow back her hair. Only a small sample, I know but I think in terms of that age group – baring all is still pretty much the norm. Keep watching and keep the comments coming !

      Like

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