Trimming the bushes. Vacuuming the carpet. Coiffing the cat. Whatever your choice in questionable metaphor for the act of tidying up one's pubic hair, have it on hand, because it turns out that a whole lot of American women do it.
According to new research published today in JAMA Dermatology, roughly 84 per cent of women surveyed reported some form of pubic hair grooming, compared with 16 per cent who reported never grooming. The sample included 3,316 women of varying races, ages, locations, education levels, and incomes.
Going deeper into the overall numbers, the study's authors reported differences in grooming habits when it came to some of the above demographic categories. Women of European descent, for example, tended to groom more than women of other races; women aged 18-24 groomed more than women over the age of 45; and college-educated women were also more like to groom. As for the grooming habits themselves, most women used a nonelectric razor, followed by scissors and an electric razor. Four women also reported using tweezers, which, if it works, fine, but Jesus Christ my genitals just retracted into themselves.
Besides demographic factors, the researchers mused over various contributing factors for grooming habits, including "the mainstream media's portrayal of women discussing and engaging in pubic hair removal" and "aesthetics rather than functionality." Hmm, who would have ever thought that the constant, unyielding pressure placed on women to adhere to restrictive beauty standards would lead to more genital upkeep, complete with grooming gimmicks and surgical fads?
And, wow, what a surprise that white women are more likely to groom!
And younger women!
Of course, the news that most women groom isn't surprising, nor is it even new. But fads change, so perhaps we'll someday see a return of the garden-variety full bush, thick carpet, and fluffy cat. Either way, can we please come up with some better metaphors?