January 22, 2014

"American society's aestheticization of hairless female genitalia apparently came at the cost of a veritable epidemic of grooming-related injuries."

The New Republic reports, pointing to data based on the percentage increase in emergency room visits. There's a fivefold increase (between 2002 and 2010), but I'm seeing no reference to the actual numbers (and no discussion of whether the tendency to avail oneself of emergency room services has changed), so I have no idea whether this assertion that there's "a veritable epidemic" of shaving accidents out there is true.

I do suspect that TNR is in the anti-hair-removal propaganda business. The article begins:
The Brazilian wax has been on its way out for a while. But what may be its final death throe comes, according to the Atlantic Wire, in the form of unshaved mannequins on display at American Apparel.
They missed what I would have thought should be the de rigueur reference, last Sunday's new episode of "Girls," where a door was suddenly flung open, and there was the new girl, played by Gaby Hoffmann, naked from the waist down. Hoffman is interviewed:
So, I’m loath to bring up your pubes, because I think I know how you feel about people bringing them up... like, Why is it even a topic of conversation? But I’m wondering if there was a discussion between you and Lena about showing them...?

Nope. It was written into the script. I’m sure Lena said when we were at the read-through, “How do you feel about that?” or something, and I was like, “It’s funny, let’s do it.” I’m sure there was some exchange like that — I don’t remember it. But she wrote it in the script and I had certainly nothing to say about it.

Do you think it’s some sort of statement?

I’m not making a statement. If Lena is, we didn’t talk about it. I would imagine Lena’s relationship to her making statements is so much more complicated than I can even imagine...I do think this culture could use a little bit of a, you know — I think everybody would be served to relax a little bit... So, if I am contributing to a sort of opening up of that and a look at maybe reorganizing our puritanical views on that shit, then I’m happy to be making that statement. But I’m not doing anything in my acting work as a political statement.

41 comments:

Jimmy said...

So TNR had a chance to do a serious piece but they muffed it.

RecChief said...

I read somewhere that in ancient Rome, women plucked their pubic hair to achieve the hairless look. nothing new under the sun.

MayBee said...

It's not like the only choices are hairless and ungroomed.

RazorSharpSundries said...

Gaby's hairy hippie burger is featured extensively in the Michael Cera druggie flick, "Crystal Fairy and the Magic Cactus." Apparently Chile is the new young hipster hideaway.

navillus said...

If you go to the Urology article (linked at TNR), it provides a chart of estimated injuries. From 49 actual ER visits by females in 2010, the study estimates that fewer than 3000 female injuries (chart shows a range of ~600-2800) occurred nationwide that year. In a nation with over 150 million females, it's like a biblical plague, truly. 600-2http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3559025/figure/F2/
The real non sequitur in TNR's piece is casting aspersions at waxing- Razors were the cause of 83% of the injuries in the study, so it seems that waxing is by far the safer route.

EDH said...

Remember, thick eyebrows were in at the close of the 1980s when Hoffman and Jean Louisa Kelly were in "Uncle Buck".

Gaby Hoffman is a natural poster child for the thick bush movement, like Abbie Hoffman.

"Steal this Bush!"

LordSomber said...

It's Bush's fault.

Laslo Spatula said...

The three acceptable pubic hairstyles should be Mow, Larry or Curly.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Since when is there such a thing as a (singular) "death throe"? I thought death throes were like measles and mumps and rickets; they don't come one by one.

John said...

She seems to have natural armpits too.

NTTAWWT

Elise Ronan said...

There is archeological evidence that women waxed their private parts as far back as the civilization in Sumer. Modern feminists really need to get a grip. Instead of worrying about their pubes they really should fight fgm, but that would mean taking their realities out of their own sphere of narcissism. The dislike of female hair is nothing new. And it doesn't make a statement about your politics to lack proper hygiene either.It just makes you unkept, which makes it so noone really wants to listen to what you say.

John said...

One way to lie with statistics is to post percentage increases without number increases.

As someone noted, there were 43 ER worthy injuries in 2013. If in 2012 there had been 10, this represents a (cue scary music) MORE THAN 400% INCREASE!!!

OTOH, 43 out of 150 million is not particularly scary. Unless you are one of the 43 or their families.

John Henry

John said...

I once read a porn novel written in the 1800s about the experiences of an English girl who voluntarily joined a harem in Afghanistan. It has pretty detailed description of how, before she could be presented to the Sheik(?) the older women removed her pubes using some sort of gum. Like waxing.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I have found it to be a good rule of thumb:

When they tell you the rate of increase, but they don't tell you any actual numbers, you are being conned.

madAsHell said...

The New Republic was purchased by one of the Facebook co-founders, Chris Hughes. Who now lists himself as publisher, and editor-in-chief. The magazine has a circulation of 50,000.

Mr. Hughes is openly gay. He appears to be very interested in LGBT issues.

St. George said...

An economic indicator?

One less thing to spend money on.

Laslo Spatula said...

The black market on pubic hair clippings is glutted. Need a wheelbarrow to make any real money.

F said...

MadAsHell:

Any truth to the rumor Hughes wants to re-name it "The New Repubic"?

F said...

AA: You tag this under "hairstyles"? Hmmm.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Why are leftist always agitating for something? No matter how small or inconsequential, some leftist start a drum beat and then their fellow leftist pick it up and next thing you know their are stories, research papers, blogs, OpEds and finally legislation.

What a bunch of lemmings. How embarrassing.

Fred Drinkwater said...

G Hannah:
If one (hah!) pays attention to numbers mentioned in news reports, one will find that the numbers given are in the less informative form, much more often than chance would suggest. Absolutes, when rates would be better, or vice-versa.
But from listening to and watching the reporters, I've concluded (from their ingenuous expressions) that they are simply innumerate, rather than malicious.
It's Hanlon's Razor at work: Don't attribute to malice what can be easily explained by stupidity.
Or perhaps I've been meta-conned? Is there a journalism school where they TEACH that facial expression?

Fen said...

They have low self-esteem. These are Indulgences, along the lines of "Sure, I made a pass at the babysitter, but I BELIEVE in pubes because Feminism! So I can't be a total troglodyte.

Same reason the need to churn out a "study" every few months that asserts how intelligent they are.

Fen said...

"43 out of 150 million is not particularly scary"

43 out of 150 million makes me wonder how stupid the 43 were. Myabe they tried using a blowtorch or something.

Bob Boyd said...


You can listen to a moving piece entitled 'I Shave My Pussy' by Buzz King
here:
https://myspace.com/buzzking/music/song/i-shave-my-pussy-1715808-1732578

I like the whole album which, incidentally, has one of the best album covers of all time.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Fred Drinkwater,

In the context of this thread, someone reading hastily might gather that "Hanlon's Razor" is a highly specialized intimate shaving implement.

Darrell said...

Recreated for the imagination impaired- -
http://nyoobserver.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/girls2.jpg

rhhardin said...

Pilus australis.

Andy Freeman said...

> It's Hanlon's Razor at work: Don't attribute to malice what can be easily explained by stupidity.

Hanlon's Razor encourages bad behavior.

It's always better to assume malice because the effect is basically the same. An offender who wishes to argue stupidity is free to do so.

SteveR said...

Seka was unavailable for comment

jr565 said...

I'd be afraid to use wax on my pubes. Wax would be for the big areas. Pubes require a much finer tool. Like maybe the No No Hair Pro, or lasers. Then again, using lasers on my pubes might also be a deal breaker for me as well. Maybe I just have to settle for hairy balls.

Sam L. said...

Laslo Spatula @ 9:11 for Comment Of The Day!

Sam L. said...

Well, if a woman uses an electric razor, it could give her quite a buzz.

policraticus said...

Emergency room visits may have gone up, but on the other hand, Pthirus pubis teeters on the edge of extinction. We have to balance a few uncomfortable band aids against our savings in pyrmethrin prescriptions.

mishu said...

Oral sex is the precursor for waxing. No one enjoys fishing out pubes from your mouth.

Anthony said...

There's a joke you don't hear much anymore:

What's the last sound you hear before a pubic hair hits the floor?

"Ptooey"

Paul said...

Uh... don't women who like the bald look down there use Nair hair removal or something like that to remove hair?

I mean just one slip of the razor and ops...

navillus said...

Read at the link ALL you ever need to know about using Nair on your nether regions. Warning- swallow your coffee beforehand.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R231U4ZG0YDNHD

Helenhightops said...

Well, I see a lot of Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus skin infections related to pubic shaving - everything from infected hair follicles to boils to frank deep tissue infections in the perineal area. Years ago, I never used to see this. It seems like most of the young women these days groom this way. Is it porn related?

Carl said...

Pretty brassy of buggers to pontificate about epidemics attributable to sexual tastes.

Lord Ben said...

I would suspect that the rates of pubic hair removals closely mirrors a growing popularity in cunnilingus.

Perhaps I'm different but the appeal of hairless has very little to do with visual aesthetics and much more to do with the unappealing taste of hair. I'll get my side of the job done either way but -hair is better than +hair every time.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Apparently you have to be the offspring of celebrities to be friends with Lena Dunham.