December 08, 2004

A Question on Style

When and how did the Hitler mustache become the de rigeur fashion statement for the nether smile? The mostly-bare pube is all the rage these days - one sees it everywhere - and it appears to be a fairly recent phenomena. Think about it, those of you who are old enough to: porno-actresses in the sixties and seventies had a full cohort of bristly assets, as did the women pictured in my friend Kathy's daddy's full archive of Hustler, as did the neighborhood ladies one saw changing in the locker room at the YWCA. I never knew my mother - nor any of my auntees, and certainly not my grandmother, God rest her dear soul - to shave the bush, or even to give it a trim. A lady might shave or Nair her bikini line prior to donning a swim costume, but that was it. Pube fashion, if I may clepe it so, was loose and lank, much like the hippie-dippy hairstyles that were its higher contemporaries.

As late as the early nineties, most strippers still had a decent-sized bush, though trimmed down to smaller-than-average, mown and maintained like a cricket pitch. I know, because I worked with them, had said vaginas wagging in my face for hours at a time, week after week. One still saw pubes in a Playboy, and, to pluck out a real world example, most of the young women I knew would trim - for a neat appearance - and shave the bikini line, as always, but the Hitler-stache was still an as-yet-unknown fashion happening.

Now? Bare muff is all the rage, bald save a tiny little strip of fuzz growing over the mons. Porn actresses, nudie-mag models, and strippers seem to be striving for the "prepubescent boy with giant silicone tits" look, as does every woman between the ages of fifteen and fifty that I've seen naked at my gym in recent years. What's up with this? How did this happen? When did it happen? Why did it happen? A question for a sociologist, I think. A very special sociologist.

Not totally unrelated: In the mid-eighties I spent several months traveling around Europe with my family; as part of this trip I was farmed out to one of my father's underlings in a tiny German burg while mama and daddy jetted to Monte Carlo for a grown-up weekend of partying and cavorting in the casinos. Herr Underling had a daughter my age (largely why he was selected for the task), and Frau Underling was kind enough to take us to the local natatorium as part of the weekend's entertainments. Of course, as a seventeen-year-old American female, my legs and pits were shaved, as was my bikini line. Where I came from, having a stray pube hanging out of your two-piece was call for social excommunication, a huge faux-pas, absolute ruination.

As soon as my neuer Freund and I hit the changing rooms at the natatorium, I became keenly aware that I was the object of overt stares. Of course, I was doing a bit of discreet staring myself; I'd never seen a woman in a bathing suit with pubic hair growing, literally, from the crotch to the knees. Such women were everywhere, the norm, and I stood out like a sore thumb in my white, hairless smoothness. The dowagers and matrons in the changing room glowered at me from under beetled brows, and once we went into the natatorium proper, grown men stopped in their tracks to peer at the hairless chihuahua. It was awful.

Later, once we were back at the haus, I asked my German friend why everyone had been thus scrutinizing my pussital region, staring at it as if I were prancing around butt naked. She explained, somewhat shamefacedly, that it might have gone better if I had been butt naked; that way, everyone would have seen that I did indeed have some hair on my body. Germans had, at that time, no problem with total nudity, but shaving was a sign of loose morals. Evidently, in a Bavarian small town, only whores shaved a bikini-line, legs, or armpits. The people staring at me couldn't believe that Herr Underling - a respectable man - would let his daughter hang out with a teenage prostitute.

These days, all of American womanhood seems to labor towards the mutual goal of a completely bald twat, razor-burn, diaper-rash, and itchy growback notwithstanding. This leads me to wonder if the Germans are shaving muff now, too. Has our cultural disdain for the publically hirsute spread? Has the old shaving-equals-slut aphorism fallen into disuse, like our Southern one about red shoes and whores and children? If so, do you reckon the Hitler mustache is all the rage in pube-style over there, too?

I know, I know. Pole. Grease. Hell.

Posted by Queenie at December 8, 2004 07:36 PM

I would leave a long comment but I think it would better to post one instead. So I will. If interested, it will be out there.

Posted by: Watchman at December 8, 2004 08:38 PM

Nice connection. ; )

It's like any hairdo right? You get sick of it and change it from time to time. Triangle for a while, Hitler a while, bald a while, fuck it a while...

I like the stripe for now. It's growing on me anyway.


Posted by: Key at December 8, 2004 10:12 PM

Not the slave to fashion, I've never even shaved a bikini line. To have done so would have been a pointless exercise, since my tummy hangs down over the top of said nether regions while standing, and they don't make Bikinis for the Clydesdale size range anyway.

Natural, copper-red, and actually quite thin to be sure. No "crotch-spiders" with their legs hanging out from the leg openings of even my tiniest thongs. (Yes, they do somehow manage to make some rather skimpy thongs in Clydesdale, just not swimsuits.)

Posted by: Mamamontezz at December 8, 2004 11:24 PM

I have sat and thought these thoughts, and never once have written them down. Actually wondering from time to time, if there was something wrong with me that I should even be thinking about these things.

Queenie, you are the bravest of the brave.

Posted by: BeeBee at December 9, 2004 07:38 AM

Thank you, BeeBee. I get something like this on my mind and it pesters me. I'm not so very brave, though - I'm just in Deep Cover.

Key, I see where you're going, but the very thing that puzzles me is that most of today's popular "hairstyles" for the groin region did not exist in the mainstream at all when you were a little girl. If we were having this conversation in 1964 - well, suffice it to say that we wouldn't be having this conversation in 1964 - but I seriously doubt that you would consider your pubic hair as a style to be changed. Chicks just didn't. Until recently.


Posted by: Queenie at December 9, 2004 09:23 AM

A times they are a changin'!

But you are probably onto something in that, women weren't exactly exposed to various styles then as we are now, whether or not we WANT to see pics of various hairdos is beside the point.

We do.

This leads to creativity.

And might I add, I am SO excited to run across someone else who calls it a "Hitler."

...didn't know the term was so widespread.

(Heh. Ok, so the last pun was better...)

Posted by: Key at December 9, 2004 03:15 PM

A carefully sculpted heart-shape is quite fetching.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at December 9, 2004 09:16 PM

Not EVERYONE likes the heart-shape.

One of my old girlfriends let me shave her (the theory being that I had more razor experience, and thus should wield the tool). I cleared off everything in the actionable areas, and left the full triangle in the front.

However, during the procedure, she'd nodded off, so - feeling impish, I shaped the frontal tuft into a heart.

Upon awaking, she was not amused, and made me shave her bald.

Which was even better :-)

Posted by: Harvey at December 10, 2004 01:39 PM

Actually, bald is quite novel, and a look I've sported a couple of times since a boyfriend talked me into letting him shave me when I was in college.

But the after-effects of bald are AWFUL.

I have yet to come up with a satifying, pain-free method to use on the bikini line, also. The wax job looks the best, but is expensive if done professionally. Nads works well, but I can't do it to myself, it hurts like a mo-fo, and it makes me shudder to think about pulling off that strip of cloth.

So I make my husband do it, or did...but he won't do it anymore, because it kind of horrifies him to hurt me so badly.

So, now, I'm at a bit of a loss. Back to the professionals, I guess.

Posted by: catzmeow at December 10, 2004 02:12 PM

Oh, had I only listened to the advice of my mother!

Who, incidentally, was talking about LEGS, but it still applies: "Once you start shaving, you can't stop."

And I refer to mine as more of an arrow. Pointing towards the happy place.


I almost lost my tea in a misty cloud when I read "pussital region." God, but I love you!!

And, if deep cover causes such beauteous writings, maybe I should try it again.

Posted by: Margi at December 10, 2004 06:27 PM

Itchy growback? Razor burn? Two words: Bump Free.

Posted by: Velociman at December 10, 2004 08:05 PM


Posted by: PRIAPUS at December 11, 2004 05:14 PM

Ooookay. How shall I put this...

*ahem* Just speaking for myself, of course, I like a deforested theatre of engagement because I like to see the target.

Pubes are nature's way of burying the treasure -- hiding the family jewels so's they might not be so readily coveted. Out of sight, out of mind type a'thing.

But intimately, I think, that we prefer the treasure to be presented openly. Shaving and trimming is a non-verbal way of saying to your man, "I ain't hidin' from you-u-u-u, Babeh!"

Clearing the excess brush also makes it easier to, er, get a taste for victory. Dewdrops on the surrounding foliage tend to be a little in yer face if ya know what I'm sayin'.

As for European vs American standard procedures, alls I can say is: Do they still smash gr@pes* with their bare feet? Yecch!

If good grooming = sluttiness then I hope I'm never dragged to a German beach resort. Unless it's a slutty beach resort...

My ex- used to trim/shave to please me. At least until I did it once to please her. (Or maybe she just wanted me to feel like she did.)
Once, I tells ya. The pain of grow-back was so annoying that I asked her never to shave for me again. She kept it up, though, at least within reason (i.e. along the American standard).

Don't know about the Hitler and other styles of late. But I do remember being in seventh grade ('75-'76) and a classmate had a deck of playing cards with nekkid women on 'em.

Most of 'em had a full and naturally bushy facade. But several were more sparse and, even at the age of 13, I knew that that was the ginchiest way to invite someone in. For coffee and conversation, I mean.

Again, it's all just about hiding vs. opening-up. Er, emotionally, of course! No wait.
Oh, nevermind...

[* Hmmm. Seems I couldn't post the word "gr@pes" because the word "*r@pe*" is banned. Someone's been messin' with the blacklist again!]

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 12, 2004 07:30 PM

Hmmm. My bounteous bride still carries all of her pubital assets, so I can't tell you what I think of the Brazilian Landing Strip. But what I will tell you is that she is careful lest any stray wisps stick out of the sides of the Bikini Bottom. This heinous condition we refer to as "Bozo," in honor of the eponymous clown with the hair that stuck out on either side of his head.

Posted by: Steve at December 13, 2004 03:26 PM

First, let me say you never fail to make me sit and giggle uncontrollably at my computer.

Second, it's like the hair on my head-I want a different hairstyle, and at least down there I can shave it all off and start fresh if I make a mistake.

Why not have fun with it? Besides, less hair is more stimulating, at least from my "perspective".


Posted by: Madame Butterfly at December 14, 2004 11:12 PM

mmmmm. who said brazillian landing strip....
2 years ago in sao paulo I landed my first & only genuine sample. she was the first girl who insisted i keep the lights on.


Posted by: ColdBeverage at December 15, 2004 01:42 AM

In regards to across the pond, I have noticed that most, if not all, French actresses seem to either have shunned the full trim job or just flat out ignored it. We know this because it seems to be a mandatory act to run around naked if you participate in any French film. There is also a refreshing lack of breast enhancement in their trade. They all seem to be quite content with the natural look. Of course, it helps that most of them are stunningly beautiful but, as it applies to this subject, they seem to be ignoring us yet again...

Posted by: Jaysephus at December 16, 2004 12:22 PM

I've got nothing against muffti, though some of the semitic ladies I have known have had enough to carpet a small foyer. No, it is armpit hair I can't stand. Thank God my hippy days are behind me, waking up with from a nightmare of a feverish squirrel fucking my face, and finding that I've rolled into her sweating hairpit. Yeesh.

Posted by: Bane at December 18, 2004 07:11 PM
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