Bush Derangement Syndrome
January 20, 2014
The Guardian’s Emer O’Toole returns to a subject she apparently finds compelling and tells us,
The capitalist drive to convince us that female body hair is unnatural and unclean has been alarmingly successful. The removal industry is worth millions, and uncountable women are ashamed of and distressed by their post-pubescent hair.
Sadly, Ms O’Toole doesn’t pause to ponder how an industry generally becomes successful – say, by offering a product that people are willing to pay for, having made a choice and sought out said product. This being a Guardian article, its basic tone is patronising and womenfolk are once again assumed to be mere dupes, entirely at the mercy of diabolical forces and trembling with insecurities. And so readers are presented with a cloud of implications involving “greedy” industries, sheepish consumers and the shame and distress wrought by pubic hair. A kind of false consciousness for the underpants area, from which one must “wake up,” and in which feelings of inadequacy are “heaped on hairy privates” by persons unknown.
While many details of this drama are left oddly undefined or simply ignored – among them, the agency of the people buying hair-removal products - readers are, however, told, “We resent the pressure, and we resent being made to feel ashamed.” Once again, that Guardian staple - the paranormal we. Because what a Guardian columnist frets about in order to fill space is what all women fret about. How could it not be?
Mercifully, there is light at the end of the tunnel:
I think 2014 might just be the year of the bush. In an unlikely about-face, Cameron Diaz has proclaimed that pubic hair is there for a reason, and to remove it is tantamount to saying, “I don’t need my nose.”
Needless to say, the subsequent comments may also be of interest. There, you’ll find readers affirming the aesthetic and practical merits of various styling techniques - “a landing strip or modest bit of tailored fluff” - while others warn of the hazards of choking on pubic hair in a darkened room. Ms O’Toole’s previous contributions to human knowledge include her belief that not shaving one’s armpits is “the necessary and important work of challenging stupid, arbitrary, gendered bullshit.” Ms O’Toole also managed to mention, several times, that her boyfriends have thought her “brave” for daring to have armpit hair. Yes, fear not, dear reader. A moral titan walks among us.