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Is the full bush back?

April 7th 2014 / Emma Gunavardhana

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Cameron Diaz is leading a bikini wax backlash. Glossip Girl observes the rise and fall of the wax job

There’s been a lot of chat about lady gardens recently because at some point in our recent history, and we missed the precise moment when, it became okay to talk publicly about everything pubic.

Perhaps we saw this trend reach critical mass last week when Cameron Diaz caused a storm on Graham Norton’s chat show by hijacking the conversation with talk of her pubic hair. She was keen to clarify comments she’d made previously and those that feature in her tome, The Body Book, relating to her bush. Diaz, an advocate of full pubes believes ‘it’s there for a reason’ and in a chapter called Praise of Pubes talks about ‘maintaining the lovely curtain of pubic hair that surrounds that glorious, delicate flower of yours’.

Cameron is not the first to talk about such a personal topic, and with her in the ‘Pro Bush’ camp is Gwyneth Paltrow (who rocks a ‘70s vibe’), Lady Gaga (who graced the cover of Candy magazine nude with a full bush), Kate Winslet and Solange Knowles. The ‘Anti Bush’ camp are much easier to identify, mainly because their pubic visibility is higher than most – we’re talking to you Miley Cyrus and THOSE Terry Richardson pictures. And herein lies the issue…

MORE GLOSS: My first bikini wax in 20 years

Back at the turn of the millennium, bald and Brazilian lady gardens were ‘in’. A monthly wax represented taking care of oneself and an admirable level of grooming. Whether you were a Brazilian (leaving a landing strip) or a Hollywood (leaving nothing at all) said more about you than the handbag you carried, the neighbourhood you lived in or the gym you belonged to. And in the main it was positive, aspirational even, and all those with an untended bush needed to take note and keep up.

Ironically, Gwyneth Paltrow was the poster girl for a thorough wax after leaving a handwritten note at New York salon J Sisters saying ‘Thank You. You changed my life,’ after having her first Brazilian back in 2001.

Fast forward to 2014 and the backlash has well and truly arrived, Paltrow’s life was evidently unchanged, and along the way our labia have become a part of fashion with how it is styled being either ‘in’ or ‘out’. According to a recent survey over half of us don’t do any styling or grooming ‘down there’; 45% saying because they couldn’t be bothered and 62% said they had reverted to a more natural look because of their partner’s preference, while 14% threw in the towel because of the expense.

Whatever has led to the change in preference it holds true that ten years ago a big Hollywood name talking about her love of full pubic hair would have been a cringe moment, and admittedly it still is a little bit - but what it isn’t is déclassé, which is what being lasered or waxed has evolved into – for the moment, at least…

While Cameron Diaz et al may feel passionately about preserving and celebrating a full bush, it’s likely that what’s really happening is that pubic hair is going through its first full fashion cycle and that in 2024 we’ll be back in the salon asking for ‘everything off’.

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