LADIES: Throw out your wax passes. The Pubic Hair Renaissance is here. This week, American Apparel, arbiter of all things cool and also hot, displayed a naked mannequin sans Brazilian in its Houston Street storefront.
While this isn't the best advertisement for underwear (totally see-through?), it is the latest piece of evidence to suggest that the J Sisters' reign of terror is coming to an end. If Rich Creep Dov Charney thinks a full bush trendy, it's trendy. But you don't have to take his word for it. The writing has been on the wall for a months now. Here's how a radical idea became a bona fide trend:
The Wacky GOOP Idea
It is usually a good idea to chuckle at whatever Gwyneth Paltrow says and move on, but this time, your favorite Lifestyle Guru was on to something. In an April 2013 appearance on Ellen Degeneres' talk show, GOOP herself confessed, "I work a ’70s vibe. You know what I mean?" Everyone did. And suddenly, the wind changed.
The Cosmo Mention
Months later, the Ladies' Bible, Cosmopolitan, weighed in. In an October post titled "11 Differences Between On-Camera Porn Actresses and Real Women," Anna Breslaw notes how real ladies feel about waxing:
I do not enjoy lying in a freezing cold room with my legs in the air while an Eastern European woman with dead eyes rips my pubic hair off. Deal with it.
When Cosmo notes the insanity of a specific beauty standard, you know said standard is about to be shot into outer space.
The European Study
Then, in November, the British pharmacy UK Medix released a rigorously researched study (online poll) about women's grooming habits. The results show that a full 51 percent of U.K. women don't "style or groom their pubic hair." And 62 percent revealed that their partners "prefer the natural look." Now we have the jumping-off point for a doctoral thesis.
The New York Times Essay
A mention in the Times Style section is usually a good indication that a trend has already come and gone. But in December, Amanda Hess wrote in the decidedly hipper T magazine, "There’s something refreshingly retro, delightfully expressive and confidently grown-up in getting back to nature." She also noted that certain porn stars are embracing the natural look.
The Official Celebrity Endorsement
You could argue that Gwyneth was the first celeb to officially endorse pubic hair for the modern woman, but Cameron Diaz devoted 367 words to the subject in her new book, out this month. Under the heading "In Praise of Pubes," she writes:
Do you really want a hairless vagina for the rest of your life? ... It’s a personal decision, but I’m just putting it out there: Consider leaving your vagina fully dressed, ladies. Twenty years from now, you will still want to be presenting it to someone special, and it would be nice to let him or her unwrap it like the gift that it is.
Women who haven't even been born yet will be able to read these words in libraries decades from now, and remember January 2014 as the special time everyone agreed Brazilian waxes are dumb. The culture has, as it were, moved on.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.