On International Women’s Day, We Need to Talk About the “Hollywood”

Some call it a “Hollywood”, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was because of Hollywood’s proximity to the porn industry.

The Hollywood describes a type of waxing of the female pubic hair that’s both increasingly popular and increasingly making some people feel terrified for their daughters. It basically consists of taking everything off, leaving the genitals completely bare. Like a little girl, or a Barbie doll, or a porn actress. Talk about something healthy…

Yet, hygiene is a concern for most of the women who inflict to themselves the pain of such a practice. This is what a study published last year in the journal JAMA Dermatology showed. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco surveyed 3,316 women between the ages of 18 and 65, and 62% of them reported waxing or shaving off all their pubic hair at least once.

This confirms the conversations I’ve had on several occasions with some of the women who work in waxing institutes. Although I was told that girls opting for the “intégral”, also called the “américain” (in French), were way more than 62%.

In any case, the Californian study showed that the Hollywood was especially popular among young women (under 34 years old), and particularly if they were white and college-educated.

The authors wrote that “the increased prevalence of pornography that depicts bare genitalia, popular magazines, and television are primary drivers of the trend in the United States”. A trend that is expanding beyond the US, even though the names of these local specialities obviously come from here. Even what’s called the “Brazilian”, another style of waxing that consists of taking almost all the hair off, was invented in New York, according to this story published in December by the BBC.

Quoted by the New York Times, Jennifer Gunter, who “specializes in pelvic pain and vulvovaginal disorders for Kaiser Permanente Northern California”, acknowledged that some do it “to make them feel better”: “But don’t tell yourself it’s healthy or better from a medical standpoint”, she warned.

Do we need to mention that hair has a biological reason to be ? I’ll save you the expert’s quote on this one. Nonetheless, there are some resistance fighters : 16% reported staying completely natural. Which saves them a lot of time, money and energy to spend on doing other equally interesting activities.

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