It seems as if society has been revolving around hair removal—specifically, hair removal down there—for the past few decades. What was once a taboo topic is now celebrated by many women who claim that services such as waxing will change your life. People spend serious money on this, but for what, really? Let us dig a little deeper to find out if the bush really is back:
It was in the 90s when the arrival of the “J Sisters” started a revolution. Relatives Jocely, Jonic, Joyce, Janea, Juracy and Judseiain Manhattan were aesthesians who brought the Brazilian wax to the United States. The rise of the porn industry during that time as well led both men and women to find hairlessness more appealing. Suddenly, it seemed as if women were undergoing Brazilian waxing (something that came with a certain level of discomfort, depending on the woman) mainly for their men, and not for themselves.
What followed in the few decades after that was a backlash that was rooted in feminism. In 2014, clothing brand American Apparel made headlines for placing pubic hair on their mannequins in one of their stores in New York. Celebrities also started to speak up–with Gwyneth Paltrow revealing that she likes to “work a Seventies vibe” and Cameron Diaz sharing in a health and fitness book her stand on permanent laser hair removal: “Forever? I know you may think you’ll be wearing the same style of shoes forever but you won’t. The idea that vaginas are preferable in a hairless state is a pretty recent phenomenon, and all fads change people.”
In a fairly conservative country such as the Philippines, there seems to be a divide between hair vs. no hair. There are women who religiously book an appointment to their waxer every month and women who have never set foot on a waxing parlor, preferring to have their bush neatly trimmed. This isn’t merely an issue of older women being more conservative, as it stands true for both middle-aged women and for those in the younger generations. “Some people simply like the feeling of a cover and others don’t. It’s really more of a personal preference,” Monique Jamlang, PR and Marketing Manager of HaRem Inc., the company that brought Strip to the country.
Strip has been growing its reputation among locals for its quality hair-removal service. Tab Abad-Estacion, Managing Director of HaRem Inc., tells us, “Strip is all about empowerment— having confidence with yourself while being fun and playful at the same time. There is an authoritative air to the brand because our waxers undergo rigorous training.” She also shares that they cater to all women: from those as young as 10 to even 80-year-olds.
“With me, I just need it to be neatly trimmed and maintained,” Risa* shares, “I cannot see myself showing it to anyone else except for my husband and doctor! I keep [my hair] for protection against infection. It’s naturally placed there for a reason.” True enough, Abad-Estacion shares with us that hair does have its purpose: “In pre-historic times, hair was there because there was no underwear, no feminine washes and no pantyliners; its purpose was to protect foreign bodies from entering. Nowadays, we are a lot more advanced and hygienic, so there’s not much of a need. Hair can sometimes be a hindrance if you want to wear sexy underwear or wear a napkin comfortably.”
Risa’s friend Liza* chimes in, sharing that she was initially wary of a brazilian, but once she tried it, everything changed: “I know I may not have the best body out there, but getting one made me feel so sexy inside. I wasn’t even doing it for a man, just for myself!” Other women who undergo brazilian waxes also share the same sentiment, saying that while nobody outside can immediately see a brazilian wax, they already feel beautiful inside.
When it comes to having it all off, on the other hand, is there anything we should be wary of? “Nothing really—they just have to be sure that the place they’re going to is reliable and if they’re hygienic post-brazilian,” Jamlang says.
Let’s face it: women will never have the same opinion on this topic. Whether you swear by brazilian waxes, prefer to keep it au naturel or maybe somewhere in between (Strip and other waxing salons also offer bikini waxes—waxing the sides of the vagina only—or other fun shapes for your bush), what really matters is that you are being true to yourself and your level of comfort.