Caitlin Moran’s wonderful book, How to Be a Woman, has been an eye-opener to me for many reasons. I haven’t finished it, which I’m hoping makes me seem a tiny bit less shallow when I say the most startling bit so far has been about pubic hair.
Apparently pubic hair has changed enormously in the twenty-odd years since I last went on a date. And ‘enormously’ is the wrong word, for it seems things have become very, er, truncated in that area. Caitlin puts this down to the pervasive influence of porn on the Internet. Now, when I say I have never, ever looked at any porn on the Internet, I am clearly putting myself into a very tiny club, with people who have no access at all to computers (hostages? The dead?) and Anne Widdecombe. I’ve watched one porn film in a cinema – not surprising when you learn it featured snooker very heavily for a film advertised in Soho as a triple X. A lot of the action was on a snooker table and the camera kept cutting from the couple to a snooker cue and a selection of balls. All no doubt meant to be inspiringly symbolic, but unfortunately it reminded me of interminable snooker matches on BBC2 during my childhood which were even duller than the Open University broadcasts, if that’s humanly possible. From Caitlin’s book, though, it seems as though the rest of the world’s population does little else but watch porn and, if they are women, shave off their pubic hair, possibly both at the same time, I really couldn’t say.
Obviously I am no stranger to depilation – I’m a woman, I have spent over thirty years waging that unwinnable war - but it’s just that, back in the day, it was a joust. Now it seems to be a jihad. I found myself musing recently on whether I should get my daughters courses of laser hair treatment when they’re older, just to avoid all this stupid waxing rubbish. But it would be far easier just to bring hair back into fashion. Can’t we do that? It would be much warmer too, and winter’s coming. Not armpits, though, I’m sorry but that’s a tuft too far.