Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
No, I am not talking about the former president of the US.
I am talking about muff, fuzz, the lady garden, and a multitude of other quaint names we use to describe our pubes.
For many years, I have kept mine nice and trim and in a selection of interesting styles. This was all the more important when I started burlesque as paranoia began to creep in regarding what may or may not be visible. I don’t just mean keeping a bikini line in check, but also, if wearing skin tight thongs we should consider that a massive ‘fro style bush could make for interesting contortions in the fabric?
Recently I decided I didn’t care. I think I’ve reached a point in my life where my inner (and often angry) feminist is asking “what the hell is wrong with you.” So, I have decided to grow that ‘fro bush. And I couldn’t be happier.
As I keep it lovely and groomed and will it to have more volume, I gain the bush confidence I had been missing for years. Years of worrying what people might think should some pubes be visible one way or another. Worrying about the poor wretches exposed to it when it is less than kempt. All that is gone!
I’m going to bring it back again to Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, in which she traces the smaller and smaller bikini line to the way women are presented in porn. I’m pretty sure that many women with bald (and presumably slightly chilly) lady bits are not consciously trying to emulate women in porn. However there is a trend in burlesque to have a lack of fuzz for practical reasons.
The first being “unsightly hair” – when you are wearing a tiny thong and your bikini line is sprawling out the sides like you’ve trapped an angry and slightly mange-ridden cat in your knickers (at least that’s how the paranoia makes you feel), it can be very upsetting. This I understand and I will admit that although my ‘fro bush is getting rather joyful, I am keeping the edges trim.
The second involves those who wear merkins. Personally I’ve never dallied with them as I’ve never particularly thought one would suit any of my routines. However, many performers use them and to imaginative and fun effect. I would presume that having an extensive lady garden would make the use of a merkin at best problematic and at worst painful?
So the path I have chosen is not one for all burlesquers, and many might be horrified at the thought of my fringed and sparkly knickers being chock full of a fluffy down. And that’s just fine, each to our own personal grooming habits. But for me it comes down to this – I am shortly performing a new routine in which I wear a nude thong… Most of my routines involve knickers covered in enough fringe that no one would ever notice the wookie stashed in my pants. However, there is every chance – should the light catch it just right, that the contours of my ‘fro bush will be visible in the nude thong. And you know, I’m just fine with that.
If a room full of people are horrified at the thought that the woman standing half naked in front of them on stage has pubes, well I think that’s their issue not mine. I also think they might need to revisit their biology lessons. But mostly, they just need to get the damn hell over it!
So for anyone else who feels the need to grow a minge ‘fro you are not alone! It can be daunting given our line of work, but I have to admit that I feel much more confident and comfortable since Operation Bush began. If anything the only downside now is trying to encourage the luscious locks that I denied for so long, to try and overcome the patchiness left by waxing and grow a mass of curlies that would make a 1970’s proud!
Fluffy love from