Declaring something to be back when it’s never fully disappeared means one of two things: the declarer is young and/or only acquainted with a homogeneous group or I’m just hopelessly out of it. Last month’s Salon essay on the return of pubic hair (written by a 34-year-old proving that yes, I’m just out of it) not only made me feel an ever-widening generation gap but convinced me of the necessity in reviving a strictly personal blog (or as we called them in the old days: online diaries). No one who goes looking for innocent food talk need be subjected to my thoughts on grooming.
I was naively under the assumption that only people born after 1980 or look like a Real Housewife of Orange County or now that I think about it, gals who still think cupcakes are special and actually paid to see Bride Wars sported a landing strip or less (and wear thongs—similar concept) It’s totally learned behavior that I was already too adult and set in my ways to adopt when it became the norm.
I can distinctly remember when Brazilian waxes were brand new in the city when a frenemy forced me to look at her steak fry-sized patch of fuzz in a bathroom stall. I thought the extreme look was a novelty. I was 26 in 1998, the year of this scarring incident (and also the year of the first reference in the Times) but I imagine if you were a teenager in ’98, a twenty-something of today, you’ve only known bald and bald lite. That’s the standard and that is strange.
It does make me wonder who the target audience for Betty, "color for the hair down there" is. Old ladies, I guess.
Don’t misconstrue, I’m not calling for a return to bountiful early '70s Joy of Sex lower locks. There’s a middle ground between newborn smooth and wild and wooly. It’s not all or nothing. I find it hard to believe that I’m the only woman in America who’s not sold on high polished waxing.
I’m confused when I hear men like Bill Maher declare a return to female pubic hair a “new rule.” Dude, you date adult entertainers, what do you expect? Then again, he strikes me as a prime Old Dad candidate. The mouthy bachelor types always find a sweet under-32 to settle down with in their 50s. And next thing you know they’re cooing about taking their toddlers to Masa.
But I didn’t feel a true stark generation gap until I read that 85% percent of students use block lettering on their SAT exams. Apparently, no one learns handwriting in school anymore because they’re so accustomed to typing. That was seriously shocking. Heavens, I feel an attack of the vapors coming on. You can take eradicate every follicle on your pudenda but for christ’s sake learn cursive.