War on the Pthirus Pubis

The species Pthirus Pubis or crab louse, also known as the pubic louse, is an insect that is an obligate ectoparasite of humans. It mainly feeds on blood and is typically found in pubic hair, but may also live on other areas with coarse hair, including the eyelashes. – “When a man and a woman love each other very much.” Interestingly, and perhaps disturbingly, a closely related species, Pthirus Gorillae, infects gorilla populations. The species passed to humans 3.3 million years ago.

Lately, the Pthirus Pubis is going through a bad time; its natural habitat seems to be diminishing. Having said that, waxing the pubic area is actually not a new trend.

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel

In certain Middle Eastern societies, the removal of body hair was considered proper hygiene. There’s even evidence that total body hair removal dates back as far as 4,000 to 3,000 BCE in some cultures.

In the United States, body hair removal did not really kick into gear until the 1940s, when bathing suits started getting teeny-weeny. It was then that the hair removal along the bikini line became a concern, because, as we all know, lack of hair tends to be equated with femininity. Despite the bikini line receding, full bushes tended to remain intact underneath.

By the time 1972’s iconic porn film Deep Throat came out, women still tended to be as hairy as men between their legs. But just two years later, there was a new look on the scene – at least in the world of pornography. The first so-called pink shot of an entirely pubic hair-free woman appeared in Hustler in 1974. Between 1985 and 2010, the amount of Playboy Playmates with pubic hair has steadily declined to zero.

What soon followed was a virtual industry of hairless vulvas. Perhaps trying to appeal to many men’s fantasy worlds, women outside of the porn industry started waxing their nether regions in droves. By 1987, thanks to seven sisters from Brazil who opened a lady’s salon in New York City, a full-fledged trend was born.