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Pubes #2 - The Story Behind the Drawing

Updated: Nov 2


PUBES. Oh sisters (and brothers), that topic used to take so much of my attention, mainly because I didn’t get it. I didn’t get why do we make such a big deal out of having hair down there. Shaved men, to me, look like they grew a strange-looking worm between their legs. And fully shaved women look like a little girl’s vagina was glued upon a grown woman's body.


Now I know to let things of that kind go. And by “that,” I mean things people supposedly decide to do on their own. I do what I do, and the rest can do whatever they want (even if I highly doubt the concept of free will - my own as well as others).


I was born in the ’80s when getting rid of hair down there was never a thing, at least not in the Israeli desert town I grew up in. I never heard of the concept of getting rid of it all until I was in my twenties and the “Brazilian” became a fashion on the rise.

I believe it caught fire when “sex and the city” mentioned it in the 3rd season. Yet, I wasn’t surrounded by plucked or shaved vaginas until my late 20s. Before that, It was considered a bit far out thing to do.



Pubes #2, Pencil on Paper, 2018.


Until the Brazilian became a thing, most of the women around me were doing what was considered standard maintenance; trimming a bit and trying to make our bush line a bit narrow. You know, doing what is needed for your pubic hair to stay within the lines of your bikini (I guess that's why it's called the bikini line).

But thanks to the rising of porn culture, hair/women shaming, and women’s tendency to operate out of the male gaze perspective - most women adopted the bold look (hairless, not brave).


Me trimming and narrowing, I must add, was a pretty unconscious act. I just did what I thought would put me in the “desired” women’s group (male gaze hello!!!). I mean, who wants to be in a minority group that is weird and undesired.

I used to believe those were the norms, and I didn’t have the ovaries to stand up against them (or even develop an independent way of thinking).


It was only in my mid-twenties that I broke free from the “highly-maintained-bush” concept. And the story of how I got there is not a sweet one.


Growing back my bush and Mr. What’s His Name


I was about twenty-four and heartbroken when I met Mr. “what’s his name,” the owner of an advertising firm in Israel. I needed a little confidence fix, and what is better than an ego boost based on how HOT others think I am?

Well, that was my mindset at that time anyway, and I went for it.


I met the guy once, and he was a horny older man, but I ignored that because I was the “cool girl.” That was also why I completely ignored the poo scent coming from his offer to pose nude in an audition for a commercial.

Mr. What's his name claimed there's a French cosmetics company that’s looking for a presenter for their Israeli campaign. And because they want to make sure the woman in the campaign is not too young, they must see nude photos of her with her full-grown bush!!!


Yes, it sounded off. Yes, it felt wrong. Yes, it smelled awful. And yes, I DID IT ANYWAY.


I really needed to be the cool girl and needed the ego boost.


To prepare for the “part,” I allowed the plucked areas of my bush to grow back for a few weeks and then stood naked in front of a camera in what’s his name’s office.

I have no idea what he did with the pics, and for at least a decade after, I was horrified they might surface up one day. But now, I couldn’t care less. Honestly, if you want to see me naked, all you need to do is visit a lake or go with me to a sauna in Berlin, and there, my nude self will be (and to make it easier for you, I even uploaded one in this post).


Anyways, needless to say, I didn’t get the imaginary part in that French campaign. But I DID GET WISER.


I learned a great lesson from the whole experience that got me to stop wasting precious time and saved me a lot of pain till this very day.


Only after putting the waxing strips and razors aside, I was able to see how ridiculous this all pubes “maintenance” was. I took a step back for just a few weeks and experienced the freedom from;

- the itchy discomfort of hair growing back

- the pain of ingrown hairs

- the wasted time on taking care of the whole thing,

... and had more space in my head for more important subjects.



In Your Face!

Gustave Courbet, L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), 1886, 46X55 cm, oil on canvas, Musee d’Orsay


My pubes grew at puberty, as I grew out of my childish body. That’s the way it goes: puberty brings on pubic hair (and other things) with it, and there's no reason to try and get rid of them. The pubic hair is there for protection and it’s fluffy and soft. Pubes are a sign that I am an adult with the vagina of an adult, and I like the way it looks. I like myself the way I am.



I never cared about hairy balls and upper pennies hair, so I don’t see what my hairy vulva lips are a problem (or what's above them).


I don’t want to go through pain, not even once more, in order to appeal to others or align with an ideal I didn’t create.


And how does that explain the drawing?

The drawing is a part of a series called “Doll-Parts”, which presents part-human, part-doll figures. The series explores our tendency to surrender to external ideas/ideals instead of connecting to our true heart's desires.


In the drawing Pubes #2, there’s an image of a part-doll, part-hu(w)man figure. The figure is portrayed naked and shows her unshaved pubes, yet, its face is covered by the shirt it’s (maybe) trying to take off.


In my eyes, unconsciously messing with my pubes was an act of the programmed part, the doll part of me. If it wasn't for the outside world that told me what I’ve got is not enough - I don’t think I would have developed that thought myself.



Today I’m the proud owner of a fluffy thick bush. Pic by Hadar Dolan, 2018.


If the doll won over the fake ideals why is her face covered?


I’ll use first person to answer that;

Even though I did break free in one area I was unconsciously chained to; I still am not entirely free. I might be less of a doll for not shaving my pubes, but that’s just one tiny tiny area. Literally and conceptually.


I, and others, are still a part of the crazy game of social expectations and gender roles.


We can be brave down there and full of shame up here.

We can proudly keep our bush and hide our true faces at the same time.


But hey! No despair pls;

Seeing one thing for what it truly is and changing it signifies us increasing our awareness. The beauty of increased awareness is that when it starts going - it won’t stop. When you shed off one layer of bullshit it allows you to see more layers. The journey might take a lifetime, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Life can be so much lighter and free.


Bullshit is not just heavy; it’s also our way to show ourselves the exact opposite of self-love and acceptance. We feel we need to hide our truth and act according to external ideas and ideals to be worthy of love and have a place in the world. Those acts give us the feeling of fake power, being part of a group, etc.


The doll showing her pubes and hiding her face is a being on the path like all of us.

She is a being who took off one layer of bullshit and still has a lifetime of bullshit shedding ahead.

It’s not discouraging - It’s blissful.



See you next time :)



Pubes #1, Graphite on Parer, 2018.



* For all who think having hair down there is unhygienic; when was the last time you’ve asked your partner to shave their heads? Do you believe that hair is better? When you lose the hair on your head, you freak out and go to the doctor. Just give it some thought :)

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© 2018 by Shiran Berkovich.