Chidera Eggerue Is On A Mission To Normalise Pubic Hair

The sight of a woman’s hairy body invokes anger and disgust in people in a way that reflects the way we have been conditioned to condemn and consume women simultaneously. 

When I recently posted a photo of myself with my bushy bikini line exposed, the abuse I received from strangers proved exactly why I wanted to make a documentary about pubic hair in the first place: to start a conversation and invite people to challenge their deep-rooted stigmas towards women’s pubic hair.

The comments I received from men were often along the lines of how much my desirability has decreased due to the presence of the pubic hair: they would prefer me shaven for their consumption; the hair didn’t look ‘presentable’ enough due to the coarse texture. These comments highlight the delusion men live under in this patriarchal society – namely that a woman’s body only becomes sexual, desirable and deserving of love only when he says so. (There’s also the delusion that the woman being shamed would even want to choose him.)

Meanwhile, what was fascinating to me about the mean remarks I got from other women, was that they suggested – seemingly to ingratiate themselves with male onlookers – that the presence of my pubic hair automatically meant I had poor hygiene. Many people believe that having a bush down there means your body will smell but if you can clean and maintain the hair on your head, you can absolutely clean and maintain your pubic hair, too!

Without revealing too much about my personal sex life, I can confirm that my bush has never stopped me.
Chidera Eggerue Is On A Mission To Normalise Pubic Hair

I was also fascinated by the immediate assumption that I must be celibate or ‘not really having sex’ because, apparently, having pubic hair suddenly means you stop being a sexy whole human. Without revealing too much about my personal sex life, I can confirm that my bush has never stopped me and it never will because I do not share myself with men who think they have the right to tell a woman how to exist. This is what happens when women listen to straight men too much and internalise patriarchal projections: we become scared of our own bodies and we shame other women for not bowing to that fear. By reinforcing these corrosive ideologies, we end up becoming patrons of the patriarchy and in the process, we unknowingly betray ourselves.
It’s almost as though we want women to be powerful, autonomous and brave but once we see a woman do that beyond the terms we’ve set, we become resentful and just as violent as the system we are trying to fight. At times while making this documentary – especially at the beginning of the filming process – I was anxious about revealing too much hair but by the time I’d got to the end of filming, I was quite literally ready to run through a meadow with my whole bush on show – because my body hair is not the enemy here and it never will be. The real enemy here is the voice we all have in our heads that tells us we will only ever be as worthy as other people decide we are.

I look forward to living a care-free life with my bush and I hope other women are able to realise through this documentary, that they have the final say on who they are and nobody is allowed to interfere with their relationship with their body. After all, it’s just hair right?

Imagine how different the world would look if women weren’t taught to be afraid of our bodies. Hair happens. It grows out of our skin like our nails do but for some reason, we are taught to hate our hair when it grows from our pubic region. If you’re a woman, I know you can relate to me here on how the internalised messaging genuinely disrupts our sense of who we are when nobody is looking. Over the past few months, I’ve silently undergone a journey of challenging myself to grow out my bush and let my beauty flourish. I can’t wait to show you how I did it, the MENTAL challenges I’ve faced and the women I’ve encountered along the way who are joining me in embracing their bushes. My new documentary ‘Bring Back the Bush: Where Did All Our Pubic Hair Go?’ will be out on @channel4 next week Monday 27th, 10pm. #BringBackTheBush
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Bring Back the Bush: Where Did Our Pubic Hair Go? Is on Channel 4 on Monday 27 January at 10pm. Available for catch up on All 4.
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