The calendar—and the thermometer—say June. To that we say, with mixed feelings: Welcome to hair removal season. We know we’re not the only ones thinking below the belt as the season changes. Our girl crush just interviewed her own personal waxer of 9 years on a recent episode of Inside Amy Schumer, asking her to confirm that she doesn’t smell like “rancid Chinatown garbage.”

Oh, Amy.

2016 Trends

When it comes to hairstyles, there are three camps: bush, some bush or no bush. Man Repeller, in their must-read post, Everything You Wanted to Know About Waxing But Were Too Afraid To Ask, breaks down the current trends. The waxing professionals they interviewed claim full Brazilian—front and back—remains the hottest look for women, especially young women and even some men (!) and “it’s not going away anytime soon.”

Over at Mic.com, they take issue with the dominance of the Brazilian. In a kick ass post, 17 Lies We Need To Stop Teaching Girls About Sex, they demand an end to saying waxing is necessary: “Despite ads that try to convince women life can only be fully enjoyed stubble-free, you do not have an obligation to do anything to your body that you don't want to do.” According to Mic, hair removal is a $2.1 billion industry in the U.S. designed to exploit people’s insecurities, and over the course of a lifetime the average woman will spend an estimated $10,000 on shaving products!

A Pubic Revolution

In another strong post that showcases Mic’s pro-pube stance, Women Are Talking About Their Pubic Hair -- And That's a Good Thing, they give props to well-known women willing to show and talk about their pubes on air, like Girls’ Hannah and Jessa (though the latter’s strip is arguably quite groomed) and Broad City’s Ilana Glazer. Illana recently told Jimmy Kimmel a story about television censors wanting the pixels covering her pubes as she checks herself out in a Topshop dressing room to be flesh toned. She declined. “I got a baby vagina?” Glazer rants to Kimmel. “I’m an adult! I have pubes.”

Broad City GIF

Mic also notes that the pro-pube movement has it’s own Instagram hashtag for documentation: #Instapubes. In case that's of interest.

The Health Factor

However you choose to roll down South is clearly up to you, but do keep in mind that love it or hate it, we have hair there for a reason. It’s protective. It decreases friction during intercourse. Think pubes are unattractive? Try rug burn! And removing it can leave behind wounds—invisible as well as visible—that are then ripe for infection, including STIs. One study showed shaving represented a risk factor for of various infections, including herpes simplex virus. And then there's this American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology report on “complications related to hair removal.”

So we’ll leave you with a few summer grooming thoughts: Scissors rule for a cut-free clean up and coconut oil is super soothing for the totally bare (but it cannot double as lube because it can destroy a latex condom...for that you need the real thing.)

Happy Summer!

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