I had always thought that girls shaving their muffs was a relatively recent fashion trend. From around the early 90s or so. But then I found myself browsing some naughty vintage pictures and saw that a minority even back then (20s - 50s) had them shaved bald. I provide these links for edification purposes only, not for women and children. [[LINKS DELETED]]
What would have been the reaction of people seeing such pictures back in the day? Would it have been nothing special out of the ordinary (any more than any picture of naked girls), or would it have looked rather odd or weird to the average dude?
Rune, I don’t know where to begin with this. It’s in the wrong forum, the thread title is kind of inappropriate, and oh yes, you posted direct links to several nude photographs. We allow discussion of plenty of sex-related topics here, but as the registration agreement notes, the Penthouse approach is not enouraged - and while the pictures weren’t that explicit, they weren’t safe for browsing at work and you didn’t need to post them to get this topic started. So I’ve removed those links. In case you are actually interested in the history of this fashion, I’ve moved the post to GQ from Great Debates.
Apparently women used to shave their pubic area to thwart lice. They would then wear a pubic wig called a merkin to cover the bald spot. According to the wiki that would also hide signs of veneral disease. So maybe a bald pubic region was considered odd once upon a time. But ancient art portraying women often doesn’t depict pubic hair, and some women are just not hirsute down there, so it couldn’t have been that odd.
How explicit are the old pics? I’d have thought the emphasis was different in those days - just “don’t show pubes, they’re indecent” as opposed to today’s “get the pubes out of the way so we get a better look at the cooter”.
I don’t know of any that clearly show labia. So it seems like the early Playboy pictures, just don’t show the pubes. But I’m not an art historian. There’s probably a lot of information about the depiction of pubic hair in art over the centuries.
Here’s a possibly-related thought that I’ve seen mentioned from time to time (but I’m not interested enough to go digging up cites; that is left as an exercise for the reader).
It’s been claimed that prostitutes are, and always have been, fashion leaders. They keep coming up with new risque (at the time) brazen fashions, so they will stand out in public to prospective clients, and before long, all the “respectable” ladies start to imitate.
Prostitutes, allegedly, were the first to put rouge on their faces and lips, then that became widely popular. They were allegedly the first to shave their legs and armpits, then all the rest of the ladies just had to do likewise. There were allegedly the fashion leaders when ladies started wearing those high-top high-heeled boots. They were the pioneers of “haute pants”. It goes on and on.
There was a time, some years ago, that I occasionally noticed those X-rated “Classified Ads” rags you see in coin-operated news stands, in certain parts of town. You know, the ones where all the whores advertise. Among the fabulous attributes those advertisers so often claimed, shaven pussies were quite commonly mentioned.
So now, it seems all the rage among “respectable” ladies (or teens anyway). How “respectable” is THAT?
I recall some study that tracked eyeball movements when people were watching hard core porn. Men were looking right where you would expect. Women were looking at the starlet’s hair and shoes.
At the start of the 60s pubic hair was out in Playboy and many other publications. Then by the 70s it had become popular. By the 80s it was back to the bald look. Not sure when it started, but the Brazilian is all the vogue now to clean off the back door too.
So I’d agree, prostitution, and porn, are probably big factors in women’s fashion.
I’ve often wondered too who decided the “Barbie look” was the appropriate way to depict naked females in classic and renaissance times in statues and paintings. After all, they had no problem displaying men’s parts and often the accompanying bush. Why no bush or crack for women? Even quite a few men’s statues skip the hair display. Plus, it can’t be the difficulty, as we see full heads of hair, beards, and drapery in old statues too; and the Barbie look appears in paintings, so it appears to be a convention rather than a technical issue. Also, there seemed to be no such issue with displaying bare breasts, which are also generally verbotten display outside of art in polite society.
(The only anatomically correct statue I recall is one at the Bargello in Florence, where it seems the furrow was plowed into the statue later - and then a hole drilled for the fountain to spout from… OTOH, the Tres Riche Heures February page has no problem showing (bald) male and female peasant equipment as they warm themselves by a fire, while Milady genteely keeps her muff under wraps. )
After all, the whole secret point of fine art with nudes in the olden days was for the men to enjoy, and it’s not like they’d be shocked to discover “Oh, is that what it looks like…”.
Also, based on non-porn nudes from the days before shaving, most women did pretty much have the national forest down there compared to today’s esthetic clear-cut.
Based upon my thorough study of mid-Twentieth Century print illustrations of artistic subjects, I will state categorically that shaving was unusual and relegated to the fetish areas, while in more mainstream publications the hair was simply hidden through poses and/ or airbrushed off.
Yeah, get your mind out of the gutter SphobiaS. None of use were even thinking about sex, or imagining what a woman’s shaved pussy would look like, or feel like, from different angles, or glistening with perspiration, throbbing, … hold on, something big just came up.