The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper


3 min read


Nothing brings you closer to the people you live with than sharing a shower.

Everything that’s normally covered up and left unmentioned is revealed in a shower, and even if you’re not explicitly revealing yourselves simultaneously, there are always remnants of that exposure for everyone else to find.

This was particularly noticeable in our former home, where three lovely, well-groomed ladies shared a bathroom with two particularly hairy gentlemen. This is not to say that they were unkempt bears or anything; I can assure you that neither of them had uncontrollable shoulder hair. But finding a mysterious hair is far more disgusting when you can’t even identify what part of the body it came from. Chest? Back? Feet? The possibilities were endless, but the girls in the house always jumped to the same conclusion: pubes.

Once you start to ask whose unmentionable parts have shed on your bar of soap on a regular basis, the barriers of polite conversation tend to break down a bit. After a few incidents, chitchat about this usually personal mane became overwhelmingly frequent.

So far this has been the semester of pubic hair. I recently came to find out that a male friend of mine shaves his balls on a regular basis. Not just a little manscaping to keep things hygienic, but full-out shaves them bald. Pardon my bluntness, but after the constant, intimate discussion of personal grooming I’ve experienced this semester, I have no reservations.

This friend’s shaving habits shocked me to no end, which is strange considering I don’t think twice about the fact that most females I know do far more appalling things to their body hair.

It’s quite the double standard to think that it’s completely normal for women to let strangers rip strips of hot wax off of their ladyparts, but for a guy to do a little down-there clean up with a razor is unnatural.
I know that, in the name of feminism and equality, I should be opposed to double standards like this, but quite frankly I support this one. Men are more than welcome to keep things neat and tidy, but once everything is gone, I get freaked out. Hair is masculine, normal and reassuring. The idea of dudes stumbling around in the shower with pink Lady Bics trying to stay stubble-free is just not right.
Women, on the other hand, are free to do whatever they want. Mostly because I have nothing to do with other people’s brazilians. The art of personal grooming has reached such a bizarre extreme—waxing in the shape of lightning bolts? Hearts? Initials?

I can hardly judge.

Strange as these private topiaries may be, I personally am glad to live in an era where the merkin is no longer fashionable.

Although I do feel like I’m missing out on the opportunity to declare that I am workin’ a merkin.

I suppose instead of being so critical of others’ grooming choices, I should at least be happy there are no pubic wigs involved. And really, even if there were, it wouldn’t be my business anyways.

Just keep them away from my bar soap.