Why do people get so fired up about a little bush?

In January, the British newspaper The Telegraph ran an article by Louisa Peacock describing the public response to a pubic display. Clothing manufacturer and retailer American Apparel is known for their controversial advertising campaigns, and this year the New York American Apparel’s Valentine’s Day window featured mannequins wearing see-through underwear.

Fake women in flimsy underwear?

Nothing new.

But under the knickers these mannequins sported relatively dark and thick pubic hair. And: the hair peeked out from beyond the edges of the knickers.

Saucy.

According to Peacock, most passersby were shocked and riveted by the mannequins with pubes. Peacocksays that, in particular, the bush display freaked-out young people.

“There is a whole generation of young men [who] are grossed out by Mother Nature’s handiwork because it hasn’t appeared on porn stars since the early 1990’s,” Peacock writes.

However, she predicts a vintage pubic hair trend is (ahem) growing, based on a UK Medix survey that says, “two thirds of partners prefer the natural look.”

Peacock concludes her article by suggesting that women and men are returning to the hairier bodies of the 1970’s, in real life, and maybe even in pornography.

But for now, it seems that waxing and other methods of hair removal, for example hot and cold laser hair removal, shaving, and at-home chemical depilatory lotions (like Nair and Neet), are still in high demand.

Here in Whitehorse, the lineup of ladies seeking bikini-waxing service keeps the estheticians busy.

Ammanda Partridge became an esthetician 11 years ago, after studying at Ms Lorea’s College of Esthetics in Whitehorse. She now teaches an introductory esthetics class at Yukon College and also manages Elements Esthetics Studio on Main Street.

Partridge loves her job.

“My workdays are like spending all day with friends,” she says.

Despite our hardy territorial locale, Partridge finds there is a strong market for her skills.

“In general waxing is just as popular here as it is anywhere else I have been employed,” she says. “I do find, however, that going ‘au naturel’ [completely un-waxed] is more popular here than anywhere I have ever lived.”

That being said, Partridge gives at least two to three bikini waxes per day.

“In the summer time clients usually come closer together for appointments, for example every four weeks, instead of six to eight weeks, ” she says.

Like picking out decals for your truck, there are different design options for the pubic area, including heart-shaped, lightning bolt, and diamond shaped. Then, one could decide to dye one’s lightening bolt, perhaps a pretty pink or bleach it blonde.

But, according to Partridge, the most popular service is the Brazilian, which involves removing hair from the whole bikini area. Everything.

Down the street at Shay-Per Esthetics and Laser Studio, their menu of fashion choices have clever names for the “Beaver Cleavers.”

They offer “Firesmart — clearing the outer perimeters” for $35; “YXY — perfect landing strip,” for $49; and “Clear Cut — not a bush left standing” for $139.

As appealing as it is to pay someone $139 (before tax and tip) to rip your pubic hair out by the roots, most women usually save that first wax for a special occasion, like a wedding, a trip, or a new lover.

“Most often the first time is because of vacation, or a surprise for a special someone,” says Partridge.

To help first-time bikini waxees feel comfortable, Partridge maintains eye contact and keeps the conversation flowing, to distract the client from the discomfort.

“After the first time, most women continue because they feel cleaner without hair there,” she says.

But it isn’t just women who get waxed.

“Men’s waxing is definitely less popular in Whitehorse than it was in Prince George, but there are a few requesting it here,” Partridge says. “It’s most popular for men who are athletic (body builders, swimmers, etc.), but I have done both bikini line and Brazilian on men. We even did a Brazilian on a man when the Just for Laughs comedy crew was up here – for material for his show. It was hilarious.”

So, it would seem that as waxing grows in popularity among men, waxing it all off is actually waning among women – if the American Apparel mannequins are right. Shock and arousal can go hand in hand, so perhaps the full bush will rise again, due to its now exotic appeal.

Perhaps a time will come when everyone accepts the bush as they now accept the bare. Hair is necessary, natural, and useful. After all, when’s the last time you saw a bald beaver?