Forgive me if I haven’t looked into your site deeply enough to answer my question/concern. I’m a clinical sexologist and educator in Eugene, OR and am presenting a class this evening, “Reclaiming Our Power: Rocking Midlife Transition,” for women who want to be empowered sexually through and beyond menopause. I wanted to refer class participants to the Labia Project — I love what you’re doing. Then I noticed every labia was waxed or shaved (on the first three pages—a cursory look, I admit).
It made me wonder if my generation (I’m 55 and occasionally wax) will relate and whether the waxing is done for viewing or out of shame over having hair on our vulvas. Does your site have labia representations from unwaxed women? Is the waxing simply for better viewing?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
Thanks for getting in touch and for your words of encouragement regarding the site.
The Labia Project is submission-driven, which means that the pictures that you see in the Submissions section of the site are only of those women who decide to make submissions. The pictures may therefore not be exactly representative of the extent of waxing and shaving among women out there (but they are probably not far off, as a wide spectrum of women make submissions).
That being said, the site does feature some submissions by women who have decided to keep their pubic hair (for example, the submissions My hairy vagina and Hairy labia).
Waxing and shaving also appears to be more prevalent among younger women between 18 and 35, and a reasonable proportion of the submissions to the site are from women in this age range.
Some submitters who keep their pubic hair shaved or waxed say that they do so for hygiene reasons (which is based on a misconception because pubic hair is not unhygienic and in fact serves an important purpose). Others say that it makes them feel sexier to have their vulvas bare.
Ultimately, I think that one of the main reasons for women waxing or shaving is that this is in fashion – the trend, in recent years, has been to wax or shave, and many women feel like this is the only acceptable and attractive way to groom their vulvas.