Amber Rose has made great strides with her personal brand. She’s grown from being regarded simply as Kanye West’s ex-girlfriend to a prominent advocate for sexual empowerment, an author, leader of The Amber Rose Slutwalk and the host of her own podcast, Loveline with Amber Rose. Wonderfully explicit as she may be, Rose’s recent NSFW pubic hair photo, may have been too racy for the masses on Instagram but her point is totally valid.
Last year, I listened to a podcast on a flight to Paris on which Rose was a guest to discuss the fallout from being Kanye’s ex-girlfriend and the recipient of some unfortunate slut-shaming. Remember that time Kanye said he “had to take 30 showers” to wash Rose off his body after they were intimate? That was Rose’s jumping off point for clapping back with an anti-slut shaming movement and building her brand as a sexual empowerment advocate.
On that podcast, Rose was talking about sex “for real”, citing everyday experiences with sex, like not having orgasms every time we have sex with somebody and feeling bored by some men’s penchant for a high frequency/low quality sex style. Basically, Amber Rose was being really honest about a number of sexual experiences that a bunch of us find humiliating or annoying and making them feel understandable and common, and cool.
Rose’s recent NSFW pubic hair picture is actually really surprising because it’s actually so smart. Pubic hair is probably the next logical topic in society’s progressive conversation about self-love and gender equality in the context of bodies and sex.
Half of the women surveyed by JAMA Dermatology for a study published last year revealed that they groom their pubic hair because they believed it made their genitals look more attractive or because their partner preferred it.
That half of the women surveyed revealed they groom their pubic hair to look “more attractive”, or because their partner preferred it, doesn’t surprise me. It also doesn’t surprise me that author Peggy Orenstein (Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape) discovered that most of the young women she interviewed shaved or waxed their pubic hair since age 14. A prime motivation, they explained, was avoiding “humiliation,” because they heard boys openly mock girls with natural hair.
Literally every woman I know has been shaving, grooming and primping their pubic hair since sex was a fathomable possibility. Women wax, sugar, shave, bleach, laser and burn their pubic hair off with cream and this shit ain’t free — it’s expensive to groom a peach.
It’s not controversial that Instagram removed the photo of Amber Rose’s pubic hair from their platform because, she did publish nudity and genitals and the social brand has clear community guidelines around those two things. What is surprising is how Amber Rose is the first person in recent memory to make a public stand for pubic hair freedom with her ‘fire ass feminist post’.
Look, Amber Rose is really pushing the needle here. She published a (gorgeous) photo of her own genitals and pubic hair with a clear message for women that pubic hair comes packaged with a double-standard. Much like social media has spread the message that being “chubby” is cool, Amber Rose is sparking a new story about pubic hair and how it’s cool too, no matter how it’s trimmed (or not) and we can’t wait for this story to spread.