February 22, 2005

malia and femalia

A designer in San Francisco appears to be making a male version of Femalia— a collection of photos of diverse, real genitals. He needs penis models!

I'm all for this kind of project, and generally all for looking at bits. I think anyone would be after receiving daily email, for years, from people tortured by the possibility that their totally normal genitals are deformed and ugly. I make lopsided labia t-shirts, even!

Recently, a new twist on this: maybe going bald is a good way to get a clear look at one's femalia. Well, of course it is— but maybe it is also interesting, or even important.

When I briefly experimented with mass pubic depilation, I was a bit surprised at the shapes I uncovered. (At the time, discovery that my labia met in a little horse-footprint divet was overwhelmed by the new, unpunctuated, seemingly endless width of my hips.)

But, the more of my friends have a go at Brazilian waxing, the more declarations I hear that this is not the vulva they grew pubes on. It has changed since it grew its protective camouflage. Puffed up, changed colour, gotten wrinkly or droopy maybe. It is obvious that puberty would have effects, but it can still be startling to uncover.

What I like most about this phenomenon is that it is the reverse of a common criticism of bald vulvas: they imitate young girls. Adult vulvas don't look like young girls' vulvas, even without hair. Especially without hair! Hair can hide their big, mature shapeliness.

I've never really cared about other people's grooming choices, but this adds interest for me nonetheless. For whatever reason, I've always thought of going bald as hiding hair, rather than revealing the bits themselves. I'm more interested in flaunting than hiding— this is like a new lease on baldness!

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