My Baby’s Reaction To My Lady Bits Begs Us All To ‘Consider The Bear ‘

132072400My one-year-old daughter is totally into bears right now. Out of the ten or so words she knows, it’s definitely her favorite topic of discussion. She sleeps with a bear while wearing bear pajamas. Many nights she won’t actually sleep in the pajamas, because she just wants to hold the shirt, gaze at the bear’s face lovingly and say with a reverence normally reserved for the pope and Ryan Gosling, “Bewr, bewr, bewr.”

If we are out in the world and she sees a bear — not an actual bear, we live in Los Angeles, not Alaska, but, say, some graffiti of a bear — forget about getting where you are going. You must stop and consider the bear.

Occasionally she calls things that aren’t bears “bewrs.” Certain Sesame Street Characters, the occasional Muppet, and some unidentifiable characters in her board books have all been likened to the giant mammal. I’m not about to argue; I don’t know what the hell they are either.

The other night I was drying off after a quick bath when she hobbled into the bathroom to investigate. She stood up and peered closely at my unkempt lady business. Her face exploded into a huge grin, and she pointed while excitedly shouting, “Bewr! Bewr! Bewr!”

That’s just about the best thing ever: my daughter’s first association with my vagina, and by association her own, is that it’s a wild and potentially very dangerous animal that no one had better fuck with.

Recently I’ve been very happy with my decision to let my bush go rogue. Years ago, before marriage and kids came along, I’d handed over what little extra cash I had to a stoic Eastern European woman to mercilessly rip all the hair off of my genital area. It didn’t make my life one bit better. It was just another errand I had to run, money I didn’t have to spend, and, as you might already know, it hurts like a mother.

Someday my daughter is going to grow hair on her vagina, which is hard to believe, since, at thirteen months, she has about three hairs on her head. But when the day does come, I don’t want to be sporting a perfectly manicured minuscule triangle, on an otherwise hairless muff. I imagine that conversation being awkward.

“Mom, something is wrong with me. I have hair. Down there.”

“Oh honey, that’s totally normal. It’s a beautiful, natural part of becoming a woman.”

“Then why don’t you have any hair down there?”

“Uh, well, actually, I get mine waxed off.”


“I don’t know exactly. It used to be something only porn stars did, and then it crossed over to popular culture and regular women started doing it and um…”

“Does Daddy like you better if you do this?”


“Do I need to do this so boys will like me?”

I’m getting sad about the world just typing up this pretend conversation. 

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  • Megan Zander

    I love this. Also, I now have Katy Perry’s Roar stuck in my head.

    • Kati

      My vagina’s a tiger and you’re gonna here it rooaarrr!

  • MegzWray

    Sure baby hamsters are cute, but are they really more fun to fuck than a real live woman with a grown-up pussy?

    • Gangle

      I often have a ‘baby hamster’, and believe me, at no point would anyone forget they are fucking a real live woman with a grown-up pussy.

  • Samantha

    Ha! Love that your daughter thinks you have a “bewr” down there. I am 7 months preggers and experiencing so much back pain that I have sworn off all shaving except arm pits (I am stinky otherwise). My 22 month old daughter recently stumbled into the bathroom after my shower and the look on her face was priceless. Her eyes were magnetically drawn to my lady bits and she kept saying (asking?), “Soft!?” Hysterical. I, too, used to do the full wax. Not so much for hubby as for me – kind of liked the feeling of it personally (only AFTER the day of icing and waiting for the bleeding and swelling to go down….yes, i have RIDICULOUSLY sensitive skin to the point that the esthetician asked if I really wanted to keep this up). I do miss it sometimes (except for that awful period of time where it is SO itchy but you are waiting for it to grow enough to do it again!). But it is so much easier and natural to keep things as they are. Even as I write this, I am wondering WHAT WAS I THINKING?? :)

  • lin

    Awesome! I haven’t been hair-free in a very long time, and I may just stay that way. I was thinking about geting rid of it again, and my husband asked how I was going to explain to our daughter that all my hair disappeared. I mean, I guess I could be matter-of-fact – sometimes woman shave their legs, armpits, pubic hair, and sometimes they don’t. I think I will just keep the bear!

  • MegzWray

    I started waxing last year when my hubs asked what I planned to do with that “beaver-pelt” I was growing down there. #maritalbliss

  • ShanLea

    I’ve never waxed, and reading this and reading comments have convinced me I never want to! I used to shave, but since there hasn’t been anyone around to see it in a long time, I gave it up-completely natural down there now, which prompted my 2 1/2 year old boy to announce when seeing me get dressed, “Mommy, why is your winky all dirty?” (I haven’t been able to convince him that mommy is a girl and doesn’t have one of those!)

  • Beth

    “Smuggling a clown in my bikini” = LOVE. Very funny piece, and relatable, too.
    My oldest daughter, when she was about three, asked me why I had a beard on my vagina. I laughed so hard I almost cried, and I told everyone I knew because it just couldn’t be kept to myself. Ok, ok, I didn’t tell my boss or my priest, but pretty much everyone else.

  • Alicia Kiner

    So I have never waxed. I barely pluck my eyebrows. Maybe twice a year. I was blessed with awesome eyebrows I guess. I hate shaving my legs and underarms, but well, I hate them hairy more. All that being said, I keep my lady bits comfortably groomed so nothing is sticking out of a bathing suit whenever I want to go swimming. The couple of times I’ve gotten it a little too short, I’ve gotten ingrown hairs. I don’t know how people deal with the regrowth after waxing. Luckily, my hubby is all ” do whatever, it’s your body.” He’s not so lucky. ;) I make him shave.

    • G.E. Phillips

      Awesome Eyebrow Club FTW!

  • Hibbie

    This is my favorite Mommyish article and Mommyish headline of all time.

  • LauraMatthews

    I like that this article tries to make a case for embracing what’s natural and take the pressure off women to make an effort to suffer and upkeep something to fit a mold presented to us in society.

    But I don’t know if it’s fair to say that we should feel most confident and sexy when we have a “bear down there”. I was shaving almost completely for a couple years before I lost my virginity in my early twenties and even after when I wasn’t seeing anyone. I love the way it feels and it has very little to do with pleasing men. It’s really just a personal comfort thing. If your comfort is having hair, go for it. Men still have various preferences even if they’ll have sex with us regardless and it is your right to find one who appreciates your comfort zone.

    Whether ferocious bear or baby hamster, we should all do what makes us feel great and confident. No pressure or judgement either way, and a woman who likes to wax or shave shouldn’t feel like she’s not celebrating her sexuality and “jungle”. And no matter the questions we might get, at the end of the day I think that’s what daughters will pick up on most: how their mother feels in her own (hairy or hairless) skin.

    • Guest

      This exactly. I personally can’t stand having anything down there so I shave it just like legs and underarms. I could care less if some ladies want to be natural so long as I don’t have to see it at the pool. Either way vaginas look weird so there is no winner here.

    • AW

      I’m all for “you doing you” in regards to your own ladybits, but why pick on the hairy lady at the pool? No matter how much I shave/wax/pluck whatevs down there I have a ten o’clock bikini shadow and some hellacious red bumps around my bikini area. Don’t I deserve pool too?

    • Tinyfaeri

      I’ve got a friend who has never cut her hair. Any of it. She totally deserves pool, too – not sure why anyone is staring at anyone else’s crotch long enough to care. Eyes are up here, buddy!

    • AW

      Wish I could get over it and do that too! How is that hair is worse than red, swollen bumps? It’s like my crotch is saying, “I know I’m ugly! But don’t worry, I’m literally torturing myself for it!”

    • Guest

      This is why I want laser hair removal. :(

    • Tinyfaeri

      I mean this in the least creepy way possible: I’m sure your crotch is quite lovely!

    • ObamaLied

      Your breasts are down there. Cover them, and I promise I won’t look. Don’t cover them and I guarantee a major ogling.

    • Guest

      I think bikini shadow is fine. When it gets into the “clown smuggling” there is a problem.

    • Spiderpigmom

      I’m pretty sure the hairy lady at the pool totally cares about your opinion regarding her capillary condition.

    • Bethany Ramos

      It really is a matter of preference. I have zero hair because of laser hair removal, and I love it that way. It makes ME feel more attractive.

    • Véronique Houde

      I HATE the feeling of pubic hair getting caught in my undies and pulling. OUCH. And yes, hairless just feels nicer.

    • meteor_echo

      Also, the feeling of a sweaty crotch with hair irritating it even more is the worst.

    • Véronique Houde

      YES and it just seems to pick up the smell sooo much more :S

    • meteor_echo

      Same with the armpit and scalp hair. I’ve once had fried fish for dinner, and then, a couple hours later, my then boyfriend tried to kiss me and told me that my hair smelled of fish.
      Also – I’ve had pubic hair caught in the zipper of my pants once. I ripped some out trying to unzip the damn pants and it was so freaking painful. I’d honestly rather shave D:

    • Teleute

      I have a friend whose FATHER treated her to a laser job “down there” for her 17th birthday. I believe he was under the impression that ‘Brazilian’ meant legs. After signing the consent forms, he was able to make subsequent payments over the phone.

    • Bethany Ramos

      That is frighteningly awkward!!!! Haha a Brazilian laser can be expensive too, like $200 a pop.

    • Tinyfaeri

      The last time I held a hamster, it bit the palm of my hand. Hamsters are freaking mean. And don’t get me started on hermit crabs…

    • aCongaLine

      I always make sure to “landscape” on a regular basis, lol. But really, it’s just one of those things that makes me feel like I have my act together. I might have Gerber Puffs in my ponytail, and spit up residue on my pants, but I’m landscaped, so, I feel a bit more like the me that actually used to have her act together :)

  • Sara610

    You win the Internet today. Yes, yes, ABSOLUTELY yes. If you want to wax because you like how it makes you feel or whatever, then great. Personally, I’ve never gotten the appeal of it; I do some basic grooming, but that’s about it. I am, however, pretty compulsive about the monthly brow wax because I just feel better and less-self conscious when I’m not rocking a Bert-style unibrow, which is what I would get if I let my giant Iranian eyebrows go unwaxed. That’s just what my personal comfort level is.

    It’s all about where every individual woman’s comfort level is and not letting anyone else–not men and CERTAINLY not the porn industry–define for us what is beautiful or normal.

  • Maria Guido

    I just want to say I love this article SO MUCH.

  • Kay_Sue

    “That’s just about the best thing ever: my daughter’s first association with my vagina, and by association her own, is that it’s a wild and potentially very dangerous animal that no one had better fuck with.”

    This made me laugh a lot.

    I do think it’s possible to tell your daughter that you go hairless because you like it, too, though. I wear make up. I know my husband doesn’t care, because he’s still frisky as hell in the morning when I haven’t even brushed my teeth, let alone applied mascara and a smoldering smokey eye (:-P) but I do it because I like the way I look in it.

    I love the humor of this piece, but it kind of misses the fact that there are tons of women that practice various grooming routines simply because it is what makes *them* happy. Not every beauty ritual is meant to please a man, you know? “Do you” is the best way to approach beauty routines, I think.

  • CandaceB

    “I don’t want to look like I’m smuggling a clown in my bikini.” I’m dying right now. People around me are staring I really need to stop reading Mommyish while sitting at my desk eating lunch.

  • Vulvalicious

    Great article!! Only one nit picky critique, hair grows on the vulva, not the vagina….

    • Alexandra


    • Ally

      Thank you, I was going to say exactly this. You don’t grow hair in your vagina. That’s like calling the hair on your head your brain hair.

    • Eve Vawter


    • Ally

      My brain hair’s looking a little bushy lately…

  • Jallun-Keatres

    When I first got married my husband suggested I shave (to make sex cleaner? idk). I suggested he was out of his mind.

    My first experience with the bush was when I was 3. My aunt was over and since I come from an open family I walked into the bathroom to find my mom and her sister nekkid (idk, dressing together?) and I pointed to their bushes and went “They’re the same!”

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    I only groom for me, no one else.
    I can’t shave my legs too often due to psoriasis, they end up very sore.
    I shave because I feel sexier, cleaner and it’s less maintenance.
    FOR ME! =)

  • G.E. Phillips

    Since I make it a point to not let anyone near my vagina unless they have been to medical school and/or bought me at least 3 drinks, I have never had a wax. However, I definitely prefer things to be nice and neat down there. As with all things, wax your beaver…uh, bear, or don’t; it’s really nobody’s business.

  • allisonjayne

    I love this!

  • meteor_echo

    “Sure baby hamsters are cute, but are they really more fun to fuck than a real live woman with a grown-up pussy?”
    And this is where you lost me entirely.
    I shave my pubic hair off entirely, and I still am “a real live woman
    with a grown-up pussy”. If you can’t distinguish a child’s genitals from
    a woman’s genitals, you need a trip to the optometrist, and stat. Also,
    “a real live woman”? Really? What, having a hairless snatch suddenly
    makes me a Queen Alien?
    Also, I hold my power in my brain. I consider it way more important than my vagina, so don’t speak for me, k?

  • Terry Teague SF

    Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very Fuzzy, was she?

  • Marya Alexander

    “Consider” an aquarium (LEGOLAND, CA) visiting bear :-)

  • Harriet Meadow

    When my fourteen-years-younger brother was about three years old, I took him with me into a public bathroom at the mall. After doing my business, I wiped and stood up to pull my pants back up and he exclaimed, ridiculously loudly (because how else do three-year-olds talk?), “I saw the hair on your penis!” I about died laughing.

  • pineapplegrasss

    I just personally always thought that a bare vagina looked so young, like a child, and it creeps me out. Naw, I like to look like a woman. That being said, I do tshave the bikini area and have to trim the length from time to time. I’ve never waxed, but I do think it’d feel amazing after the pain subsided, until the hair started growing back.

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    I have to say, it may not make a difference! I grew up seeing my mother and her “bear” in the tub, or changing, frequently. I have been consistently hair free since I was old enough to shave it all off-14 or 15, I think. However, I don’t believe choosing to be waxed on the regular takes away my title of “real live woman”.

  • Kelly

    I think it’s pathetic that some women are so insecure about their bush that they need to insult those of us without pubic hair by saying we aren’t real women.

    It’s sad. Get some therapy or just go back to waxing if you need to sink that low over some stupid body hair that nobody really gives a shit about.

  • jenn

    I don’t really get why many women are so angry that some men prefer them fully smooth or at least partly so. Sometimes it can be to your benefit to cater to what they like most. Even though my boyfriend doesn’t care when it comes to sex itself, when I’m freshly waxed or shaven he LOVES to go down on me and I don’t ever need to ask for it. A little effort on my part for more amazing orgasms? I’ll take it.

    • Mikster

      My husband of almost 30 years has never missed a chance to go down whether it was fully-feathered, trimmed or baby-smooth. He’s an equal opportunity muncher ;-)

  • WesternShore

    “Someday my daughter is going to grow hair on her vagina” Really? Are you serious? Vaginas don’t have hair. Growing hair on one’s vagina would be as alarming as growing hair on one’s esophagus. Is it possible that, you a grown woman, don’t know what and where your vagina is? (Just FYI, the genital area where your daughter will someday grow hair is her vulva.)
    Read more:

    • PrairieCoast

      Yes. This. The author may need to consider outsourcing her daughter’s sexual education to someone who actually knows what a vagina is. Also, “our vaginas are the centre of our sexuality”? Not sure about that one, either.

  • Rachel Sea

    I’m happy that you are happy to be hairy, but no one’s womanhood is dependent on her sharing your choices. Real women self-identify as female.

  • oywiththepoodlesalready

    To each her own but I don’t want to encounter a bear down there. If having one makes you feel all mighty and powerful, you go girl! If shaving/waxing it off makes you feel all silky smooth and sexy, same to you. I have been shaving for years and I do it for ME! nobody else. I might occasionally have a landing strip but that’s as much as it’s gonna grow.

    • MellyG

      Took my thoughts exactly. As a woman, i groom for me – any man down there should just count himself lucky he has access, regardless of the upkeep. However, i like to be a bit neater, i used to go full on smooth but now just get bikini waxes and trim. I personally like to be neat – to each their own.

  • SusannahJoy

    That imaginary conversation should be easy. “Why do I have hair?” “Because hair starts growing there as you’re growing up.” “Then why don’t you have hair?” “Because I like it this way.” Easy peasy. And non judgmental towards either side of the hair vs no hair debate, unlike this article.

    • MellyG

      That was pretty much the conversation i’ve had with my mother. Her only “rule” as i started growing hair is that hair shouldn’t show out of a bathing suit. Other than that, to each their own!

  • MellyG

    Also, courtesy goes both ways – i don’t expect my man to go bare, i think that would be a bit too much, but a bit of manscaping goes a long way – i don’t want to go down on him and come back with pubes in my teeth. Yeck. I extend the same courtesy to him, and it doesn’t make me “less” of a woman.

  • Gangle

    Sometimes I wax, sometimes choose I leave it. I choose my grooming habits based on what I want and how I feel, never is it based on anyone else’s opinion on what I should look like down there. All the women that shave, or just tidy up the edges, or let it grow wild, I have one thing to say to you: Do what makes you feel confident and good – and do it for you, not for anyone else. That is the wonderful, exciting thing about body autonomy. We get to choose.

  • Nahman

    “_Y_our vagina is the center of _Y_our sexuality.” Not every woman centers their sexuality on their vagina. Not every woman has a vagina!!

  • CC

    Well this gives my kids’ favorite bedtime story “The Very Hairy Bear” a whole new meaning…

  • Tom Maker

    Shave it girls…..nothing worse that trying to nibble through a forest.

  • Katie H.

    Sorry. There were only 68 comments and given the subject, I just thought there should be 69.

  • Jayamama

    Great message. I wholeheartedly agree, except for two things:

    1. No child of mine, regardless of gender, will see me naked when they are old enough to later remember it. Creepy.

    2. Can we please, PLEASE, learn the difference between the vagina and the vulva? If I found a hair on my vagina (or rather, in it, because that makes more sense), I wouldn’t shave it; I would run to the doctor! That is not where hair is supposed to be!

  • Momma425

    I shave because:
    1) I feel sexier
    2) My husband prefers it. I don’t think he would divorce if I didn’t or anything- but it’s a little thing I can do that makes him feel better.
    3) I prefer it when he shaves

    I’m still a grown up woman, and don’t appreciate being talked down to because of my grooming preferences, thanks.

  • Moony

    If you prefer to have your vagina smooth and hairless, that’s fine by me! However, now that it’s become so common for women to wax, suddenly I’m being criticised for leaving mine the way that it is! And that’s not fair! I tried shaving once (actually, three times) because society told me that was the normal thing to do. As as result, I got razor-burn, ingrown hairs, a few irritated spots and it started to grow back less than a week after I’d done it – twice as itchy, twice as thick and twice as dark with twice as much of it to shave again, to boot!

    So I gave up! I like the way that my junk is! And If I can go through life without commenting on the per-pubescent look a lot of women today are sporting “down there”, then why am I constantly coming under fire for being “unhygenic?”