It’s been a while since the full bush came back in style, finally liberating women from the burden of getting hot wax poured on their privates. And last summer we pretty much all agreed we should grow out our pit hair. But now it’s time for another body-hair revolution. This spring, let’s embrace the far more stigmatized “happy trail,” the patch of hair some women grow between their belly buttons and their bush.
This bold call to action comes from someone who has a lot of pubes and a particularly dope happy trail: me. But I didn’t always possess a resolute acceptance of this part of my body. Even though I attended the infamously hippy-dippy Oberlin College, where not having body hair was weirder than having it, I kept my stomach hair-free. It wasn’t until I dated a particularly pube-loving dude that I began to reexamine just what it was about my stomach hair that made me feel so un-hot. In a more straight-up feminist fairy tale, I would’ve come to this happy-trail-loving epiphany on my own, but at least now we know men have some purpose beyond reaching high shelves. Ever since dating him, I’ve let my stomach hair grow.
Of course, not all women who sport stomach hair have reached a similar point of enlightenment. Fellow happy-trail-haver Courtney told me she wished she embraced it, but she simply cannot come to a détente with it. “I rock the pit hair, leg hair, and bush,” she said. “But with other female body hair you can say, ‘It’s natural, everyone has it.’ But not everyone has a happy trail.”
It’s not just women straitjacketed by the happy-trail stigma. Matthew tells me he’s always been enamored with stomach hair, but hasn’t been particularly forthcoming about it.
“Ever since I saw a woman’s happy trail while sitting in a YWCA in Berkeley watching the Jazzercise class my mom was attending I have been a drawn to them,” he said. “I have never felt comfortable admitting to this preference in public as I assume people would think I was weird or mock me.”
Outside of straight communities, however, the happy trail enjoys less of a stigma. Mickey has always loved her happy trail. Her sexual partners have never said anything about it, probably because they’re all “freak queers,” she tells me.
Still, straight women seem to be embracing it more and more. Emma was always self-conscious about her happy trail, especially after her first-ever boyfriend suggested she get rid of it. She tweezed for a while, which led to “mad ingrown hairs and bumps.” But in lieu of waxing, Emma has decided to keep it natural.
“I don’t know why I don’t love it,” she tells me. “It’s def growing on me more though … I am trying to be into it!”
Now that women are confidently rocking bushes and pit hair, it’s time to extend the same courtesy to other, less-commonly hairy parts of the female form. Embrace your happy trail! And if you don’t have one but want to sport spring’s hottest trend? There are always eyebrow pencils.