I must confess: I have been an avid student of the female form for decades. And I know that writing about female body types is akin to gingerly tiptoeing through a veritable minefield. The thrilling Iraqi war film, Hurt Locker, comes to mind. When I last broached this subject in “You Don’t Need Jennifer Aniston’s Bod to be Great in Bed” I took considerable enemy fire. But I survived with my humor and dignity intact.
So, though I am reluctant to head back into another body culture war I’m afraid duty calls. I fully expect to take some flak. But neither do I want to die on this hill, or mound (mons pubis), as the case may be.
It seems the very revealing Sports Illustrated, Swimsuit Edition cover shot of Hannah Davis—standing confidently, her thumbs hooked into the sides of her bikini bottom—has provoked a heated international discussion. Talk is mostly centered on the exposure of a certain part of Ms. Davis’s body, which New York Times writer Jennifer Weiner has described as “that formerly unnoticed span of flesh between the top of one’s panties and the labia majora.” (I knew three years of high school Latin would finally come in handy.)
What has Weiner’s knickers in a knot is her fear that Ms. Davis’s perfectly tanned, toned, and hairless on-ramp to her labia will create a new dimension to women’s insecurities about their bodies. In her Sunday New York Times article, “Great! Another Thing to Hate about Ourselves”, Weiner argues women already have plenty to worry about: “stretch marks, eye bags, age spots, wrinkles, belly rolls, cellulite, and especially boobs that are too big, too small, too droopy, mismatched and asymmetrical.”
But now Weiner bemoans the fact that women will have to worry about their “lady place”. In other words, another body part that has to be pruned, policed, examined, and improved upon. All because of Hannah Davis’s Sports Illustrated shoot that has cropped up all over the internet, and your local corner store.
But speaking humbly on behalf of all mankind, I would like to tell Ms. Weiner that she is making a mons pubis out of a mole hill.
As I have stated in the past, we men don’t give two fracks about what you do with your lady business: Brazilian, half Brazilian, Mohawk, triangle, landing strip, or smooth and hairless as a baby’s behind. Toned. Not Toned. Even off-key. We don’t care. We just want to be invited to the dance. C’est tout. Secondly, women have more important things to worry about.
As Weiner astutely queried, “Do you think Eleanor Roosevelt worried about her undercarriage?” Or Gloria Steinem or even Hillary Clinton, for that matter?
I agree with Jennifer Weiner, “Girls and women’s lives matters. Their safety, health and their rights matter.”
Hannah Davis’s perfect labia foyer, not so much.