A Prickly Subject: The Body Hair Debate by Helen Plumb


| Shaving pubic hair for later?


The taboo of female body hair is one we cannot deny. In this genius performance by poet Anam Cara about how she un-learned years of fearing the embrace of her natural body.

'A Prickly Subject', directed by Helen Plumb, is a visual poetic account of a woman grappling with the decision of whether or not she should embrace her body hair in public. The short film shows Anam surrounded by cacti, the ocean, the sunlight; exploring the parallels between the female form and nature.

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The piece is part of 'The Art of Change' series by the Barbican, released on International Women's Day during the centre's month of 'Feminism' themed art.

In an interview on the Barbican blog, Helen Plumb comments that:

"The film aims to highlight the thought process associated with the decision to be unshaven and how this seemingly small act exposes a much broader issue around what is socially acceptable as a woman....In a society where gender fluidity enters the arena of debate on social norms, body hair on women still remains a taboo. This represents a complex weave of stigmatism and suppression that has to be unravelled and understood.Going out in public with leg hair as a woman can be liberating."

Watch the video below, and let us know what you think in the comments:

A Prickly Subject from Helen Plumb on Vimeo.


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Ruth MacGilp is an award​-winning blogger and freelance writer with a focus on ethical and sustainable fashion.
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