Brands tend to tiptoe around the word ‘pubic’, almost like it's a swear word, instead using terms such as ‘bikini’ or ‘intimate wash’ to describe the use of their products. Venus is getting frank with its Pubic line, accompanied by a campaign that encourages women to #SayPubic.
The Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin collection consists of an exfoliant, serum, shave gel, and razor formulated with pubic care in mind. The product launch comes after a survey revealed that 56% of women said they wish that there were more accurate descriptions and imagery of women grooming their pubic area, likely because 87% of women who remove their pubic hair are not satisfied with the results. This may be because brands shy away from discussing the public region, which results in a knowledge gap. The #SayPubic campaign, launched alongside the TikTok hashtag #thepubesong, depicts a pubic hair cartoon character singing a Disney princess-esque song encouraging people to say the word.
A plethora of brands have taken steps to empower women by destigmatizing vaginal health, menstruation, and sexuality, but pubic hair remains taboo. Venus’ survey found that only 18% of women use anatomical terms like ‘pubic’, even though the majority feel they're more accurate. This hesitancy is likely due to shame and embarrassment, which can be worsened by brands that stick to euphemisms. MyAnh Nghiem, Gillette Venus Communications Director, says the initiative “starts a new conversation about using language that accurately and respectfully represents the female body.” Brands in this space would do well to further break barriers to feminine care - such as Cult Beauty, which launched a pleasure platform called Vulvalution to raise sexual care awareness.
Precious Osoba is a junior behavioural analyst at Canvas8. Fascinated by the hows and whys of people and culture, she has a background in social sciences and a degree in marketing. You can often find her in aesthetically pleasing restaurants writing articles for her Medium profile.