‘Bring Back the Bush’: The Channel 4 documentary stirring up opinions
Channel 4’s Bring Back The Bush is a new documentary that follows host, author, and body positivity activist Chidera Eggerue as she grows out her pubic hair for the first time in years for a public exhibition; in turn exploring the decision some women make to remove their pubic hair.
What’s the background on the documentary?
Eggerue is a writer known for “What a Time to Be Alone,” a guide to help young people navigate the modern world. She also is an activist known for starting the online campaign #SaggyBoobsMatter, and she was listed on the BBC 100 Women list in 2018.
For the program, Eggerue decided she would grow out her pubic hair for six weeks, and managed to convince four of her influencer friends, including a model, a student, a cage dancer, and a fashion influencer, to join her.
The program also featured a number of interviews with women, where Eggerue asks questions such as “How does having more pubes make you feel?”
Many of the responses included adjectives such as “dirty” or “unnatural.”
Eggerue delved into both the scientific and sociological implications of the pressure for women to remove pubic hair, and the documentary has been making the rounds online.
Viewers appear divided over the rationale behind the removal or normalization of public hair. It featured a number of different women recounting their first memories of the pressure to remove public hair, including the reasons why they might do so; including shame, porn, and the opinion of their boyfriends.
“I’ve just been conditioned to think that’s how a woman is supposed to be,” said blogger Krissy Vee.
Since this is a documentary about women and their bodies, the Internet has had a number of opinions on it.
Oh lord what are the Twitter people saying
In a turn that feels like the only bright spot for this year, the online reaction has been mainly positive!
It did seem to spark confusion for some, as one Tweet questioned whether this meant Kate Bush was touring again, while others were curious if this was about former US President George W Bush.
One Tweet cut straight to the point: “Christ if a bloke doesn’t want to be with you just because of your preference in how you want your own minge to look they are not worth it anyway. F**k them right off. #bringbackthebush”
“#bringbackthebush@Channel4 Brought mine back years ago. Totally liberating. Unlike the porn industry featured, which really isn’t” added another.
Some made a practical appeal for a return to a great time period for both fashion and bushes: “Finally. Time to get back to the 70’s #BringBackTheBush”
The general consensus for both the documentary and the response online seemed linked to how normalized this was for women, starting at an incredibly young age. “I had no idea taking it all off all the time was so ingrained and normalised (sic) in young women,” one respondent noted.
Over the course of the program, Eggerue noted online access to porn has grown exponentially over the past several years, which young people can see and interpret as a particular style or look being desirable or preferable over others.
Breaking that stigma relies on normalizing women’s bodies, which Eggerue and the company attempted to do throughout Bring Back The Bush.
The program is currently available to watch on All4.