There Is Now a “Normcore of Pubes”

"normcore of pubes"

It’s been more than a month since Fiona Duncan wrote about normcore in New York magazine, launching a thousand response blog posts and memes as surely as Helen’s face launched all those ships that one time. Much of the chatter surrounding Duncan’s original essay missed her (intelligent, salient) point entirely—and sometimes, annoyingly, missed the point willfully—which was more than a little unfortunate, because normcore as a concept has larger socio-economic and class-based forces behind it, which Duncan (and some of the people who initially responded) explored. But because the Internet isn’t always the best place for nuanced discussion (see #CancelColbert),  it was kind of a relief to see the whole normcore conversation fade away, because, you know, if you don’t have anything smart to say about something, maybe just shut up?

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Or maybe, you know, if you’re the New York Times Styles section wait a full month after the concept of normcore has been introduced, and then do a huge Alex Williams-written (of course) piece on the trend, and make sure to divorce the sociological implications of the trend from its more superficial, dad jean elements, so that you can have a slideshow with a “Normcore Hall of Fame” featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Barack Obama.

Which, you know, ever since the public editor of the Times admitted that the Styles section basically operates under the same editorial ethos as that of The Onion, I’ve been trying not to engage with that part of the Gray Lady. I’ve been trying not to stoop that low. (And, really, it’s pretty low! Normcore Hall of Fame? No. No. No!) But so, I closed the hell out of that tab, and bookmarked the article about Tavi Gevinson and Petra Collins for later and started to read a seemingly innocent article about the return of the appearance of 70s-style bush, only to find that the word normcore is now also being used to describe this latest trend in pubic hair.

Yeah, that’s right. Apparently, the newest grooming style is the “full bush Brazilian” in which women maintain wild locks on top, and are totally bare from butt crack to labia. It’s being described as “‘having it all’ for pubes” and “kind of a pubic reverse mullet of pubes” and, finally, “normcore for pubes.” Yeah, “normcore for pubes.” What’s next? Women getting their pubes waxed into a circular shape so that we can all get articles about “pube monocles”? When will it end? And why does every trend need to be beaten into the ground like this until its context and original implications lose all meaning and only serve to diminish the act of finding meaning in the things that are actually going on around us, not the made up trends that the Times and its ilk like to report on? All of which is to say, can we officially retire the word “normcore”? It served its purpose. It had a good run. But sometimes a pube is just a pube. Not everything needs to be trendy.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen

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