Designers’ bodies
Women and body hair in contemporary art and advertising
in The last taboo
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

In recent years, contemporary artists have been increasingly devoting attention to human hair, and specifically to body hair. When it comes to picturing and representing female bodies, often even the most radical and iconoclastic artworks can be seen as reproducing the same ideal criteria that have their roots in centuries of visual representation, sexual aesthetics and patriarchal ideology. This chapter analyses some examples of images of female bodies with body hair – both in advertising and in contemporary art. It examines the way in which such images might endorse or indeed try to expose the taboo of body hair and the different representations and constructions of female bodies across the diversity of Western cultures. First, the chapter compares two images used in recent advertisement campaigns with Mixed Metaphors (1993), a painting by the artist Dottie Attie. These three images share a common concern with the female body and its hair, and all depict female genitals with pubic hair or a semblance thereof.

The last taboo

Women and body hair


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 35 20 1
Full Text Views 14 3 0
PDF Downloads 17 6 0