Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Merkins: Because Untamed Va-Jay-Jays Are So 2010

Way back in 2010, I wrote a post called My Weekend Shopping: Vodka, Enemas, and Untamed Va-Jay-Jays, which brought you, among other things, the news that Brazilian bikini waxes were so old school that it was now totally rad to leave some of your pubic hair alone. (Certainly not all of it, or anything.) That post also detailed some of the other popular crotch trends of 2010, including vajazzling and not using the word "vagina" on the cover of Cosmo.

So imagine my delight when a helpful reader named Susan brought to my attention the following headline from TMZ: 'NY Housewives' Star Cindy Barshop: 'The Merkin Biz is Booming!'

First of all, you know any fashion trend brought to you by TMZ is going to be full-on awesome. Secondly, the word merkin is enough to send me into fits of giggles.

Merkin. Merkin. Snicker.

A merkin, for those who don't know, is a pubic hair wig. A toupee, if you will, for your crotch. According to Wikipedia (thank God SOPA is dead, right?):
The Oxford Companion to the Body dates the origin of the pubic wig to the 1450s. Women would shave their pubic hair and wear a merkin to combat pubic lice, and prostitutes would wear them to cover up signs of disease, such as syphilis.
Well, that's hot.

So, according to TMZ, there is now a trend for women to have all of their pubic hair waxed off (ouch) and then replaced with fake pubic hair.

Oh, but not just any hair. I did some research on this, y'all.  The best ones are made with human hair. Sometimes it's dyed fun colors and sometimes it's left, um, "natural." Because it's totally natural to glue someone else's hair to your crotch.

"Real" Housewife Cindy Barshop, who owns some kind of waxing/vajazzling/merkin shop, says that the newest merkin trends are fur and feathers.

"Carnivale Bikini," for the Vegas Showgirl
in you.
(Image: Completely Bare.)
Let me just say that again: According to Ms. Barshop, people willingly shell out $195 to have all their pubic hair ripped out and replaced with feathers. This is called the "Carnivale."  She also offers the "Foxy Bikini," starting at $225, in which pubic hair is replaced with glued-on fox fur. The fox fur is available in several different colors.

Because you really want to add more crazy to this story, enter PETA. Huffington Post reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have unsurprisingly slammed the trend. What is surprising, however, is their use of obscenity in their statement. They chose language so foul that I don't even use that word, and I swear like a drunken sailor.
"Foxy Bikini," described by Gawker as "nightmare porno
from the id of Dr. Seuss."
(Image: Completely Bare.)

But back to the merkins. I'm sure you immediately have all kinds of questions, just like I did. Happily, I've already researched the topic, to save you from getting your computer all infected with viruses that are surely found on the websites I've been to in the last 24 hours.  Here's a summary of my research:

  • You glue the things on with something called "spirit gum." Spirit gum is waterproof, but I'm guessing the feathers and fox fur are not. Sadly, Cindy Barshop's website does not offer any advice on care and maintenance of the merkin. I'm sure your local dry cleaner has more information on the proper way to clean and store all your fine merkins.
  • Spirit gum comes off with spirit gum remover (sold separately). That sounds painful, but once you've had all your pubic hair ripped out, maybe nothing else hurts in comparison.
  • There is an unfortunately-named designer of expensive and really beautiful handbags named Lauren Merkin. If I had $200 to blow, I'd totally spend it on a Merkin clutch rather than a Barshop crotch-wig. Added bonus: I'd be able to say things at the next PTO meeting like "have you seen my new Merkin? It's snakeskin."
  • Tip: If you get bored with gluing your merkin to your va-jay-jay, you can always use it as fake chest hair or a fake goatee. Top that, Hints from Heloise.
  • Etsy has a really disappointing selection of merkins. I was hoping for all kinds of crazy-ass crocheted nonsense. And there was like, one thing made out of felt that looked like a preschool art project. So for those of you who are crafty: there's a big business opportunity for ya. You're welcome.
  • If you were going to craft your own Merkin, I'd like to recommend Martha Stewart's line of "glitter eyelash" yarn from Lion Brands. Martha is totally affordable and always tasteful. Plus, then you could advertise on Etsy as selling exclusive Martha Stewart merkins. You might not even get sued!

Martha Stewart Yarn 'n' Omnimedia: For all your merkin needs.
(Image: Lion Brand Yarn.)
I normally don't like to be too judgmental with people's pubic hair; I mean, if you want to have all your hair ripped out, go nuts. However, I am going to go ahead and say this: if you're spending $225 to have all your pubic hair ripped out, and then replaced with pink fox fur, you might have too much time and money on your hands. You could totally DIY this at home for like, 1/50th the cost.


  1. Wait. They have it all ripped off. Then buy fake hair to put back on it. Makes perfect sense to me.

  2. I can easily visualize some nice home business applications here. Did you run across anything on the cutting edge wave of the Merkin trend like edible Merkins? I'm just thinking about tasting the spirit gum and balancing the chocolate mix and all. What about Merkins with a built in - not obtruse - vibrator built in? Applications people...seize the moment.

  3. HAHAHA!!! There is a song about merkins!!! It's called "Map of Tasmania" and it's HILARIOUS!!! Don't watch in front of kids, but YouTube for the best laugh you'll have all week! (The funniest thing is, it's so totally catchy and I can't help but bust a move to it...even at work. That's how I roll).

    1. You beat me to it. I adore the song (and the artist) and think it's hysterical (as is the whole merkin craze.) Plus some of the merkins in the video are really nifty. :)

  4. Ahhh Gods I'm laughing myself silly here.

  5. A year or so ago, Jenny Lawson blogged about her "confidence wigs." And how she had progressed from confidence wigs to "confidence hairpieces" and that perhaps that wasn't really as big a step as it sounded.

    I suggested that as long as she wasn't regressing to "confidence merkins" that really, she was in good shape.

    Little did I know that I was TOTALLY BLOWING a successful business opportunity, and no someone else has my brilliant idea.

    Damnit all to hell.

  6. The word 'Vajazzling' has officially entered my lexicon ;)

  7. We truly are headed to hell in a handbasket as a country if this what people are spending their money on...:::facepalm:::

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. My friends and I discovered merkins back in the '70s when we were playing fictionary (BC -- before computers). The OED we were using as our authority described the merkin as a pubic wig used by a medieval man who wanted to display evidence of superior virility, which was then a prerequisite for power of many kinds. It also mentioned chest hair wigs, the word for which I cannot remember. How funny to know now that what we thought that was so bizarre was just waiting in the wings for a comeback, that in its way, the liberation we worked so hard towards has enabled women to also spend time and money on such silliness. The idea of displaying conspicuous consumption around the primary female sex organ, long a symbol of the consumption of men's strength, with a device appropriated from a male tradition of pretending to have strength that is not there, is truly mind boggling. What can one say to that, except to each her own, and as she wishes, somebody else's own also.

  10. Just fyi -- spirit gum is a key produced used with stage make up (usually used to make a face look wrinkly or used to adhere hair on a face). Why anyone would want to adhere a merkin to their - uh - private area with it is beyond me. I can't imagine that spirit gum is supposed to be used long-term on your body like that.

  11. Haaa! I just can't stop laughing. You rock! lol

  12. Because some people have just too much damn money.

  13. If I wanted to bump uglies with my hubby and showed up with a Merkin, I'm really not sure what his reaction would be. That alone may be worth the expense and pain. On the other hand, it's probably just easier to have him read this blog! I'm not a big fan of pain or feathers.
    Thanks for the laugh!

    Jen at

  14. lOL. THANK YOU! You rock the house.

  15. Lol!! Thank you I so needed that laugh!!

  16. L! M! A! O!!! that was awesome!!!

  17. In New Orleans there is a ladies (term used loosely) marching group called "The Bearded Oysters" who are required to wear a merkin. Check them out on Facebook when you get a chance. THEY ROCK!

  18. I think you may have reached your awesomeness summit with this post.

  19. So many questions!! How do you tinkle if it is not waterproof? Is it just for one night or there until you decide to remove it? Itchy comes to mind. I wish you could see my face. Shock and confusion. I can't even get a visual, maybe that's a good thing. And who puts it on you or a merkindresser???

  20. Hill-air-eee-us!


  21. WTF. I mean, really. There are people starving to death. This is waste and idiocy at its most moronic. Again...WTF.

  22. OMG! Great post! Martha Stewart for all your merkin needs....priceless! I can't stop laughing! Thanks!

  23. i have needed a good laugh for about a week straight and this did the trick! i almost choked. i forgot how great a good hysterical laugh session can be. THANK YOU!

  24. All I can picture is a va-jay-jay comb-over being replaced by a tiny, badly crafted toupee. Or Bo Derek cornrows. Are there roach clips attached to those feathers so at least they're functional for the right individual? Do women going through menopause really want to invest in one of these if they're having hot flashes? The whole concept is so bizarre to me...
    As little girls we dressed up our barbie adults we dress up our privates?
    As for the cost, I'd rather have new scrubs and a new pair of Crocs. Or a new handbag (but probably not a Lauren Merkin).
    On a side note, I have seen penis origami books, so men are doing it, too.

  25. I agree with mustang 65. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking, "I am so glad there are not people starving in America." This is just outrageous. I would like to think this is some urban legend, but with the rampant idiocy abounding in America, I have to believe that it is true.

    First, I was laughing, now I am all riled up. Great.

  26. Ouch and Ewwwwww!

    But this post...this was kick-ass. Who's the bad-ass blog babe? YOU are, that's who!

    You are the pink, fox hair merkin of the blog world.

  27. Oh my gosh. This might be your best post ever.

  28. I just fell onto your blog-- LMAO funny! I can't stop laughing. Thank you for sharing your comic writing talent!!

  29. Um, actually (from the Urban Dictionary):

    44. merkin

    A merkin in the gay and lesbian set in Hollywood refers to a "usually" straight male escorting a gay woman to public events so as to attempt to camouflage the lesbian's secret sapphic lifestyle.

    "T", the (secretly gay) actress is photographed at the red carpet premiere holding onto "J", a well-known straight actor. People think they're "dating". He's her MERKIN for the evening.

    I really need to stop being such a "Dutch-boy" (i.e. hanging around "women who wear sensible shoes -- Robin Williams").

  30. Forget Etsy!!! You might have found the next big Pinterest rage!!! I can see it now... thousands of "pinners" posting photos of their very own, hand-crafted merkins!! I would have to gouge my eyes with a red hot poker!

  31. Friends of ours had a rec hockey team called the Mighty Merkins. True story.

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