Talk

Advanced search

GCSE biology textbook features woman with Brazilian

(159 Posts)
Funkyfunkybeat12 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:06:41

https://twitter.com/glaciuswhite23/status/1094341223102513158?s=21

The more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. What the fuck? The picture is of a woman at full term. And now the norm is apparently to make sure you keep up your expensive waxing ritual until you go into labour. Welcome to the new world where even your dorky school textbook teaches you about grooming expectations.

I won’t even go into the abuse Dr Victoria Bateman, the naked Brexit woman, got for daring to display natural pubic hair. Oh the horror.

OP’s posts: |
Funkyfunkybeat12 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:07:00

twitter.com/glaciuswhite23/status/1094341223102513158?s=21

OP’s posts: |
Jaxtellerswife Sun 10-Feb-19 08:27:46

Sorry this seems like a massive overreaction

Oxytocindeficient Sun 10-Feb-19 08:31:46

It’s not an over-reaction. Young boys now think pubic hair on women is ‘gross’, there is a lot of pressure for young women, and older women, to wax pubic hair. You would expect a biology book to show how it naturally looks. My DD just did GCSE biology, I don’t remember any image like this but I’ll now ask. This is fucking stupid.

Funkyfunkybeat12 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:32:03

Really, Jax? Why? It's well-known that there is already huge pressure placed on teenage girls in terms of the appearance of their genitalia. There has been an upsurge in consultations about labiaplasty for instance. Here we have a school textbook that depicts a woman with pubic hair that looks like it comes straight out of a porn film. It's also a style that requires significant expenditure and upkeep and generally has to be done by a salon rather than at home. And what message does it send when it is featured in conjunction with pregnancy and giving birth?

How would you feel if images of the naked body featured women with breast implants for instance?

I hardly think it's an overreaction.

OP’s posts: |
Invisible1234 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:35:59

You're right, this is not on at all. I can't remember who recently appeared naked to talk about Brexit but the replies on Twitter about her hairiness were disgraceful. That is how women look but those men are so used to looking at porn and how that dictates the way a woman should be.

MillytantForceit Sun 10-Feb-19 08:38:24

Bring Back Dr Alex Comfort and the fulsomley hirsuite lady and gent.

Deathgrip Sun 10-Feb-19 08:39:13

Absolutely disgraceful. This is a biology textbook, FFS. Presenting modified bodies as the biological norm is ludicrous.

Carolcool Sun 10-Feb-19 08:41:35

Completely agree OP. Has there been any response from Pearson? And does the same book depict male pubic hair?

ZigZagZombie Sun 10-Feb-19 08:42:01

It's not an over-reaction. I remember from my Biology text books that there would be two types of illustrations. To indicate male/female bodies there would be pubic hair present, to clearly show the anatomical structure of a woman's reproductive organs there would be no hair until the 3rd year boys added it with blue biro.

Giving an anatomical diagram a brazilian is just bonkers.

MillytantForceit Sun 10-Feb-19 08:45:39

Carl Sagan's justification for this:

images.newscientist.com/wp-content/gallery/dn16980-messaging-et/apioneernasa.jpg

Was that he was following the conventions of classical Greek sculpture.

...and NASA told him: NO PUBES IN SPACE.

JellySlice Sun 10-Feb-19 08:46:43

It may appear trivial, but it is definitely unhealthy. This is part of the learning that gets drummed into girls about how disgusting they are, how they should be ashamed of themselves, how their discomfort is irrelevant to others. It leads directly to the sad situation of posters on here worrying about making themselves presentable for the midwives.

There's no way any kind of hair-removal was getting anywhere near my vulva when I was pregnant! Especially near term. Everything gets extremely sensitive down there, not to mention that the vulval varicose veins popping up are already painful, and don't need to be ripped about to suit some bizarre societal brainwashing.

WineGummyBear Sun 10-Feb-19 08:48:57

That picture depicts the body of a woman who has gone to expense and discomfort to please the male gaze.

What are we teaching our kids?

Oxytocindeficient Sun 10-Feb-19 08:49:40

I’ve just emailed them. Fuck this. Like pregnant women really rock up for a Brazilian that pregnant ffs.

MillytantForceit Sun 10-Feb-19 08:52:09

You know where this is going: Pearson are going to send out an official communication asking teachers to ask their classes to draw in the missing material.

Funkyfunkybeat12 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:53:31

Yes, zigzag, I would have been okay with no hair at all, as it is largely an internal diagram, showing the baby. But to show hair, but groomed into a tiny strip, sends such a damaging message. There was some TV show a few years ago where teen girls talked about how they felt about their bodies and they largely said they felt shit, due to all the unrealistic images in the media and on instagram etc. And now it's in their science textbooks too.

I don't think there has been a response from Pearson, but I think I will send them an email about this. I think it needs to be taken seriously. If adults want to groom their pubic hair in this way, that's fine, but girls need to be taught that it's not the norm and it's not expected. That's why I liked the Guardian vulva project because most had pubic hair (which I think reflects reality, even among the younger generation, because you have to be quite rich, have a high pain threshold, and time on your hands to keep up a perfect landing-strip).

Invisible yes, that was Victoria Bateman. I was disgusted by the comments, including from middle-aged men (who would have grown up in a time when natural pubic hair was the norm), who said she was untidy, gross and a gorilla.

OP’s posts: |
bigfluffy Sun 10-Feb-19 08:54:05

I doubt the students would even notice to be honest. Agree though that this is a small drop in a much wider ocean of issues to do with body image in women.

As a science teacher, if there was a comment, I would probably have a 5 minute conversation about body hair choices and why Pearson have chosen to show this.

Most likely, it's an updated image from a much older textbook and nobody at Pearson has even thought about the pubic hair as they are more focused on ensuring they are covering the specification content on pregnancy.

Oxytocindeficient Sun 10-Feb-19 08:55:38

nobody at Pearson has even thought about the pubic hair

I call BS on that. They thought about it alright.

bigfluffy Sun 10-Feb-19 08:57:20

Just to add, I don't think images like this are convincing young people that they have to be hairless etc. My waxing therapist tells me that younger women (18-25) are more often asking for a bikini wax rather than Brazilian or Hollywood.

Oxytocindeficient Sun 10-Feb-19 08:57:42

If you’re a science teacher, why wouldn’t you want an accurate depiction? This is yet another image that contributes to all the other images of women overly-groomed to fit pornified ideas of what women should look like.

Oxytocindeficient Sun 10-Feb-19 08:59:05

Why are 18 year olds waxing their pubic hair at all though? I wasn’t doing that, or even thinking of that. My much younger friend actually believes it’s ‘healthier and cleaner’ to wax your public hair.

Sheelala Sun 10-Feb-19 08:59:09

Wonder if they draw armpit hair ?

Would not like to be the illustrator. Full unkempt bush would raise a chortle, trimmed bush or bald, again same accusation. This does look silly though. I'm inclined to think no hair would be best ?

RockyFlintstone Sun 10-Feb-19 08:59:12

I doubt the students would even notice to be honest. Agree though that this is a small drop in a much wider ocean of issues to do with body image in women.

Yes, but it's the drip feeding that causes the problem isn't it? The fact that the students might not even notice is the problem. Because that picture is what is expected.

Funkyfunkybeat12 Sun 10-Feb-19 09:00:36

Most likely, it's an updated image from a much older textbook and nobody at Pearson has even thought about the pubic hair as they are more focused on ensuring they are covering the specification content on pregnancy.

But someone must have deliberately 'updated' this by adding in a brazilian wax. This would not have been there in a book from the early 00s, when brazilians were definitely not the norm.

And I think the students WILL notice, for sure. Maybe not to talk about, but as yet another reinforcement that pubic hair on a woman is disgusting and dirty.

As someone said, pregnancy causes heightened sensitivity and also Brazilians can lead to painful infections. Just what you need when you're about to give birth. Sadly, I know women who have felt the need to have a full wax before giving birth.

OP’s posts: |
bigfluffy Sun 10-Feb-19 09:01:46

nobody at Pearson has even thought about the pubic hair

I call BS on that. They thought about it alright.

What? You think they had an in-depth discussion about the pubic hair on a single image? I'm sure there are others better informed about educational publications than me but I honestly don't think this was intended to offend or make a comment about body hair on women. It's a textbook designed to support biology gcse. The new 9-1 books were rushed out due to the change in specification. I don't think exam boards had the time to worry about things like this.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in