It’s always bothered me that Eve and Adam are pictured with belly buttons, but what bothers me more is that they have very little body hair. Eve’s long hair covers her breasts (sometimes) but there is no sign of underarm hair and her fig leaf is so small and still not one stray hair pops up from behind that leaf. Here is a quick google search so you can see for yourself.
Our cultural standards of beauty are pushed onto women, even women from ancient religious texts it seems. So, check your children’s bible, are the pictures reinforcing white skin and hairless beauty standards? Chances are yes. If Eve is “naked” besides the fig leaves, you can definitely tell by how large the covered area is what hair might or might not be under that leaf. I think it matters because our religious views can shape our body image and our worthiness of God’s love could be tied to whether or not we look like our bible heroes. “There is data that says the first naked genitals that you see prime you to consider them as your baseline for “normal” or typical. So given the almost complete absence of public hair in art since the beginning of time and now in pornography, it is easy to see how the absence of pubic hair has come to be accepted as the social norm.” Jen Gunter, MD, “The Vagina Bible” page 111 in her chapter about pubic hair removal and grooming. Her book is a great read but if you want something similar and shorter check out this blog post from Thinx. If you aren’t going to read either, the basic idea is that its ok to remove pubic hair (your body your choice) but there are some (ouch) problems that may (but not always) result from removal. It’s important to take care of your skin and if you notice problems stop removing the hair and seek medical advice. It is absolutely your choice about your own pubic hair and don’t let anyone pressure you into a style you are not comfortable with, not your partner, not pornography, and not the artwork in your picture bible.
And while I’m thinking about biblical images, why is everyone pictured as being 20-something? I couldn’t find a picture of Eve with hair under her arms, but I was able to find an image of “grandmother” eve. I love her and I love the artist’s sentiment.