GCSE textbook showing a woman with 'Brazilian' style pubic hair branded 'disgraceful'

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
A diagram portrayed a pregnant woman with a Brazilian style wax. [Photo: Getty]

A biology GCSE textbook has become the subject of fury after one parent shared a diagram of a woman who had ‘Brazilian’ style pubic hair.

The offending image, which comes from a revision book published by Pearson Edexcel in 2017, was originally shared by Twitter user @glaciuswhite23.

Mumsnet user Funkyfunkybeat then shared the tweet on the parenting forum, explaining her anger at the portrayal, which she said normalised the idea a heavily pregnant woman would subscribe to an “expensive grooming ritual”.

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 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,” the poster added later down in the thread.

While some called her post an “over-reaction”, others shared their concerns about how this depiction in an educational textbook might influence young girls.

One person wrote, “Giving an anatomical diagram a brazilian is just bonkers”, while another added: “Absolutely disgraceful. This is a biology textbook, FFS. Presenting modified bodies as the biological norm is ludicrous.”

A spokesperson for Pearson told Yahoo Style UK the image has since been replaced in subsequent versions of the textbook.

“Following a routine review, we replaced the image in question for a reprinted version of the International GCSE Human Biology textbook in May 2018,” the representative told us.

“The focus of the image was of the fetus developing in the uterus and it was not essential to show the rest of the body for the purposes of the diagram in question.

“Clearly, we did not mean to cause offence with the original version. We estimate that there are a limited number of copies (less than 500) of the 2017 edition still in circulation in the UK and we would be happy to provide the updated version free of charge to any student or teacher who would like a replacement.”

Earlier this year, a midwife’s advice to pregnant women on the question of whether or not you should shave your public hair went viral.

In a post shared to Reddit titled: ‘Birth and pubic hair. From a midwife’ the advice given was reassuringly frank.

“Please don’t worry about pubic hair. We don’t even notice as long as you have showered in the last week,” the midwife wrote.

“As long as the baby can come out, we don’t care if you’re full bush, bald as a baby, or something exciting like a lightening bolt/vajazzled. I don’t even notice any more.”

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