The controversy became cause célèbre when bestseller writer Luis
Fernando Verissimo for two days in a row (January 7 and 8) he dedicated his daily national
syndicated column published among others in O Estado de S. Paulo and Rio’s O
Globo to ponder about pubic hair in an article he called: "Musings about the
pubic hair of Vera Fischer in Playboy."
By Alessandra Dalevi
A pictorial on a Brazilian magazine has brought to the forefront of the national
discourse a discussion on female pubic hairs. The theme is being debated not only by the
men on the streets, and women at the hairdresser’s, but also by the crème de la crème of
Brazilian intellectuals. It all started after the January-2000 issue of Playboy hit
the newsstands with its special edition celebrating the muse of the new millennium. The
chosen one was former Miss Brazil, Vera Fischer, a 48-year-old movie and TV actress who is
always making headlines due to a new romance, a custody fight over her son or her battle
to beat of drug addiction.
What is keeping people buzzing is not the fact that a woman who is ready to be a
grandmother would show all her wares again or that she in a very suggestive pose bites a
baguette with her legs wide open or that she bathes her naked body with French Champaign
or sucks on a Perrier bottle with her eyes closed. People have found out that La Fischer
does not shave or pluck and that’s something you don’t do with impunity. The last big
public controversy over a playmate was when model Adriana Galisteu appeared shaving her
Vera herself concedes that the pictures have a taste of forbidden fruit. "They are
certainly daring pictures," she told Rio’s daily O Dia. "But they are
very elegant pictures that have humor. This was the result I wanted and shows the work of
an actress." For stage director Moacyr Góes "no one could expect Vera Fischer
to be well behaved. Nothing remains the same after she passes by." And former Miss
Brazil Adalgisa Colombo commented: "She rubs her beauty in our face. That body, and
color are unbelievable."
Others, like business administrator Farley Dantas, believe that Fischer went overboard:
"This is an aberration. She made crude poses, like a man. It was vulgar and the
picture with the butcher is in very bad taste. Besides, she is too hairy."
The pictures taken in Paris have some rousing scenes, like the cook who cuts meat while
Vera shows breasts and genitals through the window slits, or taking a shower with the
Champaign bubbles simulating an ejaculation; or playing a prostitute in a Parisian dark
The controversy became cause célèbre when bestseller writer Luis Fernando Verissimo
decided to enter the fray. For two days in a row (January 7 and 8) he dedicated his daily
national syndicated column published among others in O Estado de S. Paulo and Rio’s
O Globo to ponder about pubic hair in an article he called: "Musings about the
pubic hair of Vera Fischer in Playboy."
Veríssimo used his tribune and the intimate hairs to criticize what he sees as Yankee
hypocrisy: "The appearance of the first pubic hairs in the American Playboy
was a landmark in the history of western hypocrisy. For a long time one of the reasons for
the success of the magazine National Geographic Society was that in its pages
Americans could look at the pictures of naked women and say that they had an
anthropological interest Not by chance, the first woman to be shown in Playboy
completely nakedthat is, nude even from the resources used until then to cover or
disguise pubic hairswas a black model. A return to the natives so the transition
would not shock too much.
"It took a long time, but Goya’s Maja, the first playmate, the first
respectable representation of Diderot’s maxim that there is a difference between naked
woman and undressed woman, was able to finally flaunt all her glorious nudity, frontal,
natural and without conjectures. The history of the triumph of pure female beauty over the
prejudice disguised as good taste, over the euphemistic "artistic nude" and
other false pruriences is the history of the slow affirmation of the pubic hairs in the
world. Which gets to a kind of apotheosis with those from Vera Fischer in the latest Playboy."
Now you know.
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