‘Crotch crystals’: An oral history of vajazzling, the trend obsessed with pubic decor

By Malavika Pradeep

Published Oct 20, 2022 at 02:38 PM

Reading time: 4 minutes

In 2022, chances are that if you ask gen Zers about their views on the aughts, they’d immediately hit you up with a spitballing sesh about how it’s one of the most atrocious times in recorded human history. Given the resurgence of then-popular toxic beauty trends like thigh gaps, bikini bridges, and low-rise jeans, the period between 2000 and 2009 is now labelled as a dumpster fire for inspirations—despite what some Y2K enthusiasts might believe.

While trends like lower back tattoos are now being reclaimed from their “tramp stamp” and “STD magnet” narrative, a certain cultural phenomenon is sneakily filtering through the cracks, one bejewelled crotch at a time. Meet vajazzling, an aesthetic world aired with landing strips, blinged vajayjays, and endless… pussybilities.

What is vajazzling?

Also known as vagazzle or glitter pubes, ‘vajazzle’ is the portmanteau of the words—you guessed it—’vajayjay’ and ‘bedazzle’. On these terms, vajazzling is a practice that involves decorating one’s nether regions (or as Wikipedia puts it, “the mons pubis of a woman”) with rhinestone gems, Swarovski crystals or temporary body stickers.

Now, it should be noted that you’re not actually adding the gems in question to your pubes or lower meat curtains, in turn transforming your nether regions into a magical rainforest with breathtaking canopies. Instead, the starter pack for the perfect vajazzle includes a waxed or shaved mons pubis—the rounded mass of tissue lying over the joint of the pubic bones—or the adhesive simply won’t stick.

A typical vajazzle job might last you a maximum of seven days, depending on several factors including sweat, exercise, body lotion, and, of course, sexual intercourse.

@grace.fultouch

Lets spice up those Brazilian waxes 😚 #waxspecialist #womanownedsmallbusiness #vajazzle #lakejacksontexas

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Gathering mainstream attention in 2010, it was American actress and singer Jennifer Love Hewitt who introduced millions of people (who would have otherwise never considered embellishing their crotches and giving their digital descendants another eyebrow-arching trend to talk about) to the wonderful world of vajazzling.

Dedicating an entire chapter to the practice in her 2010 dating advice book The Day I Shot Cupid, Hewitt appeared on Lopez Tonight for a promotional interview and explained how she got into vajazzling. “After a breakup, a friend of mine Swarovski-crystalled my precious lady, and it shined like a disco ball,” the I Know What You Did Last Summer star said. “So I have a whole chapter in [my book] about how women should vajazzle their vajayjays.”

Mere weeks after Hewitt set the ball rolling in mainstream media, Cindy Barshop revealed that her hair removal spa Completely Bare had been doing vajazzles for years. At the time, however, the practice was called “Completely Bare with a Flair.” Name a more iconic treatment to get at your local spa, I’ll wait.

“As women began to visit Completely Bare [for hair removal treatments], I noticed that their confidence began to rise,” Barshop told MEL Magazine. “Women were starting to feel more comfortable making decisions that involved their intimate areas. Due to this, I decided to introduce new treatments that would build on the confidence of women and make them embrace their bodies so much more, curating the vajazzle.”

Specialist studios reportedly popped up everywhere and Google searches took off immediately after Hewitt’s viral interview. “Vajazzles were very popular at the time due to the rise in beauty and wellness and celebrity culture,” Barshop reminisced. “Clients wanted something new, fun and sexy. Vajazzles opened a whole new sector of beauty that had never been seen before. During this time, people were also trying to figure out how to not only talk about sex, but also express themselves, which the vajazzle helped with by allowing women to embrace who they were.”

It wasn’t until December 2010 that the trend infiltrated the UK, more specifically, Essex. Considered to be a county where hair extensions, fake eyelashes, tans, and general glamour reign supreme, vajazzle was first introduced in an episode of the reality TV show, The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE). In it, beauty therapist—and British icon—Amy Childs agreed to do one for co-star Sam Faiers.

“People have it done, like, wax their pubic hair in a little heart stencil, then have a few diamonds around it,” Childs was heard saying, as the expert proceeded to give Faiers a “sexy scattered” vajazzle. And that, babies and theybies, is how the intimate body art gripped the UK—with sales of tiny gems soaring shortly after. By 2011, an internet rating site called ‘Rate My Vajazzle’ had also been set up to… rate people’s vajazzles. Peak internet, am I right?

An immortal trend rooted in blinding cons

Today, #vajazzle has garnered 4.4 million views on TikTok, with users constantly foreshadowing its return as a full-blown commercial beauty practice. Here, recommended styles vary wildly between subtle cottagecore hearts and flowers to… moustaches, and Christmas tree decor. Heck, even HTML tags nobody asked for are being slapped onto waxed crotches in the name of vajazzles.

A quick scroll through Urban Dictionary also outlines how the term ‘vajazzling’ has evolved to address the general use of “sparkly embellishment to make something mysterious and transcendent appear more commercial and eye-catching.”

That being said, the sparkly trend is not without its own list of cons. For starters, the body art seems rather painful. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, gynaecologist Kate White highlighted a few safety risks, starting with the initial hair removal procedure. “Shaving can lead to lacerations—both shaving and waxing lead to micro-tears in the skin, which makes you vulnerable to infections, and laser treatments can cause pain, swelling, and blistering,” the expert shared.

Since the skin down there is already sensitive and more prone to infection after hair removal, the glue used to stick the crystals can lead to allergic reactions and infection, especially if applied right after. Dr. White further noted that she’s “also read about bruising or cuts from the crystals themselves after intercourse, if the position of your partner leads to friction of the crystals against your skin.”

Talking about sex with genital bling, it’s not hard to equate the activity to humping a literal rock formation—and oral sex doesn’t help this case either. But hey, to each their own. Just know that, at the end of the day, there are no known benefits of vajazzles in terms of heightened sexual pleasure.

And before you make a hard pass on the body art, it’s also worth noting that several enthusiasts have previously testified that the embellishments involved have “little to no chances” of chipping off a man’s penis or tooth during sex. Phew?

@ariswaxinglounge

Now you know lol 😂 don’t sell them out please 🥺🙏🏼 #Vajazzle #fyp #wax #waxing #waxingvideos #brazilianwax #FFXmasSwitch #WhenRiftanSays #cashapp1

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