by Adelaide Barton Troy, NY 22 pages, stapled
Yaaaassss this is a zine about pubic hair! This is the first zine I've reviewed with a very specific focus (which is good because the zine I am building in my mind also has a very specific focus—more on that later). "Lady Gardens" is the result of Barton's research and informal polling about female pubic hair maintenance. She pulls from resources found at the blog The Last Triangle: Sex Money and the Politics of Pubic Hair as well as personal conversations. The content is part scholarly research and part candid commentary from a variety of women. What I like about this zine is that Barton doesn't judge anyone for what they want to do with their pubes (and in fact, at the beginning of the zine states that she has "...no issue with ladies styling their nether regions however they please."). She focuses more on the history of pubic hair in art and pornography, exploring where certain expectations about body hair, cleanliness, and desirability came from. It's a really fascinating introduction and I learned enough to want to explore gender/body politics even further. One of my favorite parts of the zine is the second half, where Barton shares quotes from women about how and why they choose to maintain (or not maintain) their pubic hair. It's a topic that's not frequently brought up for discussion, even among women, so it was interesting to hear some different perspectives.
Bonus! I have two extra copies of another zine by Barton, called "Stop Telling Women To Smile". This is a small zine that will fit in the palm of your hand and is meant to work like one of those religious tracks people hand out—next time someone tells you to smile, hand them this zine that explains why they should stop. If you'd like a copy, leave a comment over on my Instagram page. I'll pick two people at random on 9/12 and send them a copy. Good luck!