Princess Nokia shares how not shaving can be a form of self-care for her — and why her new song destigmatizes body hair

Princess Nokia talks wellness and working to change the conversation about body hair. (Photo: Daniela Spector)
Princess Nokia talks wellness and working to change the conversation about body hair. (Photo: Daniela Spector)

The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Music isn't just Princess Nokia's life's work; it's also intrinsic to the rap star's wellness routine.

"Self-care to me is listening to 'Jagged Little Pill' front to back and tie-dying shirts in the comfort of my home," the musician (born Destiny Nicole Frasqueri) tells Yahoo Life's The Unwind. "Self-care is putting something off because I need to sleep extra — there's times I don't shave or wash my hair even if I need to. 'I'm not gonna shave my underarms today, and everyone’s going to have to see the shadow.' To me, that’s a form of self-care: doing what’s best for me on my time, and not feeling pressure to do anything else."

The native New Yorker considers herself "a nonconformist to society’s beauty standards," which is why she's currently working with Gillette Venus to help change societal norms when it comes to body hair — specifically pubic hair.

She recounts her own experience growing up in a "strict, secular, oppressed background where hygiene is used as an oppressive tool for women."

"I grew up knowing those were archaic forms of degrading or demonizing women’s bodies, menstruation and pubic hair," says the musician. "So I've always made it my mission to normalize and destigmatize all types of taboo subjects for women, in the betterment of reclaiming individuality and self."

To that end, the star has written and performed a new rendition of the brand's "The Pube Song." Titled "It's Time to Care (For Your Pubic Hair)," the upbeat tune is an anthem of physical appreciation that's meant to help more women be comfortable saying the word "pubic."

While the endeavor is lighthearted, there's statistics to back it up. Last year, Venus found that nearly half of U.S. women agree that it feels more accurate to use anatomical terms, like pubic, to describe their bodies. Still, only 18% of women are actually using these types of terms. And that's where Princess Nokia came in.

"I thought it was a really fun subject," Princess Nokia, who wrote the tune "in about 15 minutes," says. "I thought the song had such a camp caliber, and I thought it was really brilliant."

Her next endeavor is a double album. One side features her music, while the other is composed of affirmations and prayer. She also recently released her 25th music video, "No Effort," which shows the rapper revisiting her elementary school playground with a group of friends.

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