How to Grow a Bush and Change your Name

by Jessica Brookman in ,


FACT: How you see yourself is one of the most important indicators in how you see and interact with the world. This is a story about how I grew a bush and decided to change my name back to Jessa. 

The birth of #glambush. 

The birth of #glambush. 

In my first year of high school, my sister started calling me Jessa.

But not my real sister. 

Truth is. I don't talk to my family that much. They are ultra conservative in multiples applications of the word. Our interactions have always been pretty surface-level when pleasant (or pretty bipartisan when not). At a certain point, it became important for me to explore the world and question my surroundings in a way that was not conducive with living in the bubble that my family occupies. So when I say sister, I am talking about my soul sister, Lisa. As the black sheep of my family, I've made a habit of making a proverbial one of friends I've met along the way. Anyway, back to Lisa.

Lisa is responsible for the nickname. She came up to me in the hallway one morning very early in our friendship. It was the year I went to an all girls Catholic school. She looked at me sideways while tugging at the ends of my hair and said, "You're a Jessa. So that's what we will be calling you from now on." And that's what we did. I went by that name through most of college.

Yes. It was true love. Plus the name fit me well. But before I get too sappy, I'll tell you that I eventually dropped the nickname after my boarding school roommate -- also a Jessica -- had started using it and I neither wanted to share a nickname with an old roommate nor confront the situation. It didn't seem worth it and I like to pick my battles. The success of GIRLS,  with its own Jessa, had more or less kept me from re-adopting this nickname until now. 

But then the scene where Jessa defends the 70s porn star bushes changed my mind. #IRONY?

It was too coincidental not to see it as some kind of sign in the form of a conversation about pubes. Let me explain. 

Long story short, the guy had been sleeping with regularly went out of town for a few weeks and I got...let's say more relaxed with my shaving habits. So, as I came up on two-weeks or so without depilatory pussy duty, I decided to share my decision with ~1300 of my closest Facebook friends (above).

Of the comments on the post, reactions ranged from "fuck yes!" to "oh. jess." to "HOW DARE YOU!?" in sentiment. The final category was the most interesting to me. I could totally understand solidarity, indifference, or accusations of TMI. But why the abject outrage over my bush?!

When I'm confused or struggling with something, I go back to my family. And, as with any major decision on par with changing your own name, my family listens, offers their advice. Important: They also remind me that I should just do whatever is resonating with me...whatever feels right. 

The best kind of friends know: It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you. It's how you see yourself that's most important in how you view and interact with the world. And these attitudes help shape how it views you. The best people help you see yourself as inherently valuable; valuable regardless of your choices, and, if necessary, in spite of them. 

I feel sexy as fuck. 

It's been about three months of #glambush now, since the beginning of december. It was initially a partial-joke after the end of #MOVEMBER. But what started out as a "My Lover's out of Town" bush, quickly turned into a "My lover likes my Bush" bush. And now it's just an "I <3 My Bush" Bush.

So, that's it. It's settled: My bush is here to stay. Oh, and, I'm changing my name back to Jessa. 

GIRLS' Jessa: The Patron Saint of My Bush. 

GIRLS' Jessa: The Patron Saint of My Bush. 

Why? Because I fucking feel like it. That's why. 

Maybe my bush is my spirit animal or something. But I'm feeling pretty insouciant these days. And, really, because you feel like it is enough of a fucking reason to do anything. 

I've been growing so rapidly lately; pushing on my limits. Meeting people. Building things I want to build again. And, especially now as I work my way through the thunder-dome of sociopathy* that is Los Angeles, it is nice to have people who push me, support me, and love me. People who know me. No matter what I call myself. 

This type of unconditional love is essential to growth. It gives me the guts to say:

"I am me. I am human and alive. This is how I am supposed to be. I will not apologize...

...Especially not for my choice of vagina coifs."

Turns out, sometimes, we grow out of nicknames as we move through stages of our lives. And, sometimes, we grown back into them. 

I wrote this so I'd have a good excuse to talk about my bush on the internet. How'd I do?

@JessaBrookman.

*Hat tip to @per_ostman (again) for the linguistic inspiration. And hat tip to my family, I love you guys very dearly. 

BY THE WAY - Music for this post: Kings of Leon doing Talihina Sky.

There a band that's struggled openly with the feelings of selling out. This is a song about not losing yourself to your surroundings just to fit into them more easily. It's pretty. I'm just saying. "Every one says this place is beautiful, And you'd be so crazy to say goodbye. But everything's the same, this town is pitiful. And I'll be gettin' out as soon as I can fly." Enjoy: