Beauty Detail

Princess Nokia Wants To Break The Stigma Around Body Hair

The rapper shares her newest song and partnership.

Originally Published: 
Rapper Princess Nokia opens up to Bustle about her background
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Beauty Detail
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In Bustle’s Beauty Detail, we dive into the beauty bags of our favorite talents for intel on the rituals that keep them glowing and the MVPs (most valuable products) they can't live without. Here, Princess Nokia tells Bustle about breaking stigmas around body hair, creating a new song for Gillette Venus’ #SayPubic campaign, and making beauty products at home.

Social media has done a lot to warp everyone’s perception of what beauty is. But there are times when it can be a safe space for people to ask questions and challenge the norm. For example, when a fan commented on Instagram that Destiny Frasqueri, aka Princess Nokia, posted a picture with visible body hair, the rapper used it as a teaching moment. She simply responded: “I don't believe that I have to shave or need to be hairless in order to be beautiful or clean.”

“I'm always very honest with them, whether it's been about body dysmorphia or my breast surgery; I always lead with honesty because I always want to give context to young people,” Princess Nokia tells me over Zoom. “I never want to allow smoke and mirrors to be the facade that's going on. If I do something, I'm gonna tell the people about it.”

It’s that transparency and non-conformity that made the “I Like Him” rapper the clear choice for Gillette Venus to partner with for the second rendition of “The Pube Song.” The whimsical tune debuted last year when the Venus for Pubic Hair & Skin collection launched. In hopes of de-stigmatizing and encouraging women to #SayPubic, the animated video chronicles a day in the life of a pubic hair looking for acceptance. Though it’s hilarious, the video drives home the message that pubic hair is just as normal as other hair found on everyone’s body.

“I thought [the first version] sounded like a mix of a Broadway musical and ‘The Vagina Monologues,’” she says. “I thought the combination and the conception were genius, so I was really excited to do something that was so whimsical and theatrical. It almost reminded me of Idina Menzel singing ‘Frozen.’”

It’s a silly premise, that’s the exactly the point. The key to getting the message about pubic hair — or anything really — to resonate is through humor. “The best way to tackle something a little taboo is by being comedic about it,” says Princess Nokia. “I think humanizing things on a comedic and artistic level is the happy middle ground between universally connecting people.”

Coming up with a new rendition that still captured that same funny vibe came easily. She says she was so comfortable with the subject and excited about the premise that she wrote it in 15 minutes. “I've never been able to do something of that nature,” she said. “I'm jumping deep in.”

Being so comfortable with who you are is no easy feat, and Princess Nokia credits the New York underground punk scene for creating a safe space for her to embrace her Afro-Indigenous and Puerto-Rican background and create her own definition of beauty.

“I used to watch and see photos of Kathleen Hanna perform in her panties with her underarm hair and throw dirty tampons at a booing male crowd. She set the precedent for me of what I wanted to appear and look like on stage,” she says. “I'm not trying to emulate her. I just was influenced by punk ideals — feminist punk ideals.”

It's those same ideals that influenced how she views body hair. “While everybody is so consumed with hiding their body hair, it was riot grrrl that made me go, ‘this is bulls*t,’” she says. “And I'm not going to feel confined [because] someone might make fun of me.”

Below, Princess Nokia shares her beauty favorites and some homemade skin care and hair hacks.

Her MVP For Pubic Hair Grooming

“I love really great advances in steel technology because it really is about the science of the angles, metal, and craftsmanship of a razor that can affect your body. Unfortunately, women don't realize that, internalize, and think that there's something wrong with them. But they just may not be using the best products or understand how to maintain the skin in their pelvic areas.”

Her Favorite Multitasker

“I use [this] as my body wash, my shampoo, and my dish soap. It is incredible. I dilute [it] with water when I’m halfway or a quarter away from done with it and just fill it with water and keep repurposing it. It lasts me a really long time and is sustainable.”

Her DIY Conditioner

“I use avocado as a natural-based conditioner. I haven’t used any conditioners from the stores for about the last nine months because [there’s] simply just so much build-up. If I [use a conventional conditioner], I'm like, ‘All right, well, I'm going to have to put my hair in a ponytail for two days because my hair is just gonna be so greased down.’ So I put [avocado] in my hair for 10 minutes.”

Her Hero Hydrator

“I love Bio-Oil. It keeps my skin really moisturized.”

The Homemade Makeup Setter


“I use homemade rose water as a setting spray. I keep it on me [as a] facial refresher, but it also maintains moisturized skin. Before I apply oil, I spray my face with rose water.”

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