feminism hairy armpits
Fashion + Feminism

Hairy armpits: the latest feminist trend

Recently we have seen more women embracing their natural female body hair than ever before. Hairy Armpits have become one of the latest trends within fashion and beauty. Future 100 reports it as one of the top 100 trends for 2020. Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Jemima Kirke are some of the celebrities that have taken to Instagram to display their unshaven pits.  

Stereotypes and society 

A study from 2019 shows that 1.2 million women in the UK use hair removal products every day. Hair removal can be traced back as far as the 20th century. Do you ever wonder why every 3-5 days you put aside that extra 15 or 20 minutes to fully shave off all of your natural body hair? Maybe you don’t anymore, but I bet you did once.

There is no denying that the media is a huge influence on the latest beauty trends. Think how much of it we are exposed to every day.   Hair removal adverts of incredibly beautiful women with silky smooth legs are something none of us are a stranger to. But does hair removal make me happy? Am I doing it for myself? Or just so I can look like the smooth women in the advert?

The female stereotype has been fed to us through the media. It portrays a certain type of women – one who is hairless. But as society shifts the stereotypes continue to be challenged. And women are redefining every single stereotype that has existed about us.  

Feminism and the movement  

The trend of hairy pits has actually been around longer than we would think.  It has been adopted into a feminist movement, woven into popular culture and is now associated with fashion. And let’s not forget when Julia Roberts showed her pits to the cameras at the premier of Notting Hill.

Today Instagram culture captures the movement with people using certain hash tags such as NONBEAUTYDUTY and SHAVESLAVE. Zines such as Antidote and Beauty Papers have also included the trend in their publication. So, does this mean you must be a strict feminist to say no to the razor? You don’t have to be a feminist to get in on this feminist trend. Maybe you’re just wanting to forget about beauty duty? Or being a shave slave?  

More cons than pros? 

I spent some time weighing up the pros and cons of hair removal. Positives obviously include that the hair is removed achieving that hairless clean female look. The Guardian reported that in a study, over 20% of people say they shave to feel sexier. However there seemed to be more cons to think about. Money. Hair removal is never free, I wondered how much money I have spent over the years?

Hygiene. Many people think hair removal is more hygienic but this is in fact false. It can be less hygienic to remove hair . PAIN! Hair removal is not pain free. Waxing certainly isn’t and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has recklessly shaved and cut themselves. And perhaps the most pertinent issue to consider is the effect on our environment. Over 2 billion disposable razors end up in land fill every year.  

Conclusion 

I see the Hairy Armpit trend is as a power symbol. Women are taking back the power. Forget any and every beauty perception you held on women. It’s about continuing to challenge every beauty standard and stereotype against women. To finish I urge each woman to ensure everything you do makes you feel as empowered as you can be. Don’t abide by the set female beauty standards the media has fed us. Always push the bar.   

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