Dr. Breanne Fahs has been quoted to say that when a woman shows her armpit hair it “becomes an act of political resistance because it highlights the presence of an otherwise silent or erased aspect of women’s bodies.” It’s winter, so it’s been an act of political resistance that has been easy to embrace. The picture below is probably the closest I’ll get to exposing my hairy armpits to the world. When not on show, I’m happy to grow! But if I’m honest, there’s a deep-seated attitude ingrained in me that probably underlies just why I will continue to shave in the summer months, despite the fact the hair grows back within what seems like minutes, and with such sensitive skin, it’s near impossible for it to be smooth unless the optimum amount of time is left in between shaves.
It’s not complex to work out why I’m embarrassed to bare my hair on the beach. I think it’s around 90% of women who remove armpit hair. It even feels a little silly that messages that are so obviously articulated are still able to influence me so powerfully. I remember when I was about seven years old, in Italy, I thought I saw the armpit hair of an older, American girl. It seemed like such a shock to me. I remember telling my Mum, who has, of course, handed down body-hair shame to me like a precious heirloom.
When I started to grow hair there myself, I was still at primary school. A girl saw that I had hair there. It was almost like I hadn’t noticed it myself. I don’t remember thinking anything of it growing there until it was pointed out to me by another girl. This was obviously accompanied by an “urgh!” All it took was these two experienced, strong enough for them to stand out in mind mind all these years later, to form this idea that I’m not presentable in my natural state.
Maybe one day, I’ll become brave enough to step out in the real world like this. But for now, this is as Feminist as my armpits get. Meow. Just had a massive curry and going to have a bath, eat chocolate in front of telly, half wishing I was dancing to Beyonce (but only half, because I’m like 26 now, getting old, staying in for NYE etc). #Iwokeuplikethis #flawless