Despite the fact that every human being grows body hair, only women are expected to get rid of theirs — especially under their arms. But as we enter more progressive times, these women are here to inspire others by showing the world their perfectly natural underarms, hair and all. Take a look at these gorgeously confident women who’ve bared their pits on Instagram and stories of other women who’ve done the same! One girl on Instagram has grown so confident, she doesn’t even notice people at the gym who are staring at her pits!
Women Are No Longer Living By Other People’s Standards
Anna (@hopingforhappy) promotes body positivity on Instagram. When some followers were quick to criticize her for her apparent armpit hair, she had this to say: “I got numerous comments, like the one on the picture, asking why I don’t shave. My problem is this. If I were a man, I would not have to justify why I have hair on my body… But people don’t see that. They see hair and they see standards that they feel I, as a woman, am not meeting up to [and] to them that isn’t okay. But it should be.”
This Movement Challenges Society’s Beauty Standards
Elize (@elize_janssen) shared this photo on Instagram saying, “Oh I’m sorry, am I not feminine enough for you now?” Feminism is a huge component of the women’s armpit hair movement on social media. Many females forgo shaving their pits to stand up to the ridiculous standards of beauty that society expects women to uphold, while the same can’t be said for men who more or less grow hair in the same places and keep it there without question. If no one bats an eye at a guy’s hairy armpits, then why should it be any different for ladies?
Women Have Been Expected To Be Hairless For 100 Years
Shaving underarms and legs became a trend to accommodate shifting fashion trends as early as 1915. Before that, women’s clothing was more conservative so women had no need to get rid of their body hair since it was apropos to even show skin. But since the advent of the sleeveless dress and the introduction of higher hemlines, companies capitalized on these changing tastes by doling out products with advertisements that reinforced the idea that women need to be hairless in order to be deemed beautiful and feminine. This has gone on for generations, but it is only recently that women are admirably trying to blow the lid off these gender norms.
Self-Love Is Key To Confidence, Especially With Hairy Armpits
Some women are influencing this movement is by spreading love and promoting self-love. Kat (@katgualymusic) is a singer/songwriter on Instagram who shared this photo of herself and a special message: “You are all beautiful unique glimmering pieces of glitter and you are loved. Challenge: Enter into this week… with an intention, whether it’s to show those around you love, to show yourself love, or to face some fears that have kept you from love, this is your moment.” You shouldn’t need outside approval or love when you can fully love yourself first, body hair and all!
Women Can’t Be Bothered To Take The Time To Shave
Women’s personal care routines can be quite tedious, especially with shaving in the mix. On the anonymous secret-sharing app Whisper, some gals have given their personal reasons for not shaving. One girl said, “My armpits are hairy sometimes because… Well, I’m busy. Now I intentionally don’t shave because my family has such an adverse reaction to it and I think it’s hilarious.” Some women simply don’t have the time to worry about what others might think of their underarm hair when they’re too busy going to school or working to become the empowered women they’re meant to be.
This Girl Was So Confident She Inspired Others At Her Local Gym
Samira (@shroomira) on Instagram has been featured on @pitangels for unashamedly having hairy armpits in her photos. She shared this photo with the caption, “I never wear my shirt to the gym and I inspired some girl yesterday to do the same.” Samira also added, “I never notice anyone staring because I’m always in the zone and forget about any social construct before me. No one has said anything to me about it ever because as long as you portray the confidence and assertion that ‘this is who you are and you’re not afraid of what people think’ they act accordingly and forget about these unspoken norms as well.”
If Pain Is Beauty, Is It Really Worth It?
They say that pain is beauty, but why do women have to endure so much pain to be considered beautiful? Another girl on Whisper shared, “I don’t shave because I get severe ingrown hairs and rashes and it doesn’t look good. Plus I don’t like it because it itches so much.” Many women can attest to this problem and agree that sometimes, it’s just not worth the trouble. If people are going to criticize you for not doing something because it causes you pain, then you probably don’t need such unsupportive people in your life.
You Decide What You Want To Do With Your Body
“I’m a woman and I don’t shave because I don’t conform to other people’s expectations of a woman’s body,” said another person on Whisper. If you think about it, women do whatever they can to remove their body hair almost unconsciously, because these societal expectations are so ingrained in our minds. But truthfully, relying on other’s people’s opinions of how your body should look is detrimental to your self-confidence and mental health. It is a birthright for both women and men to feel comfortable in their own skin regardless of whether there’s hair on it or not.
Women Shouldn’t Have To Shave Their Pits To Make Others Comfortable
There’s the argument that women who don’t shave or do anything to maintain their body hair are just plain lazy, which is pretty unfair to say. Some women don’t shave on purpose, while others prefer to keep it, but that shouldn’t be a measure of whether someone is lazy. Admittedly, there are women who do admit to being too lazy sometimes but as one woman on Whisper said, “I don’t owe you to not be lazy so you could feel comfortable around me.” Women should be free to do as they please with their body and if that makes someone else uncomfortable, then that someone else can leave.
It’s Only Shocking Because We’re Not Used To Seeing It
People, in general, are so bothered by a woman’s untamed underarms probably because they’re just not used to seeing it. When asked how they viewed women who don’t upkeep their armpits, Reddit user justsamthings says, “I might have the thought, ‘Huh, that’s unusual’ upon seeing it because it’s not the norm in this culture. But other than that, I don’t really think about it. If someone doesn’t feel like shaving their pits, that’s up to them.” People have adverse reactions to seeing excessive underarm hair on women because it’s not a normal thing to see these days, but these women are here to change that.
There Are Even Men Who Are Understanding
Reddit user friendswithlarry talks about his experience with a live-in girlfriend and pretty much makes the same point: “Obviously she couldn’t be clean shaven all the time… It was kind of a gradual thing, so I got used to it… Maybe it’s because we were in love, but it didn’t really bother me and I didn’t really notice most of the time. The only real ‘ugh’ factor comes from the fact that it’s uncommon. People don’t see it often. If they did, no-one would make a fuss.” If more people were just as understanding as this guy, then hairy underarms would be less of an issue.
She Used To Be Shamed For Being Hairy
This is fitness blogger Morgan Mikenas, who went a whole year without shaving her body to promote natural beauty. Pretty bold for someone whose niche requires wearing sleeveless shirts and sometimes shorts! In a YouTube video, Mikenas said, “I’m not trying to make all of humanity stop shaving their armpits and leg hair anymore. I just want to inspire other [to do] what works for you, what makes you feel the most comfortable. I want everybody to not feel ashamed of themselves. I think it’s unfair that people think they have to be in this cultural norm. Just do whatever makes you feel good.”
Women Feel Empowered By Their Hairy Pits
Some women don’t do anything about their underarms because they love the way it makes them feel inside, which is totally awesome! Reddit user aliengraveyard says, “I’m a girl and I don’t shave my armpits or legs all the time. Sometimes people see my armpits and I can tell they think it’s gross, but I don’t care. I’m working on totally loving myself and my appearance, and not shaving my armpits or legs because I don’t want to is my way of expressing that I don’t care what others think. It’s kind of empowering. I love it! Of course, with other girls, I don’t care. Whatever they’re happy with.”
Avid Shavers Have Since Had A Change Of Heart
Some women who used to shave religiously have since had a change of heart when they realized their true reasons for doing so. Reddit user whatanicekitty shared, “I used to be a shaver and it was very important to me. I started shaving at 11 because some boys were teasing me about how hairy my legs were. When I was 30, I realized I was never shaving for me, it was always to impress stupid people I didn’t even like. I realized I didn’t care what people thought anymore. Just yesterday, some teenage girl looked at me and said t her friend, ‘that’s gross!’ and I just laughed.”
Personal Hygiene Is Just That… Personal!
There is the concern for hygiene when it comes to the choice to have hairy underarms. As long as you regularly clean up and take care of yourself properly, then the extra hair shouldn’t really be an issue. Reddit user redditaccountforants says, “It’s so bizarre to me that people have this idea that it is more [hygienic to shave]. Sure, it might become a problem sooner if you aren’t showering regularly, but that’s gross regardless of how much hair you have. If you shower regularly it’s fine. Nobody seems to think it is unhygienic on men though, or on heads, and nobody notices the double standard there.”
Girls As Young As Five Are Already Stuck With These Norms
These beauty standards are definitely instilled at an early age and we don’t even realize it. In a New York Post article about the hairy pit movement, a Massachusetts mom said, “I started [not shaving] a few months ago before I knew it was a trend. When [my 5-year-old daughter and 9-year-old neice] told me I ‘have to shave those’ and were grossed out it was kind of startling that these gender stereotypes were already so ingrained at these ages. I do it, or rather don’t do it, for me but also as a reminder to my daughter that it’s up to the individual what we decide to do with our bodies.”
You Should Be Free To Live As Your Natural Self
A lot of women decide not to get rid of their armpit hair as a way to embrace their natural selves, which in turn is even more empowering! Molly (@molly.kubes) is a spiritual guru on social media and shared this photo on Instagram. Molly wrote, “I love allowing myself to be fully FREE and liberated into my being. My being changes all the time. I am open to consistent growth and change, and I am unattached to one way of being. Right now I am exploring more sensuality, more connection to the earth and embracing my natural self!”
Your Armpit Hair Is Actually Protecting You During Your Workouts
In addition to empowering women, the no-shave movement has a ton of other benefits as well. We grow hair in certain places for a reason and for the most part, hair serves to protect you in some way. Underarm hair in particular actually does a lot to help your body, especially when it comes to heavy activity. While you may think your armpit hair worsens the effects of physical activity, it can actually help protect your skin from chafing when you sweat. On that note, armpit hair actually serves to pull sweat away from your body and thereby keeping bacteria off your skin as well.
Shaving And Waxing Can Be Detrimental To Your Skin
Keeping your underarm hair intact can also help your delicate skin nice and healthy. Shaving is irritating on the skin already, so if you shave your underarms, you’re putting that area at risk of developing rashes, inflammation, and folliculitis. If you don’t replace your razor as often as you should, you also put yourself at risk of getting an infection. Yikes! Additionally, if you do replace your razors often, you should at least recycle them so you can help the environment. Though if you don’t shave at all, then you’re already doing your part!
Your Armpit Hair Is There For A Reason
Some scientists will also say that your underarm hair serves biological purposes as well. Armpit hair usually starts to come in during puberty, which obviously is doing work to other parts of your body. At that point, you start developing pheromones which are also secreted from your pits, believe it or not. If your underarm hair is there, it can actually absorb the pheromones and help spread your “natural scent” (and we don’t necessarily mean body odor) to help you attract a mate, biologically speaking. Remember, there’s no biological reason to get rid of your armpit hair!