The growth of women’s underarm hair

Armpits! Image credit: flickr

There’s a new trend in the air… and that is: women growing their armpit hair. Que a response of: “Ew, what? That’s disgusting. Why?”. Well some women (which includes Madonna and Miley Cyrus) have decided that enough is a enough and why should we continue to shave our pits when it is society that has made us do so? So in response they have decided to grow their armpit hair and proudly post pictures of it.

It is almost expected from around the age of 13 that young women should shave under their arms. No one wielded a razor at us and told us to shave, it’s just what all girls seemed to do. We’re somehow led to think that removing underarm hair is necessary just as much as wiping your nose is when it’s snotty. Have you ever met a woman that doesn’t wax or shave her underarm hair? No, probably not!

This trend has got me thinking more seriously about my underarm hair. I have always religiously shaved under my armpits and do so probably once every day to two days. If I see the slightest hair I shave it off. But why do we do this? Men aren’t so eager to shave their underarm hair. Go on a beach and you’re guaranteed to see some men with armpit hair.

Why are we so repulsed by a bit of hair under arms? Over the years, celebrities have displayed their underarm hair (whether they intended to or not). Think of Julia Roberts when she turned up to a film premiere in a slinky red dress with tufts of underarm hair. Instead of embracing Julia’s decision to have natural underarm hair, the public tore her apart for having the audacity not to shave. But why should we be so uptight about this? Armpit hair is natural and women in other countries don’t even think to shave or have the option to.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have come to the conclusion that women shaving their armpit hair has a lot to do with pleasing others. We shave for the fact that other people find hair in awkward places unappealing. When the real reason we should be shaving is because its more hygienic and stops sweat building up. So now I’ve begun to wonder why I feel the need to shave every day? I’m not doing it for myself because if I’m spending my day inside writing then I’m not bothered whether my armpits are hairy because I won’t be showing them.

After reading about the recent trend, I have become more relaxed with shaving “under there”. Now I can’t be bothered to do it unless I’m going somewhere. Which actually works well for me because my razor irritates my skin and causes it to bleed a bit which means that applying deodorant becomes challenging.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be growing a full bush under my arms but I may stop shaving every day and at least let some stubble form. Call me disgusting, but the more I think about it, the more I refuse to do something which I have been told I need to do by society from a young age. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a society where girls don’t feel the need to shave as soon as they hit puberty and a few hairs start sprouting? A place where they’re not judged in the school playground for choosing not to shave.

What do you think about underarm hair? Are you tempted to grow it?


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