So, Julia Roberts knows how to rock some serious promo, but who knew that when she raised her arm in a gesture of hello, the world would freak out about her armpit hair. It might have been the reaction she was aiming for, perhaps she was making a statement; but perhaps she just doesn’t care about underarm hair, maybe she lets her lady parts bloom with hair and frankly, no care for others’ opinions on the matter. And why should she? More to the point, why do we? Why do we care what other women do and to put it bluntly (iffy razor pun) what on earth has it got to do with anyone else?
It seems that female hair growth has gotten a fair amount of media attention quite recently - it was being billed as a bra burning rite of passage for ‘feminists’ in 2017, to display their womanism stance but seriously, some women genuinely just couldn’t give a hoot about hair. It’s not, ‘grow your pubes in support of pro-choice,’ or, ‘let your pubes hang low, you can tie them in a bow for breastfeeding’… Hair growth is just a thing we all manage to do - like breathing. It’s simply a preference for the majority to rid themselves of theirs. All the fuss over female follicles must come from somewhere.
Back when we dwelled in caves and caverns, we were pretty much covered in hair (maybe a bit before then, I’m no historian but the fact is, we derive from hairy homo sapiens) and there’s no real scientific reason to suggest why we’ve kept hair in certain areas, like our armpits. It could be to avoid friction as we use our arms, or they’re there to soak up underarm sweat - who knows. Until around 1915, women used to let their hair grow free, wherever it sprouted from, then suddenly someone decided it was unsightly. An advert in Harper’s Bazaar was the apparent catalyst and it read something like this, “The fastidious woman today must have immaculate underarms if she is to be unembarrassed.” I mean it’s not exactly a catchy strapline, but it worked nonetheless. I think this was around about the same time everyone was drinking cocaine for toothache…
Most women still prefer to remove their underarm hair, even feminists do it; it is a way to avoid a ‘pheromone' overload. In other words, hairless pits are best for deodorant to adhere to and thus in turn be more effective and furthermore, hair is a hotbed for sweat to stick around and smell that bit riper. Eeew.
Hair is just dead skins cells turned into keratin and popping out of pores, it’s harmless and it’s useful and to be honest, you don’t have to be hairless to be beautiful. You can grow it, dye it, whip it off - it’s your choice. Miley Cyrus has kickstarted a trend of plumes of colourful armpit hair and hundreds of Chinese women have done the same thing as a sort of two fingered salute to the patriarchy. Emma Watson conditions hers; not too sure what for, but hey, it’s what she does. All well and good and commendable statement making, but at the end of the day a hairy pit is just that and it’s not going to change the world. It does however open up the debate as to whether we should, or we shouldn’t shave, and I believe that I’m on the fence. I shave when I can be bothered, I stopped getting waxed because it is agonising, and I hate unnecessary pain. I personally prefer my armpits hair free (my legs can do what they like until summer), at the same time, I am not repulsed by others’ armpit hair - I am repulsed by Donald Trump’s hair but that’s only because it’s on his head.
Women, the conclusion of this ‘wax on, wax off’ hair today gone tomorrow article is to basically inform you that you can be as god damn hairy as you like and the only difference you’ll make by letting your pit hair grow, is that you’ll need to swap to a spray deodorant as the solids will stick like you know what to a blanket, leaving you with little white cling ons dangling from your pit pubes. Now THAT is not a good look.