Women of Instagram Challenge Gender Norms by Celebrating Armpit Hair

Jun 12, 2015 at 1:27 pm |
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The Women of Instagram Are Liberating Themselves by Showing Off Natural Pits

Right on the heels of Dad Bod craze (hand-in-hand with the Mom Bod craze) comes a whole new controversial body trend making its way across Instagram in which women are showing off their armpit hair in an attempt to liberate themselves from cultural norms. And we’re not talking peach-fuzz either, these are full-grown pits, some of which have even been creatively trimmed or dyed.

The concept – as its always been – is pretty controversial, with many praising the women for the empowerment to go “au naturel” and others criticizing the choice for more traditional aesthetic reasons.

The advent of armpit shaving in the West didn’t even occur until 1915 when a few magazines featured women in dresses with clean-shaven underarms exposed. The trend didn’t even make its way to most of Western Europe until WWII. Religious reasons influence other areas of the world — in Islamic culture both men and women must remove their underarm hair to abide by specified guidelines of cleanliness.

Last year, the “free your pits” campaign came into full swing after a Seattle-based hairdresser, Roxie Hunt, began experimenting by dying some of her clients pits to accentuate the colors in their hair. Suddenly the trend took off, and perhaps as this year’s summer begins to hit its highest temps, and everyone’s starting to run around with less clothes on, the campaign is seeing its second big push. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Madonna have jumped on the bandwagon, freeing up their pits for the whole world to see.

Today hazzzzz be consistently chill AF #evengotsomecleanindone #fuckyeah

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

There’s even a “female armpit hair competition” picking up a lot of traction in China. According to BBC News, feminist Xiao Meili recently launched the competition on Weibo, an extremely popular web platform in China.

“Girls are often anxious about their armpit hair as if it’s a sign of being dirty or uncivilized,” Xiao Meili says. “But we should have the freedom to choose whether to accept what grows naturally on our bodies.”

Could this continued trend mark a permanent shift in cultural gender norms?

What do you think ladies…

Sweigh

Fuzzy or die. Even Miley Cyrus is showing off her armpit hair!