At the turn of the 20th century, women didn’t wax or shave, but with a little marketing and a dash of body shaming, that changed fast. Media and marketing created ads that made women feel embarrassed about having body hair.
“The fastidious woman today must have immaculate armpits if she is to be unembarrassed.” -An early anti-armpit hair ad
Hmm…that’s not the first time that media and marketing has made women feel bad about their bodies….
It is as natural for women to grow hair under their arms (or anywhere else) as it is for men, yet women are shamed if they choose to allow their body to remain in a natural state.
Women grow hair for a reason. Why are we constantly trying to get rid of something Mother Nature clearly intended us to have?
None of us women actually enjoy the process of waxing or shaving. Am I lying ladies? How many of us have rocked jeans for an entire month just to avoid shaving? We do it because its expected. We may feel “sexy” after the process is over, but the question is why? Who made us believe we have to be hairless in order to be sexy?
People are used to seeing women with hairless bodies and are horrified to see anything different, but people are used to a lot of things, and too many of those things aren’t the truth. The truth is women grow hair everywhere and if it wasn’t for marketing and media, they wouldn’t have to be ashamed of it. There are so many things women worry about when it comes to beauty standards, body hair is just one.
London-based photographer Ben Hopper, however, has taken a small step towards dealing with some of these problems by creating a simple and elegant photo series that turns our ideas of feminine body hair and beauty upside down.
For this photo series, which is fittingly called “Natural Beauty,” Hopper asked models and actresses to grow out their body hair and challenge the idea that hairy women are in any way unattractive or unhygienic.
As Hopper explains on his website, “Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement. Why is that? For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made.”
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