I’m scrolling through my radio show prep yesterday and I see a story about Faith Hill‘s unshaved armpits for her role in the Paramount+ show 1883 so naturally I ask myself why anyone would care if a woman has unshaved armpits.
Years ago, I stopped shaving my armpits, mostly out of curiosity. I hadn’t seen the hair under my arms since puberty and I wondered what it looked like so I stopped shaving.
What I wasn’t prepared for were the rude comments I received from men. Men I didn’t even know felt the need to walk past me and mumble “gross” or “shave your armpits” or “lesbian” (I’m straight).
Eventually I shaved and stayed shaved…until about two years ago.
Why do women in this culture even shave the hair off their armpits?
Well, according to this article I found from the Chicago Tribune:
Ancient Egyptians removed all of their body hair, from head to toe.
In May of 1915, Harper’s Bazaar ran an ad featuring a women in a sleeveless dress and bare armpits, perhaps sparking the trend of women shaving their armpits.
Ancient cave paintings showed men using seashells as tweezers to pluck out unwanted hairs.
It all started as a trend. A print ad ran in an issue of Harper’s Bazaar in 1915 that showed a model with her arms raised and her armpits bare. Up until then, women did not wear garments that exposed their underarms. For the first time, women had to address having armpit hair in public. The Harper’s Bazaar ad insisted that women must first see to “the removal of objectionable hair” before wearing the new sleeveless dress in the advertisement. This request was not met with much objection, and the bare armpits became a trend that caught on and became commonplace.
So basically, we shave because some model in a magazine had bare armpits, it’s gross if we don’t all have bare armpits. Makes sense. Insert eyeroll here.
And what about men and their unshaved armpits? Do any men shave their armpits? Depending on their culture, some shave lots of things. Others, not so much.
So, yea, I have light, wispy hair under my unshaved armpits. I might shave again at some point. If I feel like it. I’m a grown ass woman and I can shave what I want, when I want. Who really cares?
Julie is of Mexican decent. She loves working in radio, Jeeps, riding her bike, yoga, skiing, showshoeing, ice skating, roller skating, running, going for walks, mowing her lawn, planting flowers, ripping up things she didn’t plant in the first place. Julie loves to laugh and have fun. She’s an avid reader, loves good movies. A few of her favorites are Koyaanisqatsi, Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus, Nebraska, The Notebook, Brokeback Mountain, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, First Blood, ET, Forrest Gump, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and watched It’s Complicated so many times she made the croque monsieur and homemade chocolate cake. Julie knows a few chords on guitar and wishes she allocated more time to play. She has two grown children and the light of her life is her beautiful, funny granddaughter she wishes she could spend more time with. She is also a recent stage three colorectal cancer survivor. Carpe diem. Portege lo que amas.