2 Jan 2013

A Real Grown Up Conversation About Armpit Hair

OK, come on then, sit down. It's time we had a Grown Up Conversation. I try and not talk about gender politics too much, but tough, my blog, I'll write what I damn well like. So. Grown Up Conversation.
OK, one quick funny first. NT and I were looking at the website of a Berlin sex club which Lady Gaga once took Caitlin Moran to. It has an event called 'Filthy Farm'. The description for this event was simply 'FARMER'. This is simultaneously the most and least worrying description on the website. 
So, Conversation. I want to talk about hair. No, not head hair, or vagina hair, before you start going on. You're just putting your own filth in now. No, I want to talk about armpit hair. 
You just flinched, didn't you? Don't deny it, I can tell. 
So, long story short, if you are a woman/girl/lady/drag queen, I do not care if you have pit hair. I do not think it makes you any more or less of a woman. I don't think that it makes you 'masculine', or dirty. I think if someone really cares that much about whether or not you shave your armpits, they really need to reconsider their life choices. 
A lot of people recently have been talking about vagina hair, and the two different parties on the topic seem to be either 'you should shave it, it makes you prettier to men', or 'you don't need to shave, it's a waste of time and makes you look like a twelve year old'. Personally, I'm with the second group. I don't really care if you shave your lady bits or not, and I don't think it's my place to tell you what to do, I just don't see why everyone seems so fussed about it. 
The whole lady shaving thing kicked off with legs, somewhere in the twenties. A company thought  "Hey, the birds are starting to get their pegs out, how can we make a bit of cash off the back of this?" and hence, the leg razor was born. Armpits were the next to fall, and vaginas (vaginae) came quickly after, succumbing to the wishes of the lady razor. It literally is nothing more than a marketing ploy, that somehow managed to crate a social taboo. I remember a while ago, Cosmo ran an article where they dared a journalist to go a month without shaving her pits. She reported that if she raised her arm in a club to summon the bartender, he would flinch. All I have to say to him is grow up. Men do not shave their pits, and no one cares. Why should it be such a social boundary for a woman to occasionally say, "No, not now, I'd rather watch Eastenders than scrape a very sharp piece of metal over my skin at the moment".  
I admit, I do shave my armpits. Of course I do. I go to secondary school. Not shaving my armpits would be like wandering around school with a huge 'kick me' sign on my back. But instead of being stuck to my back, it would be nailed to my forehead, and instead of saying 'kick me', it would say 'please bash my face in with a hammer'.
Two of my biggest role models are Amanda Palmer, and Louise Brealey. Both very talented women, and both massive feminists, and both very, well... feminine. Amanda does not shave her armpits. She appears in nearly all of her music videos half naked, makeup on, and armpits hairy. And she doesn't look disgusting. She just looks strong, and a little bit sexy. Louise Brealey is currently appearing as Helen of Troy, in a play called The Trojan Women. In one scene, she has to appear naked. She wrote an article for The Times, talking about how much it terrified her, to go on stage in front of a hundred people, night after night and drop her towel to the floor. She also wrote that to help herself, she grew out her armpit hair. The feeling that she didn't have to follow the beauty ideals of society made her more confident. 
And this is what I'd like to impart to you, whomever may be reading this. You do not have to have a perfectly round arse to be sexy, and neither do you need to have naked armpits, or stick glitter to your vag. Strength is sexy. Promise. 

1 comment:

  1. There's some really wonderful food for thought here, and I'll admit that I immediately thought of Amanda Palmer when I read the title of your post. It doesn't hurt that I adore her.

    Strength is sexy. Absolutely.