Armpits4August is a great idea, but will I be growing it out? Not a chance in hell

We have to accept the fact that most women won’t sign up because of the body hair stigma we have to deal with

Share
Related Topics

Movember, the ever popular annual event that sees men worldwide make their best attempts at facial hair to raise awareness for testicular cancer, has got some competition.

Forget the gripping drama of men with beards so big you wonder if they’re housing birds or the forlorn teenagers who still find themselves with just a few whiskers four weeks later; this summer it’s the ladies turn. Specifically ladies willing to grow their armpit hair. Will I be taking part? Not a chance in hell.

Armpits4August is an undoubtedly a fantastic campaign. Set up to help raise funds and awareness of polycystic ovary syndrome, it also aims to tackle traditional attitudes of shame towards women’s bodily hair. Yet while men partaking in the Movember challenge can proudly boast about their achievements – the more hair the better is the general rule – as women we’re conditioned to think any type of hair, other than the hair on our heads, is bad, shameful and unclean.

Whether we’re talking vaginas, legs or armpits any kind of bodily hair on women is instantly judged. Walk around proudly – or even indifferently – displaying your non-shaven body and you’ll find yourself the subject of funny looks, grimaces of disgust and horrified whispers between friends. Of course this kind of attitude is fundamentally sexist and wrong, women should always feel to do whatever they want to their bodies without fear of being judged, but it’s undeniably the way society works right now.

Opting not to shave actually comes with a whole host of benefits, from avoiding razor burn and microscopic cuts to helping your under arms smell less icky and reducing friction. And of course, it’s completely natural and normal. Yet this simply isn’t how society views women who decide that the war on bodily hair is a completely pointless task. I for one, alongside, I suspect, millions of other women across the country, just wouldn’t have the nerve to do it.

It’s not that I’m not body confident and it’s not that I’m not 100 per cent behind the cause, but the thought of endless jibes, judgements and sideway glances from other women, men and even my friends sounds far too much to bear on a daily basis. Heck, I even break out in a cold sweat if I go out in a skirt and forgot to shave that morning.

Until we manage to change the social stigma around body hair people will continue to be ashamed of breaking it off with their trusty razor blade. Of course that’s not to say we shouldn’t be doing anything about the issue – quite the opposite – but we have to accept the fact that most women won’t sign up to the cause before the stigma goes away, at least in part.

It’s exactly this reason why we need brave people like Chloe Marshall running events like Armpits4August; to help show the rest of us there really is nothing to be afraid of. And alongside help from the media and the education system, who knows, maybe we’ll get there someday – but for now my razor blades aren’t going anywhere.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executive - OTE £37,000

£16000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The ideal candidate will want t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron has reiterated his pre-election promise to radically improve the NHS  

How can we save the NHS? Rediscover the stiff upper lip

Jeremy Laurance
 

Thanks to Harriet Harman, Labour is holding its own against the Tory legislative assault

Isabel Hardman
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada