I’m fucking marvellously hairy. This morning I had a shower with fully-grown armpit hair.
It was fun at the time to notice this. But now, as I write it on the internet, it is so embarrassing for me to say. Why do I find myself turning my nose up at the idea?
I am worried about what people think of me. What I think of me. The same way a child delights in jumping in a puddle or picking their nose, until told that it is anything other than a fun.
I have never, like many women, not shaved. It’s just engrained into us. I haven’t asked many friends about it (it doesn’t really come up in conversation), but I would imagine they have had hairless pits since the age of 14, just like me.
I have met three women in my lifetime who dared to bare their hair. The first time I ever saw a hairy pit was when I was at University, studying drama. It was shared between friends during a costume change, and most of the other girls looked disgusted, repulsed, or just plain intrigued.
Anyway, maybe it was their harsh judgement that led me to believe that hairy armpits = social exclusion.
It can also mean that you are dirty, smelly, unattractive, unfeminine, weird and possibly some sort of a hippy freak.
But I don’t feel any of these things.
I still feel like me. A more comfortable version of me, even. Not because I don’t have to shave all the time (although, that does save time), but because I am pushing the boundaries on what I think I can feel free to do with my own body.
I can shave anytime I want to (which is going to feel really good when that happens btw – it’s really thick!) … and would still be comfortable in my own skin. The fact that I can choose to grow hair is empowering in its own weird little way. But, all of those weird psychological battles are going on in my head, bubbling on a low heat, under the surface.
The point is gender, politics, culture and our freedom of expression are so closely intertwined that we don’t know where one begins and the other ends. Which is why at 10AM in the shower this morning I could think both the thoughts, ‘I am fucking marvellously hairy’, and ‘Aw, I’m not as sexy as I used to be, am I?’
What do you think of armpit hair? Is it a good thing/bad? What are your experiences of growing it out? What reactions have you seen, heard or had to someone else’s hair?
Do write a comment in the section below, I’d love to hear your stories.