NoShave armpit is trending. The trend where females cease to shave or wax their armpits is becoming popular among the masses this summer and has been trendy for sometime. Once deemed traditionally as ‘unfeminine’, unkempt and unhygienic, for obvious reasons, this ‘no shave’ phenomena has females in full support.
But truth is the #noshave movement started in order to raise funds and awareness to fight Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which affects up to ten percent of females, where a common symptom included excessive hair growth. Other women like Xiao Meili, Chinese feminist, created a photo contest on Weibo, a social media site, where women were able to show off their unshaven armpits in support of gender inequality.
Whether, females ultimately take on this trend for personal reasons and while it initially starts out as being in support for a campaign, later on it becomes a lifestyle change for many. Emer, Pretty Woman movie actress, claims that “shaving body hair is anti-feminist, and forces women to conform to ‘artificial gender norms’ ”. The movement began when women became tired of maintaining the status quo and took to social media to break ground. In light of this females have embraced their freedom by sharing their photos with the hastag #noshavenoshade or #noshave tag on Instagram and Facebook with their hairy underarm hair.
“My decision to stop shaving was, at first, kind of a joke – I wanted to take part in No-Shave November. So, I did. And then December passed. And January. And February. And then, I realized that I took no personal pleasure in shaving and decided that I would do away with it altogether.” – Katie Hoban, Blogger
It was until after the 1915’s where females found armpit hair abhorrent brought forth by a popular fashion magazine back in those times as an advertising ploy. Throughout the 1920’s ‘fashionistas’ also went as far as brainwashing viewers into not only believing that hair on the armpits was a horrible thing, but also on the legs. In present times, this shaving trend was as a result of razor companies expanding their market and they have now been convinced that hair should not be in those places on a female that they create products to increase consumer rate by targeting females especially.
Women have been shaving, plucking, lasering, tweezing and using hair removal products for about one hundred years, dating far back as the Ancient Egyptians indicated beauty as being a smooth and hairless body. However, in the seventies shaving became a feminist issue, being a form of “slavery to men’s desires”. However this is not the case, while the majority of women do spend hours and thousands of dollars keeping their bodies maintained, it has become an action of self love rather than doing it for other persons.
“The amount of importance we attach to where these strands of keratin emerge from our bodies is, frankly, rather silly. By not shaving, I a) save time, b) save money, c) avoid communicating with people who aren’t worth talking to, and d) facilitate important conversations about body image and the modification of the female body.” – Katie Hoban, Blogger
Nowadays, a once ‘unheard of’ behavior, not shaving, is now reclaimed as a profession of self love and womanhood:
“In the following months, I discovered that my hairy legs and armpits had granted me two superpowers: 1) the ability to magically repel anyone who believed that their idea of “what a woman should look like” was more important than every single one of my other qualities combined, and 2) the ability to easily and effectively open conversations about the way people view women’s bodies.” – Katie Hoban, Blogger
Men on the other hand can sport hair on the bodies, and if they shave certain parts they are seen as not masculine. Although they shave their faces and occasionally their heads, the time they spend is inconsequential in comparison to the hours females spend shaving their whole bodies and the pain they have to endure when waxing.
“I know there are women who do enjoy the feeling of smooth legs, and I support their choice to pursue that wholeheartedly – it’s just not something I personally want to invest my time or money in.” – Katie Hoban, Blogger.
By Alexandra Daley