If you’re a celebrity, a feminist or just a woman who’s tired of impossible amounts of self-maintenance, give the razor a break. After decades of bald armpits and ever-present razor burn, female armpit hair is having a moment.
The armpit isn’t the most stylish or pampered part of the female body. Girls might lather on sweet-smelling lotion after shaving their legs, but the pit rarely sees any kind of pampering beyond a little deodorant. But in this Kardashian era, fake eyelashes and laser-crafted hairlines have been replaced by a commitment to the bohemian: bedhead, minimal makeup and pit hair long enough to have a little curl.
Before that, the public never saw the space under your arm, let alone a stray flash of ankle. More than 80 years later, actress Julia Roberts shocked fans by displaying a veritable forest of brunette armpit hair during the London premiere of “Notting Hill.” The movie might’ve been a romance, but critics were quick to make cruel jokes about Roberts’ sense of self-maintenance.
The quickest way to dismiss a subject that’s frightening or shocking is by poking fun at it, so the media made a spectacle out of Roberts. The message underneath the headlines was clear: armpits could not be beautiful or sexy, and women should be embarrassed of their own hair. In 2015, however, it’s a different world: festival culture and wannabe hippies run rampant across our social media feeds.