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Throw out your razors: Armpit hair is back

by Stephanie Darling / Monday, 08 January 2018

Trending for 2018 is armpit hair. Yes, you heard right. Celebrity adopters include Lourdes Leon who is following in her mother Madonna’s footsteps and Kiersey Clemons. And they are not the only ones. Twenty-five percent of millennial women in the US has given their razors the boot when it comes to their armpits. And the trend doesn’t stop there: some even dye their pit hair zany colours or sprinkle them with glitter.

Paris Jackson has commented on this trend saying, “I love hair, and sweat, and BO. I f****** love it, I think it’s great,” Paris has previously said to Teen Vogue in response to trolls shaming her armpit hair. “Some people think that it’s like super disgusting, especially on girls, but every human body does it. It’s natural. Get over it.”

Madonna and her 21 year old daughter Lourdes Leon. Photo: Instagram/Madonna

While in China, feminist Xiao Meili started an armpit hair competition on the micro-blogging site Weibo, and dozens of women submitted their photos.

“Women should have the right to decide how to deal with their bodies, including small details like armpit hair,” Xiao told CNN. “You can choose to shave it, but you shouldn’t be forced to do so under the pressure of stereotypes.”

So when did the body hair removal trend start in the first place? It dates back to ancient Greek and Egyptian times, and took off in the 20th century when Gillette sold its first razor for women in 1915, declaring body hair “unsightly”: the power of the mighty advertiser.

In the 1960s, women became more relaxed about their body hair but with the rise of the porn industry in the 1980s hair removal reached new heights.

  • Patti Smith’s armpit fuzz complemented her distinctive man style in the 70s. While Madonna and Lisa Bonet were the underarm rule breakers of the 80s.   And who could forget Julia Roberts, who was one of the first Oscar-winning actresses to bare hairy armpits on the red carpet for her role in the film Notting Hill in 1999.   Natural Born Killers actress Juliette Lewis was out there with her pits at the Enough NYC premiere in 2001.
  • What goes around comes around and the millennials are now showing the way: Scout Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore) has her hairy armpits everywhere on social media. And she is in good company with Miley Cyrus who is also a proud pit flasher.
  • You can always rely on Lady Gaga to take things to the next level, which she duly did when she got blue underarm hair extensions for the Much Music Video Awards in Canada in 2011.
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