“I just think why make a big fuss and song and dance about growing out your underarm hair?”
During a talk show panel about “Januhairy,” a woman who describes herself as a “left-wing, feminist, and atheist” horrified a fellow guest by displaying her unshaved underarm air.
Kate Smurthwaite appeared on “Good Morning Britain” in January to advocate for a month-long movement that encourages women to refrain from shaving their body hair in a bid for liberation and empowerment.
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Smurthwaite, who is polyamorous, dismissed host Piers Morgan’s suggestion that men would find her unkempt body hair unattractive by revealing that she has “several boyfriends.”
In fact, according to Smurthwaite, her decision to remain unshaven is actually a plus when it comes to romance. “I think it’s a great thing. One thing my armpit hair does, is it filters out the kind of men who think that’s important,” she said.
Television personality Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace did not agree.
“I’m repulsed. Sorry, hun. It’s your personal choice but I can see them sort of sticking out,” she said.
“It’s bacteria. It’s smell,” Horgan-Wallace added, before Smurthwaite interjected by showing off her underarm hair. This prompted Horgan-Wallace to retch and turn away.
“I just think why make a big fuss and song and dance about growing out your underarm hair?” she said. “There are bigger things to do.”
“Do you think that maybe if we walk around with hairy legs and hairy armpits that we’re going to get equal pay in the office?” Horgan-Wallace added.
The “Januhairy” movement was started by Laura Jackson, a University of Exeter student seeking to promote body positivity. The body positivity movement, which pushes back against purportedly sexist and patriarchal stigmas that dictate what women should look like, has been increasingly co-opted by corporate brands and activist organizations.
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Hi I’m Laura, the gal behind Januhairy! I thought I would write a little about my experiences and how Januhairy came about… I grew out my body hair for a performance as part of my drama degree in May 2018. There had been some parts that were challenging for me, and others that really opened my eyes to the taboo of body hair on a woman. After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair. I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving. Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it. I realised that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly. Then I thought of Januhairy and thought I would try it out. It’s a start at least . . . I have had a lot of support from my friends and family! Even though I had to explain why I was doing it to a lot of them which was surprising, and again, the reason why this is important to do! When I first started growing my body hair my mum asked me “Is it you just being lazy or are you trying to prove a point?” . . . why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point? After talking to her about it and helping her understand, she saw how weird it was that she asked those questions. If we do something/see the same things, over and over again it becomes normal. She is now going to join in with Januhairy and grow out her own body hair which is a big challenge for her as well as many women who are getting involved. Of course a good challenge! This isn’t an angry campaign for people who don’t see how normal body hair is, but more an empowering project for everyone to understand more about their views on themselves and others. This picture was taken a few months ago. Now I am joining in with Januhairy, starting the growing process again along with the other wonderful women who have signed up! Progress pictures/descriptions from our gals will be posted throughout the month. Lets get hairy 🌵 #januhairy #bodygossip #bodyhairmovement #happyandhairy #loveyourbody #thenaturalrevolution #natural #hairywomen #womanpowe
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