If body hair was a language, Western women seem forbidden from speaking it. ‘Thou shalt not grow what grows on him’ the unwritten commandment booms – proclaimed by glossy advertisements, neighbours’ looks, passengers’ comments. Just like speaking, writing, and generally being in charge, body hair, it seems, comes most naturally to him.
Hurray to the women from Armpits4August for challenging this ‘natural’ dominance of ‘man’! For one month, women are encouraged to grow their underarm hair to raise awareness of and money for Verity, a charity for people with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and combat the shame women experience in a society that penalises our own natural humanity.
I’m not brave enough to take part myself yet, which says it all really, but I tried to imagine at least what my underarm hair would look like. I think it would be bright blue (not naturally!) and a right little character of its own. In fact, it wouldn’t be an ‘it’ but part of me – and looking at her carefree existence right there under my arms she is definitely someone I would one day like to meet.