Women and Hairy Armpits, Why I Grew Mine!
Dear Lovelies, I know you will think I’ve gone mad writing this post and especially for sharing this photo of my hairy armpits with you but it’s incredible how hairy underarms are so controversial for women!!!!
There is a reason why I decided to do this:
- I realised my shaved underarm hair was a metaphor for so many things that us women do in our lives, without ever truly consciously choosing to do it.
- One of those situations where we react to opinions without us realising and they become part of our ‘automatic operating system’’ that lasts a lifetime.
Who can even remember why they started waxing or shaving their underarm hair?
What was the comment that got us into a lifetime of doing something on rote, that we never even question?
I can remember the day my relationship with my body hair changed. I was15 years old, it was a sunny day and I was in the playground enjoying the sun at Port Macquarie High School. A boy made a comment that I had hairs on my legs that I looked like a gorilla even though when I looked at his leg hair they were twice as long as mine!
I remember he even had the hide to grab a couple and pull them, that gentle sting coupled with the shaming words for me being me remained. I was indignant for a couple of days thinking ‘screw you’.
But then I did what many of us do in so many areas of our lives and that was capitulated to what society, beauty advertisements, and men told me to do about my body without it being something I consciously chose.
I started shaving my legs and as they were truly coarse, long and dark at some point, I started waxing them. My armpits were another story. I waited longer to say goodbye to those babies and then one day I just started shaving them, not having the courage to let someone rip at them when there was already enough torture going on in the leg department most months.
Fast forward 40 years
I’d hardly given my underarm hair a thought, just automatically picked up the razors every couple of weeks and shaved them off without a thought. In 2020 I made the conscious choice to let my underarm hair grow and see what would happen. Sort of like my own science experiment!
It was a conscious choice to shoot the breeze with this strange relationship ! I was curious at first as my underarm hair grew longer and longer, they were soft and sort of sparse but I loved to twirl them (sorry way too much detail). It was odd to commune with this part of my body that had been missing for 40 years so I have to admit it held a sort of curious fascination.
It provoked questions like:
- ‘Who decided in history that women’s underarm hair was unsightly?’
- ‘Is there a hygiene reason why these babies have to go and men’s armpit hair doesn’t?’
- ‘Why underarm hair became a symbol in the 60’s of women’s liberation’
Needless to say, Google got a workout and if I’d known I had been shaving off my pheromones all those years ago I may have changed my mind! What I did realise from all my Google searches are how controversial these patches of sweet hairs are.
I noticed it shocked anyone that got a glimpse of mine, I could almost hear the quick inhale, women of all ages that too had their own imprinting about what was wrong or right to do with the poor hairy armpits; men, young boys, my mother and the women in the underwear department when I went to buy a new bra. It was also interesting how I felt about their reaction.
Why am I sharing this with you? No, I don’t want you to grow your underarm hair and in fact one day I may even shave it all off again but when I do it will be a conscious choice of mine.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is to explain how many things that go on in our lives that are unconscious choices, things that happen over and over again, daily, weekly or even monthly without us giving a thought to them. Things that we have been taught that soon become part of our belief system and we no longer question it.
This happens in all areas of our lives:
- The relationship with ourselves and with others
- What we believe we can and can’t do
- What we are worthy of or not and it’s these unconscious patterns and behaviours that are automatic that cause us to remain where we are
- Often stuck in a life that we don’t love because of information that entered our energy field a long time ago
It’s when you become conscious and informed, see these patterns and behaviours and start to choose consciously on a daily basis, that your life becomes truly yours and you steer it in a direction you want.
The choices we make create our reality!
I know this is example of women and their hairy armpits is weird, but it’s the choices that we make that create our reality and when you are making conscious choices about the things in your life, then you start to get the outcome you desire instead of any old outcome.
Enough about my underarm hair.
I’m sure you will have an opinion on this subject and I would love to hear it so hit me up in the comments.
You make great points Carla! I’m not as courageous as you, but I can’t deny I’ve thought about stopping shaving my armpits before. As I get older, I wait longer & longer to shave my armpits, but I do eventually shave them, and not because I particularly want to, but because I have a Myotherapy appointment, and I can’t bear the thought of being judged.
I do wonder who decided that women should shave their armpits.
Hi Wendi thanks for your thoughts. Isn’t incredible how judged we feel about showing a professional our armpits. When i recently did multiple Dr’s appts I felt compelled to mention it to everyone of them.. funny our relationship with this .. thanks for your note ✨
I haven’t shaved my armpits for years. Personally I like it. I like that there’s a sort of wilderness and yes some rebellion going on there. Nor do I shampoo my hair. Just water and some essential oils. The only time a shampooing happens is at the 6 weekly hairdresser appointment….I don’t smell and my hair has never been in better condition since I gave up the practise of spending on shampoos after noticing they were made of mainly water. Yes let’s make our own choices and not be manipulated by the ad men. Let’s get on with the important fun stuff of being real living women.
Speaking of shampoo, I gave up using laundry soap in the washing machine and my clothes come out just fine! If you have stains, just scrub a little behandhand with soap. Question everything!!!
Yes I’m with you. Curiosity is my guide!!!! love your advice thank you x
Hi Bernadette, you are ahead of us!!! I have to admit the shampoo thing has always been my thing so room to improve in that area. Sending you love Carla x
You are so right Carla about it all. The fact that we remember (in detail) that moment when we are made to feel embarrassed and aware of something that is just a natural part of who we are shows just how deep a wayward comment can penetrate. I also, remember in detail (I could pinpoint the spot in a city I left a long time ago roughly 35 yrs ago when a female friend made a comment about my leg hair and like you I started shaving from that point on. I was able to rebelliously hold out until my early 20’s until that comment made me question myself.
HI Sharon, isn’t incredible how things stay with us. incredible how we can feel so much shame for something that is so natural. Thanks for sharing. Carla
Its funny how there is so much stigma with women and how armpit hair is unhygienic. A with or without can be just as dirty if they do not clean themselves and hair does not change that at all. It seems like it is definitely making a comeback!