Several months ago, I committed to stop shaving my armpits. My husband is on board with my decision, and doesn’t think it makes me any less sexy. BUT I’m not sure I can convince my extended family that it’s not the most disgusting thing I could possibly choose do do.
My cousin is getting married in a couple of weeks. The wedding is a big deal, and will be pretty formal. I have my dress and jewelry already picked out — I love it, and am excited to wear it. My armpit hair is getting pretty long and luxurious. My extended family dynamic is such that it will likely be perceived as a personal attack to the bride if I show up with hairy pits. I’m really conflicted.
On one hand, I want to stand my ground. This won’t be the first time I have to defend my decision about other people’s standards of beauty. It might be a good test to see if I can handle some pushback about cultural norms.
On the other hand, I really don’t want to stir the pot with my family. My cousin and I have never really seen eye-to-eye, especially about weddings. I’ve been trying to tread lightly, because I know her wedding day isn’t about me. I can already sense the family outrage, and I know many people would see this as another act of defiance on my part. I can even hear my mother saying, “Why can’t you just let your cousin have her day, instead of always trying to make a statement.”
I could choose a dress with sleeves, but I’ve had this one picked out for months. I have my heart set on wearing it and I genuinely feel beautiful in it. (I also have a new baby so I don’t get a chance to get gussied up very often.)
Do I just shave for the sake of keeping the peace? Do I hide my hairy pits? Or do I just say “Fuck it!” not make a big deal of it, and let my family and my cousin think what they think?
It always baffles me that women’s body hair is so contentious. It’s just hair. Even Julia Roberts sported some pit hair on the red carpet (albeit to loads of controversy in the tabloids). But still, it’s so innocuous. That said, I do know that some people are offended by rogue hair on a woman (oh, the humanity!), so I totally get why you’re wondering what to do.
I think the only scenario where you may get a comment or even any judgment would be if you’re dancing, arms high, waving your hair in the breeze. Otherwise, most people probably won’t even notice it. For me, I doubt I’d worry about shaving and just rock it. Shaving all our body hair is a relatively new thing (it didn’t even start happening until mid-century razor commercials!), so it’s certainly not a long-standing tradition.
However, if rocking the pit hair will make YOU feel self-conscious and like you couldn’t move your arms up while clapping or dancing, then I’d choose your own comfort first. If you think you’ll have more fun if you’re hair-free (and drama-free), then let it take a day off and grow it right back after. Or if you’d just rather fly under the radar and pick another battle at other time (assuming you think there will be a battle), then that’s another notch in the comfort vote. Otherwise, wear your hair, it’s meant to be there!
Let’s hear from our fellow Homies:
Have you ever rocked au naturel pits? Was there any controversy? How did you handle it?