How does growing your armpit hair has to do with Feminism?

By Daniella Djiogan

I just recently came across this article on cnn news about a feminist named Xiao Meili, who started an armpit photo contest in order to promote gender equality. Her reasoning was that women shouldn’t be forced by society to shave off their armpit hair, instead, they should embrace it if they so choose to. This got me thinking a lot about the countless times I shave in order to appear “as a woman” to society.

Hairy armpit and legs = no No NO!

Smooth Shaved armpit and legs= yes Yes YES!

We women have hair, lots of it everywhere. And to be rid of it, we use hair removal cream, wax, razor, etc.

I suspect some guys don’t even know that women can be hairy. They probably think we were born with no hair. All they see is the after work, the output of our work… their ideal representative of a woman, not the one week no shave hairy un-ideal woman.

Society has made us believe that a woman is supposed to shave in order to be attractive, while the same doesn’t apply for men. All they have to do is shave their beards, which again is not a requirement but an optional choice.

So, I do understand why some feminist would stop shaving in order to make a point. Certain characteristics shouldn’t define us as women. We should be free to do as we please with our bodies.


12 thoughts on “How does growing your armpit hair has to do with Feminism?

  1. That’s so true. One time I was too lazy to shave my legs for a couple of weeks (I have super slow hair growth) and I sat next to a friend on the bus, and during a bump our legs touched. He immediately said, “Ew. You don’t shave?!” To which I responded, “Neither do you!” But yeah. Expectations on women shaving! Ridiculous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, a lot of my friends don’t shave in protest. I only shave my underarms and actually, Muslim men are required to do the same. I never do my legs or arms though because I can’t be bothered.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not removing body hair may be an individual act of rebellion against social norms that proscribe women’s beauty, but a form of feminism – not so much. The purpose of feminism (in the broadest sense) is to end institutional policies and practices that maintain women’s subordination under patriarchy. Shaving or not shaving your body hair does nothing to advance women’s equality or end violence against women.


  4. Completely agree with this. I think that everyone should embrace themselves, the media shouldn’t fucking determine what makes things “male”/”female” characteristics as everyone human ( though we are all different and so there shouldn’t be a norm “box” to put people into). Do what you think is right for yourself and what you’re comfortable doing whether that is shaving or embracing as that’s the only way you’re going to be happy… but don’t scrutinise what others do! If you want to read more, we did a post on it a few weeks ago!


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