I’m a woman and I don’t shave my body hair – get over it

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Katherine Soper has hairy armpits and the world hasn’t ended.

Fun Fact: hair removal as we know it only started in 1915. Although the custom is ancient (and was usually practiced in societies where lice were an issue), European and American women maintained their full body hair well into the twentieth century.

Gillette, having invented a razor for men, wanted to expand their market – and in 1915, capitalising on the fact that women’s sleeves were becoming shorter, they launched a fervent campaign denouncing the (previously inoffensive) female underarm hair as ‘unsightly’, ‘masculine’, and ‘unclean’. Adverts for razors to remove leg hair followed suit in the 1920s – but before Gillette, this market hadn’t even existed. Women had got along just fine, and displayed no innate desire for a smooth, silky leg.

body hair3

Razor-wareness..Katherine Soper has stopped shaving her underarm hair

Flash forward to 2013, and lots of my female friends tell me how shaving is just a personal preference, their choice, and surely that’s what women’s rights are all about, etc etc. They’re not wrong.

However, I don’t think it’s possible today to grow up with a completely objective view of our body hair that isn’t influenced by both the socialised desire for smoothness, and the negative connotations we attach to women who don’t shave. The first person I talked to when I considered growing my hair out said, ‘Can we please stop talking about this? It’s making me feel sick’. So, while it’s true that lots of men shave, the crucial difference is that they can also choose to sport hair without provoking this sort of visceral disgust.

There’s the illusion of choice for women, but with social conditioning and expectations rigging the scales (not to mention the fact that hairy often functions as vague shorthand for a man-hating straw-feminist) it’s a ‘choice’ akin to ‘Cake or Death?’.

katherine2

Formal occasions are particularly tricky

At 16, as a longtime shaver, I felt like my mindset had been so screwed over from such a young age that I could only cleanse my palate by growing my hair out properly: legs, underarms, and all. This wasn’t easy, since I had to work through my own self-disgust, whilst hearing my mum’s voice in my head, sighing that I’m “making everything into a statement”.

Trouble is, the only way hair will stop being a statement is once it’s normalised. If it’s ever going to be a genuine choice between equal options, women with hair need to be a familiar sight, not the punchline to hilarious Chewbacca quips. This would, importantly, help debunk the assumptions that hair is a sign of ignorance, laziness, uncleanliness (seriously – that myth really needs to die), or a lack of personal pride. Body hair is, in fact, the very mark of personal pride.

Waxing and shaving may take a lot of time and money, but rocking the hair takes an even larger amount of self-assurance and self-confidence. I don’t pretend to be perfect in this respect; taking the hair out in public is something I still have to work on occasionally, even after five years. Formal occasions are particularly difficult; the emphasis on unnatural hyper-grooming and on a conventional dress code means I’ve nixed the hair for past events.

katherine1

Katherine dyed her armpit hair red in January

But on the very encouraging flipside: in January I dyed my underarm hair bright red, and to my surprise, I had a grand total of one slightly perturbed comment. People’s reactions were more gleeful and delighted than anything else. This sort of experience suggests that the concept of a woman with hair is much more terrifying than the very normal, unthreatening reality. Similarly, although some girls worry that hair will make them feel ‘like a man’, it becomes clear once you live with it for a while that hair isn’t masculine. It’s simply human, and it’s animalistic, primal, and wonderful.

I’m not saying you can’t be a feminist if you shave – but going au naturel is a learning experience worth having, and one any woman should consider trying. It teaches you about the complex relationship we have with our own bodies, with other people’s views of our bodies, and with what we show in public. It makes you look at what really influences the choice to shave.

So I dare you to grow it out, at least for a while. See what it’s like. Acclimatise a bit – it probably won’t be love at first sight, due to habit and a lifetime of socialisation. But if you can come to acknowledge the hair – even rock it in public – without disgust or embarrassment, the rush is incredible. Do not fear the hair. The hair won’t hurt you. You may even grow (ha) to love it.

Katherine Soper is a recent graduate from Cambridge.

  • The rest of humanity

    That is rancid

    • Anonymous

      Congratulations you missed the point of the article!

    • Humanity has no rest

      You’re rancid. See! My argument is as good as yours!

    • the truth

      I love how saying ‘i dont like armpit hair on a woman’ is now apparently sexist.

      • http://www.tab.co.uk Patrick

        Most girls deep down probably agree with the boys on this one, because the vast majority of females all shave their armpits for the same reasons guys think it’s gross!

        Hypocritical to say the least.

        • Mo

          Perhaps a lot of people don’t think it’s something they would do themselves, but totally ruling someone out – sexually, or otherwise as a militant feminist, an opinion shown further down in the comments – is one of the shallowest things I’ve seen in a long time. I’m a lad, living with two other guys and three girls, one of whom doesn’t shave, and if it’s something you’re around frequently you don’t even notice.

          Are these guys saying ‘would not bang’ really entertaining the fact that if they brought back a smoking hot girl, whipped off her top and saw a tuft of armpit fluff, they would straight up kick her out, or make her sleep on the sofa or something? Sounds like a load of rubbish to me. In my eyes, a girl who’s more liberated in that sense would probably be a lot more comfortable with herself and her body, and maybe a little more liberated in other ways, catch my drift?

          I’m not saying all girls should do it, or from a lads perspective encourage it, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but rejecting someone in every aspect purely because of such a trivial choice? You’re probably so uptight you wouldn’t know what to do with a girl who’s that comfortable in her own skin.

        • Anonymous

          Can you give me an actual reason as to why it’s gross, exactly?
          And sure, both men and women think that way… because we’ve been conditioned by society to do so.

        • Anonymous

          As a female I cannot stand people saying that everyone should have equal rights and then still expect men to open the door for you or pick up the bill on a first date or anything else a guy needs to do to be gentlemanly. I shave because I want to. Because I don’t want to look dirty (even if that’s not the case) or feel hairy. I like the feel of smooth legs rather than stubbly legs. When I don’t shave for a while my boyfriend says he doesn’t care, but I do.

          Maybe it is peer pressure or pressure from the media, but the media also suggests we shouldn’t all be morbidly obese, to make a point I’m not going to live on McDonalds then right an article about how it’s me being a feminist because models are all thin so I wanted to be fat because it’s women’s rights to eat what I want.

          Fair enough if this is what you want to do. I’m not going to say that you should shave because “that’s what women should do”. But make sure that when you’re thinking about how we should all be equal, some things I bet you wouldn’t change.

          And men have just as much pressure as women to have nice hair, be toned, be well groomed etc. Although since 1915 women have shaved too, since the 2000′s men have done things they didn’t used to do because we live in a changing world. We don’t wear bloomers anymore either. Should we start doing that so we can be equal because some men wear baggy boxers? Things change. The modern day woman in general likes to be shaven, and have a man be a gentleman to them.

          • anon

            couldn’t have put it better myself!
            The more of a soap opera created about feminism the disparity between men and women just gets wider. This is attention seeking in my opinion.

          • Jenny

            Women expect men to open doors for them and pick up the bill? I think you might be in the wrong century! I certainly don’t and I don’t think I know any woman who does. People open the door for other people out of politeness. People split the bill or opt to pay the lot as a treat for the other person. Men and women are both capable of this. If a bloke opens a door for me I don’t immediately think ‘that’s great – I couldn’t possibly have managed that myself because I’m a woman’. Nor do I think ‘What a sexist pig’. I think: ‘He opened the door because he got there first. Thanks!’ People insist on making feminism about paying bills and opening doors, because that makes it seem trivial and easy to dismiss as just a load of women attention seeking and creating storms in teacups. That’s bollocks, I’m afraid. Feminism is not about special treatment, it IS about equal rights – for men as well as women. You will find that most feminists support things like father’s rights and increased paternity leave etc. because it makes everything fairer. You are, of course, free to shave without being abducted by feminists. But be a little more open minded, and don’t preach to this woman that, if she wants to make a man happy (who does the invaluable job of opening her doors and paying her bills), she has to comply to his aesthetic preferences. Because that’s just a load of rubbish.

        • JP

          I don’t think it’s gross at all. My wife and I both have hairy armpits, and I’m perfectly happy with this situation.

          • Skylar

            you’re both gross :3

            • delif

              No Skylar, you’re gross :3

      • Anonymous

        It’s fine to not like armpit hair on women.

        Massive shock: most girls don’t give a shit about your personal preference, and our sole purpose isn’t to be aesthetically pleasing to you.

        You don’t need to tell women your opinion or insult them.

      • a

        The article clearly isn’t about whether men should find female body hair attractive or not. It’s about women, and women having the confidence to do it for themselves. MEN, IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU.

        • Anon

          I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • anon

      in all honesty, I find it a little sexy…

    • Liam

      you prove her point so well. Hilarious that you don’t even realise. Mate, you and this article are made for each other because it took you out of your comfort zone which is no doubt teeny-weeny.

      Have a good 2014 mate, try and exercise some people skills

      • Mate

        Yeah Mate

    • Amy

      This is rediculous, I wax because I want to and hair other than on your head is pretty gross. When I don’t my boyfriend doesn’t care but I do. Women have their place and men have theirs, and I wish some people would stop bitching about it. As a women i’m gonna wax, wear make-up and not be too fat – this makes me more asthetically appealing but does not mean i’m a dumb bitch or that someone will only love me for my looks. I enjoy being a woman and cooking and cleaning. I enjoy my boyfriend filling the oil in my car and fixing the bathroom sink. What is wrong with these things? It doesn’t mean my boyfriend earns more than me and my place is in the kitchen because thats not the case at all. I want men to open the door, propose and do ‘man’ jobs, in responce I will look as asthetically pleasing as possible without TOO much effort, i’m not going to have fake boobs or spend an hour a day putting on make-up.
      By boyfriend keeps everything trim as I expect him and all other men to do.
      You wont change society into thinking something such as body hair is acceptable. Good on you for growing it though, I undertand your reasoning but you wont change societys view.

  • p

    Gross, don’t do that

  • Ashley

    0/10 would not bang

    • untitled

      shut up you immature narrow minded bellends

      the confidence to do this is amazing. she’s gorgeous. i wish i didn’t feel like i was obliged to shave as a woman.

      • jed

        she can be as feminist as she wants 99.9% of everyone else thinks that is vile. Retard

        • http://threepercentmore.blogspot.com Jak

          Stand up for your own vile opinions. You do not know or speak for 99.9% of what other people think.

        • Amy

          Not shaving is probably the best thing as far as my sex life is concerned I’ve ever done. Before all the attention I was getting was from guys who wanted to shove their cocks down my throats. Now I actually end up in relationships with people who don’t just find me attractive and want to screw but actually give a shit.

      • Ivan

        Pfff she can do whatever she wants with her body, just don’t tell me what I should like and what I shouldn’t. And that is just bad hygiene, I am a male and I shave my armpits. Nobody is forcing you to shave what is your problem? Its like complaining you can’t walk around with snot coming out of your nose. Of course you can, its just disgusting. Go away.

        • Um

          How is it ‘bad hygiene’ not to shave your armpits? The hairs serve an actual purpose (ie wicking the sweat and preventing it from running down your inner arm and sleeve). If anything it’s less hygienic to shave (especially because of the risk of e.g. ingrown hairs).

      • http://www.tab.co.uk Patrick

        Surely this is such a hypocritical comment?? I’m sure most guys and gals think it’s abnormal to have underarm hair, which is why the vast majority of girls shave theirs!
        So guys can’t voice their opinions about it without getting an earful from a girl who no doubt has the exact same opinion because her armpits are clean shaven.

        • Check your Privilege

          Most men don’t feel pressured into shaving their legs/underarms and shaving their facial hair is a lot more of a choice for men. It is a double standard. Not to mention the fact that whether or not you find it attractive SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HER CHOICE NOT TO SHAVE BECAUSE WOMEN DO NOT JUST EXIST TO BE ATTRACTIVE TO MEN. Amazingly, we are people with the right to autonomy over our own bodies and appearance without the media and cishet dudebro males telling us that our choices are “rancid” or make us unbangable – which is apparently the ultimate crime if you’re female.

          • http://www.tab.co.uk Patrick

            But it’s a double standard practiced by girls as well as guys.
            If it bothers you so much why don’t you stop shaving to and start the revolution?

          • CHECK YOUR OWN PRIVILEGE

            Most women don’t feel pressured into joining the army during wartime due to conscription which is a lot more of a choice for women. It is a double standard. Not to mention the fact that whether or not you find it necessary SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS CHOICE NOT TO FIGHT BECAUSE MEN DO NOT JUST EXIST TO PROTECT AND SERVE WOMEN. Amazingly, we are people with the right to autonomy over our own bodies and lives without the government and bullshit neo-feminist females telling us that our choices are “irresponsible” or that they make us shameful human beings – which is apparently the ultimate crime if you’re male.

            • Really?

              This example doesn’t work. At all. The last time there was conscription in just about any western country was when women were out milking cows and weaving tapestries. Obviously things have changed and the modern example, Israel’s IDF, mandates female conscription as well. I’m afraid that you rather missed the point of the article, or at least the opinions expressed by the woman it covers. She is more than welcome to be as hairy as she likes, and I’m sure she doesn’t resent or think irresponsible you or anyone else who wants a smooth armpit. She would, however, like the choice herself.
              More likely than not, the ‘gross’ factor is a plus and there is more than a little attention seeking involved, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with challenging the status quo.

    • Au Contraire

      Hair or not, would bang, she’s gorgeous. Who cares about an armpit.

      Similarly, why is there an article about this? Who cares about an armpit?

      • Common Sense

        1) still gross
        2) not just gonna be an armpit, is it?

        • A Man

          Who cares when you’re balls deep sucking titties my man

          • Anonymous

            Exactly that! I’d give her one.

            • Anonymous

              Missing the point DOT COM

      • larry man

        Who cares? Apparently a good portion of the commenters here do. That’s why this article exists.

      • WTF

        Why is this more acceptable? Whether she’s hot and/or hairy or not, judging her on her looks is fucking stupid.

        • the truth

          Are you seriously suggesting you dont take looks into consideration? Everybody judges the way you look

          • Vicky

            Kind of got a point – we take appearance into consideration because we’re genetically conditioned to do so. Reproduction n all. However, I dont think that this has anything to do with what the article is trying to say – its not telling you what you should or shouldnt do, it’s simply appealing to people to think and consider how shaving is perhaps socially conditioned.

      • arch

        why the fuck would you think it necessary to say whether or not you would bang

        why would you do that

        don’t try and feel sanctimonious just because you can “look past the hair and bang her anyway” you fucking sicken me

        • Ron Burgundy

          Noone’s trying to be sanctimonious, it’s a joke, remove the heifer from your rectum and appreciate that please

          • C baker

            Jokes are supposed to be *funny*.

    • Danny Sweeney

      Do we really have to have would, or would not ‘bang’ comments? That sort of attitude, weather joking or not, is exactly why we, sadly still today, need a feminist movement.

      And for the record, in response to some other comments. Some men find women who are principled, weather feminist or not, very attractive. But attractive or not is missing the point, it’s about breaking down barriers.

      • the truth

        We need a feminist movement because men are attracted/not attracted to women and are free to say so? Good lord man

      • You Tell Yourself That

        Personally, I don’t think I’ve heard…

        “Oh mannn, check out the principles on that chick!!”

        … all that often.

      • Clark Carlisle

        *whether

    • Verky

      How about her entire worth as a person is not hinged on how you feel about her sexually you fucking idiot. Keep your shitty opinions to yourself.

    • Witty anonymous username

      Ditto. Congrats on being a douchebag

    • Anonymous

      so, 10/10 would bang is what you’re saying?

    • Caitlin

      Who gives a fuck who you would or wouldn’t bang. Seems like you’re a little intimidates by the idea of someone not actually giving a shit about how you or anyone else thinks they ‘should’ look

      • http://hairycats.com HairyMuffin

        Who gives a fuck about her armpits. If said person shouldn´t give a fuck about how she looks why is this whole article about how she looks. And yes I get the point about barriers etc and to be honest I don´t care if anyone doesn´t shave. At the same point I can still voice that I find her disgusting like that, whilst knowing that this is a standart of beauty formed by society. So what, everything we believe is affected by that. All those girls out there saying “you go garrl”, but would never dare the same. Women are as objectifying as men, but on the topic of feminism they suddenly flip. Such hypocracy.
        To the hairy muffin of this article: Ever objectified someone based on your standards, which in return are in somewhat formed by society. Also, do you secretly get off on the attention?

        • Anonymous

          I applaud her. I shave my armpits because hairy underarms are uncomfortable, but I don’t shave my legs or wear makeup because it is more comfortable.

          How about you shave your legs, cover your face with makeup, and curl your hair every single freaking day and tell me that it isn’t frustrating.

          I do things because they make me feel better about myself. My mother, who is incredibly put together and 30 years older than me, admires how comfortable I am in my body. The reason I’m comfortable is because I decided to focus on what I want for my appearance and not what society wants for my appearance. Seeing as you’re not a woman, you don’t understand the constant pressure to be beautiful. Look at your own comment and how many people call women with body hair disgusting. Disgusting is the word I use to describe smelly, unshowered, dirty, grimy. I want exactly what men have — shaving, makeup, hair styling to all be a choice and basic hygiene and grooming (combing hair, trimming fingernails, cleaning out ears) a requirement.

          • HairyMuffin

            Well done on your cofidence, yet you are not a man. I know a fair amount of guys who take pride in how they look and also feel some sort of pressure or even pride in how they look. Metrosexuality among men is more common then you might think. On top of that, I am not even a fan of make up. It is screwed how some people change just to leave the house and that may partly be to a low self esteem, but please stop this crap that women have the monopoly in self esteem. You´d be suprised what some guys do to accomodate to a personality or body image, yet noone puts all the blame on the opposite gender.

        • Enslaved Tuna

          Thank God that someone knows what they’re talking about.

  • Mavis Brady

    Disgusting. I put my fist through the screen and will be sending The Tab and Miss Soper the bill.

  • Gill Valentine

    Armpit Shlid

    • Gillian Rose

      You should see mine ;p

  • Robert

    Girls, if you want to repulse all men and become as unattractive as possible, become a feminist.
    Not shaving your armpit hair is one of the most disgusting things a female could do.

    • Beth

      To be honest, you sound like the kind of person most women would avoid with that attitude.

    • Anonymous

      Why would anyone want to attract someone who cries about armpit hair? Christ what a pussy

    • Vintage

      How about you shave your armpits? I personally prefer men with non-hairy underarms. Its just as disgusting and unhygienic. Doesn’t make it any better because you’re a man. Either you shave and expect others to, or you don’t shave and don’t put it upon others male or female. Or better yet, MIND YOUR OWN BUSSINESS and get the fuck over it. There are many men who would bang her because her having armpit hair doesn’t make her any less attractive. But you being a ignorance, ‘stick to female roles’ type of guy makes you an unattractive PIG.

      YOU GO KATHERINE! It shouldn’t bug anyone what you do with your life. Plus I’m pretty sure armpit hair isn’t the most important thing to be worrying about in this world. I shave my armpits whenever I feel like it, but my boyfriend does to (thank God) but if I leave my hair to grow like wolverine he doesn’t care. Why? because REAL MEN have more pressing issues on their mind than a woman’s armpit hair.
      Got to love pig headed men.

      • Ashley

        I shave my armpits. I am a dude, I shave and trim everything. Does that mean I am pleased allowed to find it disgusting that a girl doesnt do it?

      • :)

        Ever noticed how the phrase ‘because real men’ is followed by an unrealistic usually contradictory expectation? Yet nobody writes an article about it.
        What you define as ‘real men’ don’t exist, live with it.

      • Nacnud

        no one is going to take a feminist who uses the term ‘real men’ seriously, practice what you preach and you may get slightly more people on your side.

    • Emma

      … and if you want to repulse all women and become as unattractive as possible, just keep acting like you do.
      Being sexist, discriminating and demeaning is one of the most disgusting things a male can be.

      • Robert

        The truth hurts. Nearly everything feminists do to ‘make a stand’ is grim and makes men ill. You can’t get away from the inevitable truth, this makes blokes stomach turn.
        No matter how much you lot winge and insult anyone with a different viewpoint, that wont change.

        • Darius

          I love how you see yourself as the authority for all men everywhere. Also, I somehow don’t think women would want to be with a bloke who won’t respect her personal choices.

          You sound like a charmer.

        • Anonymous

          It’s funny how you can’t get over the idea that someone, somewhere, sometime, might make a choice that isn’t influenced by what YOU want. Women don’t exist for you to find them attractive

          • AJL

            I don’t propose to be arrogant enough as to know the purpose of existence.
            So pray tell, why do women exist?

        • Anonymous

          you make me want to grow my armpit hair so that hopefully you’ll run screaming and leave the country

        • Brian

          Oh dear. You seem to have come to this article instead of searching for the video for Blurred Lines my friend- Try Youtube you sexist slime ball

        • Dan

          Robert Robert Robert, You are SO dull- You’re banging on about an armpit. Please- grow up mate it’s embarrassing to watch you get all flustered

    • Laura

      Robert, I doubt any women are interested in what you think.

    • Verky

      Removal or non-removal of naturally occurring body hair is about last on my list of things a woman could do to make her unattractive. I think the most unattractive, disgusting characteristic anyone have is not treating others with respect. Which makes you one of the most unattractive people on the planet.

      • Brick Tamland

        Snore.

    • alliecat

      If all men had attitudes like yours, I imagine man repellant would sell like mosquito repellant.

    • anonymous

      I think you’ll find having sex with someone like you is one of the most disgusting things a female could do.

    • Oh dear…

      Jesus Robert, get over yourself. Believe it or not, no one here is going to model their personal principles or decisions on whether or not you and the rest of ‘men’ find them disgusting or not.

    • C baker

      And this is why Robert doesn’t get laid that often.

  • The Truth

    You’re free not to shave your armpits. Just know that no-one will want to bang you. Gotta love it when deluded women have no idea what feminism means.

    • Sarah

      Feminism is simply equality between sexes. She is not deluded for rightly recognising a difference in attitudes towards men and women making the same choice – in this case, letting their hair grow out.

      • Ashley

        I get the distinct impression she is just growing her pits out to make a statement on her feminism.

        I mean, if a feminist does not make statements about feminism and the struggle of women, does that really make her a feminist?

        • Sarah

          Again, it literally is just equality. So regardless of her choices/reasonings, if she believes in that, clearly yes.

      • The Truth

        So I have to find her attractive if she lets her hair grow?

        • Ashley

          Of course you do. Feminism means you have to agree with the opinion of the feminists, because they are liberal and forward thinking you see..

          • Harry

            That’s ridiculous. You need to be intelligent enough to recognise your own privilege, as a man, that society doesn’t have the same expectations of you and you are therefore freer to make not all, but many more, choices than a women is.
            Why should women shave if they don’t want to? And why should that mean that they are less likely to be attractive to men? I realise that’s the sad truth at the moment, but surely we should be working towards a future where the social stereotypes that control those sorts of opinions begin to lessen, and men gradually do not notice or judge women’s body hair, just as they would not expect it to be noticed or judged on them.

        • Sarah

          It is not about being found attractive in the slightest, it’s trying to dispel ignorant dramatic reactions to a personal choice, which is not consistent for both sexes.

        • http://threepercentmore.blogspot.com Jak

          You don’t have to find anyone attractive. But you also don’t get to body shame people for their choices either. If you don’t want to bang, don’t bang but leave well alone otherwise.

          • the truth

            Ok in that case i wont wash and i’ll gain 30 stone DONT YOU DARE HURT MAH FEELS

            • Anonymous

              The point is that people gaining thirty stone and never washing is considered to be negative no matter what gender you are…

    • Anonymous

      Gotta love a guy who thinks – if you do that i wont ‘bang’ you will make a girl change her mind

      • Lolwut

        Great grammar there.

    • Anonymous

      Titling something “The Truth” and then writing a bunch of nonsense doesn’t make it true. Also, and I’d really suggest you pay attention to the, women don’t care if you want to bang them. Yes, you personal. Especially on the internet, but likely in real life. Because you’re a sexist narrow-minded idiot. What a sad, pathetic human you must be.

      • the truth

        How is it nonsense to suggest that guys find her less attractive than a woman who shaves?

        • Caitlin

          Because her choices have absolutely nothing to do with whether you find her attractive or not, so it’s completely irrelevant. I know it must seem strange to you that someone, somewhere, some time is making some kind of decision that doesn’t keep in mind what you want and find ‘sexy’ but actually as it turns out, womena ren’t here for you to find attractive. They’re, you know, PEOPLE

          • the truth

            Can you pleas answer this question for me: are women with shaved armpits more atttractive than women who dont shave them?

            • Jack The

              Makes no difference to me. My girlfriend didn’t shave her legs when we got together and gave up on her pits about six months ago. I still think she’s gorgeous – if anything, it’s more attractive. Divergent moral choices look good on a woman.

            • IMP

              More attractive (or atttractive) to whom? To you? To me? There may be beauty norms but attractiveness is essentially a subjective thing.

              I’ve conducted a study over the last 10 years and have found there are desirable men who will find a woman with armpit and leg hair desirable. Never been kicked out of bed due to the armpits.

              • A man

                Choosing to let someone empty your balls is not the same as finding them attractive. Sorry luv.

    • Jazzy

      I don’t shave my armpits and I’ve never had a problem getting laid. If dude is spending his time on my armpits, he’s doing it wrong.

      • Jesus

        You’ve never been laid, you’re like my mother.

    • Anna

      OH god, PLEASE YES tell me “what feminism means” because you clearly have the answer, he-who-defines-women-by-whether-he-would-”bang”-them.

      • the truth

        I never said thats the definition of feminism. I have simply said that armpit hair is less attractive, which is true. Why dont you try growing yours and see?

        • Anonymous

          someone is trying his hand at “mansplaining” so a us poor deluded women can be rescued from our opinions and ushered back into the fold of existing purely so men will find us attractive and want to give us babies so we can handcuff ourselves to the oven and be as unintimidating as possible

          • Anonymous

            >someone is trying his hand at “mansplaining” so a us poor deluded women

            deluded? yes.

            women? maybe, maybe not.

            even if you’re a woman, you definitely don’t speak for women other than yourself.

  • :)

    Seriously, who judges you for not shaving? You women can be a shallow bunch at times. Though I generally have to go through the routine of ‘tidying up’ for formal occasions and interviews pfft, how tiresome.

    • Ci

      you’re asking “who judges us?” READ THE COMMENTS

    • James

      Don’t you think that women are shallow because men oppress them to be that way?

      • Max

        Don’t you think that fish have gills because popcorn tastes like salt?

        • iz

          amazing response right here ^^

      • Anonymous

        I would argue that it’s not about “women vs men”, but our patriarchal society’s unequal expectations. For example when I have gone unshaven or talked about not shaving, I probably get more negative responses from women – I think my male friends are worried about hurting my feelings/being sexist. society’s ideas of femininity and masculinity can be harmful to men and women and generic statements like “men won’t want to bang her”/”no woman will find him attractive” perpetuates gender discrimination.

  • Louise

    Only the 1st of Jan and we’ve already found Robert, twat of the year.

    • tom

      It’s not as if Katherine Soper is going to be winning that accolade any time soon is it

      • http://bristolfemsoc@hotmail.co.uk Skinny Hairless Chick

        Best comment I’ve ever read.

  • Romy

    Carry on being brave, you arnt the only one thinking that it shouldn’t cause such an issue – but sadly I am not holding my breath for perspective to shift as the other comments demonstrate…

    <3

    • :)

      Oh how brave, I am sure she is heckled in the street for not bothering to shave her pits, I jusr worry about her safety doing something so against cultural norms is bound to get you in trouble.
      Get some bloody perspective.
      This is why I can’t stand people like this they make insignificant lifestyle choices and claim that they are gods gift for doing it. As if she’s the 21st century fucking Gandhi.
      So she doesn’t shave her pits, some people will think less of her some won’t, she’ll just associate with those who aren’t so bloody shallow. Is that an achievement?

      • Max

        im a guy and dont shave my pits, where is my medal?

        • Katie

          I’ll remain hopeful that you’re trolling!

  • Hmm

    Well all of the below really got the point of this article…

  • J

    She looks great and i’m impressed with how brave she is.

    To all the guys who want girls to be perfectly shaved down to every inch of the body (apart from the scalp) and probably have hair all over the place themselves – just shut the f*ck up. How would you like to be socially pressured into removing your hair and insulted like that of you didn’t comply?

  • Benjamin McConnell

    The comments below are absolutely disgusting.
    Irregardless of your views upon Soper’s personal choice, to say that, growing out your underarm hair is a way to ‘repulse’ all men is fucking bizarre. Well done to you Robert, you seem like an absolute gem.
    I am male, and, I would like to consider myself to live in a world where equality and freedom of expression is beginning to enlighten us all; Soper is expressing herself and her beliefs.
    This does not repulse me, if anything, it gives me faith in humanity.
    It is her choice.
    Everyone has their right to an opinion, however, as an individual I do not like being banded into one group ‘all men’ in Robert’s words offended me far much more so than an individual’s method of expression.

    • The Truth

      You sound like an absolute white-knighting vagina. She’s already free to live in a world where she can not shave her armpits if she so wishes. Do you want all guys to find her attractive for doing this? Most men do not find this attractive, feminism doesn’t mean we have to find all women as pretty as snowflakes

      • Ci

        No one is asking you to find her attractive, just to NOT BE A DICK

        • Margot

          I think they just can’t wrap their minds around the fact that most women’s first priority in life isn’t to please and be attractive to men, and that we have other things to worry about than what men think of us.
          I’m not saying we never want or try to be attractive, but that’s not the main concern at all in most women’s lives.
          Most importantly, we don’t want to be attractive to *any and every man*, especially not guys like Robert or The Truth, obviously.

        • http://what@hotmail.co.uk I thought you were anti discrimination

          That’s dickist.

      • M’lady

        *Tips fedora

    • Ashley

      FYI, “Irregardless” is not a word. Regardless is already the negative conjugate of regard.

      • Damon

        Actually, irregardless is a word. It became one, first used in the 19th century I believe. It means the same thing as regardless :)

        • http://stephenfry.com Stephen Fry

          It is indeed a word, in so far as expresso is a word. The fact that it happens to have entrenched itself in society’s vernacular doesn’t stop it from being a misconception. It’s just a confused, incorrect amalgamation of regardless and irrespective.

      • Anonymous

        Almost as annoying as “could care less” being used instead of “couldn’t care less” despite meaning completely the opposite.

  • http://www.w.com Joe

    Shaving arm pits isn’t to oppress women, it’s to look aesthetically pleasing, just like wearing make up or doing your hair, which you clearly do. Yes it’s a social construct but so is everything. If you’re going to defy it, defy everything, not one small aspect of conformity.

    • Sam

      Don’t go giving her ideas…

    • Sarah

      Yes this is, as you rightly say, just one aspect, but the comments here are evidence to the fact it is clearly not small. Not in people’s reactions and responses, and certainly not in how it influences the feelings of the individual making the choice. I very much doubt there would be such a grotesque uproar on an article about girls choosing not to wear make up, for example. I think she is arguing the point, that whilst there are so many options in hairstyles and makeup, the only option deemed acceptable and aesthetically pleasing with regards to hair is to completely remove it. So it’s not really the same as your other examples. Just as it is her and any woman’s choice what to do with her arm hair, it is her choice to wear make up and do anything else to her appearance. No one has the right to ignorantly say her argument, and her own decisions about her own body, are undermined and should be limited because she has gone against the norm in one aspect.

      • the truth

        Agreed, but we do have the right to find her less attractive for these lifestyle choices. Inb4 angry people call that sexist.

    • Nieszka

      I understand your reasoning, but as a girl I do spend a lot more time on hair removal than other aspects of my appearance. Apart from being a lot more time-consuming and outright painful in comparison to make-up, hair styling, shopping etc I think the point here is how the society reacts to female body hair.

      I could happily walk down the street without any make up on and in baggy sweats and the only “repercussion” if you can even call it that, will be less attention from a certain type of men. If I were to abandon my hair grooming practices I would be met with a completely different reaction, as evidenced by a lot of other comments on this site. And this is the main difference between them.

  • Rose

    Whoever wrote the comments beneath should be ashamed of themselves. I would have thought that we have progressed beyond banal, backward misogynistic comments by now but sadly it would seem that we have not.

    • :)

      It’s misogyny now to say you find something about the opposite sex unattractive. I don’t find obese girls attractive. Does that make me misogynistic? I thought it made me a human with preferences.
      Does this mean that women too have to find all men attractive to avoid sexism? Or is there is different level of respect afforded to men?
      If I choose to have sex with one woman in a group of female friends do I have to offer to the other women to avoid implying the others are less attractive? Or do I not do that to avoid insulting the the woman in question?
      The expectations of feminists on the issue of self image is all very confusing to me.
      please try to answer my questions thoroughly as I am greatly curious about what I should say my opinions are in order to avoid offence.

      • Captain Misandry

        Nobody cares that you don’t want to put your putrid, worthless little worm in them if they don’t shave. Get over yourself. We only care that women get treated with hostility for having the audacity to do a thing most men dowithout any consequences — something that doesn’t affect anyone in any way.

        • :)

          I find it cute that you think women get treated with hostility for not shaving, I just wanna pat you on the head and say ‘awwww, how cute.’
          ‘Most men do without consequences.’ Except for being considered unemployable, but who cares about being employed? Apart from the 1/3 of unemployed young people who consider their life ‘without purpose’ according to the Prince’s trust. Alongside the same thing women go through when not shaving. The fact that certain members of the opposite sex will find them less attractive, I know I made the brave decision to not shave my face and some women find it repulsive (shock horror, individuals have individual preferences).
          I feel you missed the entire point of my post, but don’t worry about it. I don’t mind.

          • Noko

            Since when did not shaving make a man unemployable? My colleague (we are trainee solicitors) has what I would describe as a large, thick beard, and he got this job as well as offers from pwc and two reputable city firms. I don’t think his beard has caused him to be unemployable.

      • Cupid

        Anyone who just picks someone they find attractive and sleeps with them is not on the same planet of thinking as anyone interested in anything more putting things in holes, like a toddler really. Grow up and you’ll find that there is more to life and people

  • grotesque

    best word to describe this.

  • http://www.w.com Joe

    Shaving armpits is not oppressive, it’s an aesthetically pleasing option, just like styling your hair or wearing make up, both of which you clearly do. Yes it’s a social contrivance, but so is everything. If you’re going to make a statement by defying aesthetic conformity, you should defy all of it, not one small aspect, or else you just look like an attention seeking idiot. The fact that you dyed it red to me seems to show you’re more interested in getting a reaction out of people rather than being sincere in the statement you’re making. Things like this undermine feminism.

    • Laura

      It’s an aesthetic which is entirely socially constructed though and directed towards women. Shouldn’t it be about having the choice? Isn’t that what it comes down to? If you want to wear make up then do it, if you want to have armpit hair, then do it!

      We are so image conscious in our society – we should be able to do what we want. If you want a bit of hair – then fine! It is naturally there after all. How is it really affecting your life in any way? People are different. And even if she is doing it to prove a point, in my opinion that is a good thing. To encourage people to wake up, stop judging each other and give less of a shit about other’s business.

  • Anon

    Great article. Keep doing what your doing. Too many people conform, don’t challenge social norms, and don’t think for themselves.

    One question though. Should we conflate social pressure to do something with an “illusion of choice”, I.e. an absence of choice? Your actions seem to demonstrate that you have chosen this for yourself – it may be harder but it’s still a choice that you can make (and did!). A lot of feminist articles implicitly make this conflation without questioning it: they identify social norms that are sexist and then suggest that these pressures deny people either their agency or, like coercion, their ability to choose.

  • Barely hairy man

    Puberty is a process which we should be ashamed of. Avoid at all cost. Please shave everything, especially vaginas.

  • LEL WHATS FEMINISM?

    I love all the women here getting offended at guys who don’t find armpit hair attractive. If the genders were swapped and women were talking about a feature of men that’s attractive/unattractive, you’d all be posting “omg grosssss!”

    • Sas

      What feature is generally considered unattractive about men? They are allowed to be hairy, large, skinny, muscular, hairless, etc. etc… I can’t think of any aspect where people respond with “ew gross”

      Contrary to women, who get criticised however they look.

      • :)

        I could show you a load of mens ‘health’ magazines that contradict that statement and a lot of actor and musicians who women ogle over because they are a particular body style and have a certain face. I could even show you a series of comments on the tab about Prince William saying how ‘fit’ he is.
        If you don’t think men are portrayed to need to fit a certain body image just the same as women are you have been missing out on a lot of media.
        The only difference is that men for the most part don’t pay attention to it and those who do go body building and wax their body hair etcetera rather than crying about it in a blog.
        Most criticism of women’s looks come from women and most criticism of men’s looks comes from women.
        Where could this problem come from I wonder?

      • Uhm hello?

        Fat, Bald, Unkempt, Un-muscled, Short, Pale…. Need I go on?

        We grew up with superhero stereotypes (He-Man anyone?) just as much as you grew up with Barbies.

    • Anonymous

      Thing is no one gives a shit what you do or don’t find attractive so why comment

  • Judith Butler

    I do not condone this.

  • brian

    Don’t believe on this woman supporting this girl to not shave. They are pretending it is a lush, contemporary and brave, but what they want to do is lessen competition. -10/10 would not bang… it is terrify. Whats the deal?She still using make up. This is paradoxal and controversy…there isn’t fundamental logic. Feminism is a movement that never go anywhere in terms of objectivity.

    • Stuart

      Has anyone ever really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  • Good for her

    Good article (for once). I think she raises some excellent points. And actually anyone insulting her is reinforcing her argument; some people can’t cope with anything outside of what they perceive as the norm and they have clearly been moulded by what society tells them is ‘grotesque’ and ‘rancid.’

    • Ashley

      So? Why should I actively attack what I find aesthetically pleasing by trying to appreciate something that I cant. Its barely my fault I find it grotesque, its not attractive to me. Am I entitled to that opinion or not?

      Feminism is not “Women can do whatever they want and men have to find it beautiful and positive and amazing”

      …Its “Women and men are both entitled to equal oppurtunity and opinion”

      Many people loose sight of that I think.

      • Anonymous

        First, it’s ‘lose’ not ‘loose’.

        Second, by your logic you should not have to find it beautiful at all; that’s fine, of course. However, even you have just pointed out that the fact that there should be equality between the sexes means that if a man can choose to shave or not to shave, a woman should be able to do so also and in terms of equality, neither should be judged simply for a personal decision about aesthetics. Here is an article not about what to wear, or about people at uni who are idiots; it’s actually an interesting article that has proved- by how much debate it has already sparked- not only focusing on feminism, but society’s view of what beauty is.

        • Ashley

          I agree with you. Thats exactly what I am saying. We are all entitled to what we think.

          However people always judge, its not a big issue. If I see a girl with hairy armpits, Im not going near her, and I am entitled to make that call for myself.

          I am also entitled to say that I dont like it, especially when the author is rubbing it in peoples faces for controversies sake.

          • Anonymous

            Freedom of speech does not equal lack of consequences.

            You’re entitled to your opinion – not to attack people based on your opinion by calling them ‘grotesque’ etc.

            Keep you opinion to yourself, and don’t cry when people don’t want to hear it because you actually aren’t the centre of the universe.

  • Anonymous

    Extremely well written piece

  • Chattingchappy

    On this basis, not a single damn woman should be able to judge a man in anyway whatsoever for not shaving his facial hair.

  • Ashley

    hahaha @ the feminists attacking the guys who said they find it disgusting or unattractive.

    Are we not allowed to have our own opinion about what we find attractive??

    • :)

      I feel like people forget that the human kind has the ability to rationalize and have individualistic thoughts, it’s pretty damn sad. Drawing on plato and his concepts of the forms, we all have different concepts of the form of beauty and none of them are wrong because it cannot be measured. What is beautiful to some is not beautiful to others.

  • Bill Posters

    Wow I don’t see the need to be a twat about this. Like most guys I’m probably put off by the thought of excessive body hair on women, it’s fine for everyone to have their preferences, but who cares if people don’t live up to them? She can make herself look however the hell she likes, that’s her business. I’m sure she knows what guys find attractive, maybe she just wants to be herself and isn’t trying to attract anyone? At least not the sort.of people who’d be bellends about personal choices.

  • timeout

    So many comments!! I thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon and give my views.

    1) It’s sad that in this day and age a topic like this has become an article. It’s like when the the Evening Standard decided to have it’s front page about Tom Daley being bisexual.

    But the thing is, who cares!!! If she wants to have hairy armpits then let her, it’s up to her. Yes, some people are going to look at her in disgust and think it’s disgusting, but such is life. And to say you wouldn’t bang her because of the hair makes me feel physically sick, that’s just f*cked up.

    2) When I was in China during the summer, most of women didn’t shave their armpits. It was the norm to be all natural.

    I’m a guy by the way, and I wouldn’t be put off by the hair, personality matters more to me.

    Happy New Year!!

    • pete

      I don’t see how not wanting to ‘bang’ her because of having armpit hair is any worse than all the other reasons we may have for not being attracted to someone.

    • pete

      How is not wanting to ‘bang’ her because of armpit hair anymore ‘disgusting’ than not wanting to ‘bang’ her for any of the other reasons we may not be attracted to a person? i.e facial hair, hair style, weight, height, clothing style, personality etc…

    • Let’s block Facebook too

      lol @ “It’s normal cos China does it”

  • pete howard

    Great article. I have recently stopped cutting my fingernails for similar reasons, why should we be oppressed by society to stop our bodies from being how they should be. I look rediculous and repulse women but who cares i am fighting the power and it feels great!

  • Some people, eh?

    I love how the comments on this article prove exactly the point that this girl is making.

  • :D

    What’s the point of this article?

  • Robin Thicke

    This is why I do what I do.

  • Some people, eh?

    I mean… I read this article, and it restored some faith in humanity. Then I read the comments and realised that most people are still pigs.

    Look beyond yourselves and what the media/market wants people to be like. This is on the same vein as the things which case body dysmorphia and eating disorders – it’s all art of the same issue. I should know, since I’m recovering from bulimia myself, and it’s stuff like these comments that are so triggering.

  • Callum Laken

    These people… I mean, just get off your high feminist, only vegan, 100% hemp horse!

    Its groups like this that get songs like “Get Lucky” banned, a few people kick off and moan and just make things awqaurd for other people…

    Should I grow a beard because its the natural and true masculine thing to do?! No because i look shit with a beard…
    And I would imagine a lot of girls shave their hair because they don’t like it either, not because society, media or friends say so but because they just don’t like it!

    • Ci

      I shave my body hair purely because I feel ashamed if I don’t and I worry what people will say.

      • :)

        Who’s fault is that? I can’t help but think it’s your fault. Worrying about what pricks will say, shame on you, shame on you.

  • Damon

    Okayyy, the thing here that most people seem to be missing is the first point she makes. Body hair on women used to be a completely normal thing. The idea of it being gross was only invented a century ago. Before that no one blinked an eye. The idea that it’s nasty and repulsive was INVENTED and we were all indoctrinated by it. Yes you have every right to believe that it’s gross, but she’s trying to tell you that it wasn’t your idea that it was gross. We’ve spent our whole lives being told it is. That doesn’t make it so. I personally like women in any state of hairy or unhairyness and actually prefer hairy men. I just find it more natural. But that’s just me and I’m allowed my own opinion :)

  • Feminists…

    Fighting pointless and non-existent battles since 1832

    • Anonymous

      what a staggeringly unintelligent comment. bugger off you ignoramus

  • Anonymous

    Is there any real need for armpit hair? I mean it’s like like it keeps us warm or anything. I can understand leg and arm hair, but armpit hair?! In which case, why the hell is she even keeping it.

    Us guys are lazy, that’s why we keep it, and we also have to deal with facial hair. But girls, you might as well get rid of it, it’s not even necessary.

    • Anonymous

      “Us guys are lazy, that’s why we keep it” “But girls, you might as well get rid of it, it’s not even necessary.”
      What if I just said, some of us girls are lazy, that’s why we keep it as well. What is your point here? I am genuinely confused.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that I’ll stop shaving my back, because we know how much women love hairy backs.

  • Anonymous

    How does she even get her hair that long. My armpit hair wouldn’t grow like that even if I tried…

  • Ci

    The “The comments on any article about feminism justify the existence of feminism” rule has never been harder adhered to… Body hair isn’t unhygenic, it only seems “gross” because of how you are conditioned, no one is “forcing you to find it attractive” just to accept that she has the right to do it (NONE OF THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT HOW ATTRACTIVE OR UNATTRACTIVE IT IS), and you have to think about the thousands of years women did have armpit hair and no one gave a shit. You’re pathetic if you care that much.

    • :)

      I haven’t noticed anybody denying her the right to grow her body hair or stating the obvious misconception it’s unhygienic (I mean seriously who came up with that tripe?). All a lot of people are saying is that they personally don’t find it attractive. A large number of feminists are then saying that those who don’t find it attractive obviously have something wrong with them. Nobody really cares if somebody else allows their armpit hair to grow I feel.
      Though it would be very interesting to see if she got turned down at an interview because she didn’t self groom properly before attending whether that would become a feminist issue. Interesting because men have to meet the same standards for that situation when it comes to facial hair.

  • Alex Lash Banter’Tocili

    Frankly, as an old Sennockian, I can say that I love a nice bird ‘au naturel.’ The lads and I always head out to get pretty damn boozy in Tonbridge Wells, and having done the dirty deed with a couple of mademoiselles sporting muff as smooth as the seventies, I can confirm that adding a bit of jungle to the midnight fumble makes all the difference.

  • Alex

    hmm, quite upset i just wasted my time reading this, and would agree with previous comments that shaving underarm hair or any hair, whilst being new and not necessarily ‘natural’ is just one small aspect of a huge amount of human behaviour that centres around looking attractive to the opposite sex- which is natural . I think its completely stupid and frankly undermines real feminist concerns by trying to make the point that by not shaving youre somehow helping women to feel liberated from social pressures… men shave everyday, and in somecases are genuinely not given a choice becasue of their job, i remember when i was at boarding school you had to be cleanly shaven everyday. so, whilst you wear make up, dye your hair different colours and spend time and money on the way you look and making yourself look ‘pretty’, not shaving your armpit hair becomes an insignificant and redundent ‘statement’. i think i would have to agree with your mother that you seem to just be trying to make a statement out of everything. Why shoud anyone, male or female, have to force themselves to ‘work throgh their own self-disgust’ and not shave to make a point about hyper grooming only to go and dress the way that you do… surely they are different means to the same end? and whats worse is that you said it yourelf… you were at first ‘disgusted’ at yourself! so how can you think any less of anyone else that is ‘perturbed’ by your underarm hair. youre making a mountain out of a mole hill

  • Ci

    The fact that most of these comments are focused on whether or not they would ‘bang’ her like that is the main point of the article (it isn’t) just shows what a patriarchal society we live in. The world does not revolve around your dick.

    • Top kek

      Actually it does, thats why youre alive

      • Anonymous

        Surely it equally revolves around a uterus, without which your dick would be useless.

  • too long didn’t read

    at the end of the day armpit hair on a woman just looks butters

  • Tom

    I personally loved this article. As a man it has long been a grievance of mine that women remove all their hair – I mean, I know that the 70′s porn star bush is a bit of a niche (which is ridiculous because it’s natural) but the idea that women need to remove all their hair is, quite frankly, absurd. It’s the one time I will openly side with the angry-feminist-blogger types (who have hijacked feminism to to be a vehicle for their own public self-loathing and don’t get me started), the irony is that for a woman to be most ‘womanly’ removing the trademarks of such a fact is completely counterintuitive. I feel like society as a whole has forgotten what a woman really smells and feels like, before all the priming and pampering that we think is obligatory, and it’s a damn shame. A woman confident in her own ‘womanliness’ is one I’d be happy to meet any day, so to Katherine Soper: don’t let anyone every sway you.

  • Holly

    really don’t mind whether you want to shave or not, but surely your argument that it’s ‘natural’ to let it all grow out is kind of cancelled out by the fact your decided to dye your underarm hair red…which to me seems like a rather more obvious ‘look-at-me’ tactic….

  • Daisy

    Most of these comments are absolutely disgusting. This is the best article I’ve read on The Tab in a long time, possibly ever.

  • Jason Genova

    Absolutely sickening. She’s gone from a 3/10 to a -9999999/10. Just got to laugh at feminists and their crazy logic.

    • Anonymous

      i can’t help but laugh at you and your tragic assumption that women should want to please you

  • Katlyn

    “Lots of people think body hair is gross, but I don’t. Therefore a political movement should exist! To force everyone to agree with me!”

    Womyn logic.

  • anon

    Still plucking her eyebrow though…

  • Emma

    To people claiming that she’s just trying to “prove a point” about feminism, and that because she still wears make up she isn’t a proper feminist… you clearly do not know what feminism is or means, and you need to stop getting all worked up about a woman who’s breaking out of your oppressive little mould.

  • Josh

    I find women who shave none of their body hair just as odd as men who wax/shave all of theirs. Keeping things tidy should be expected of both sexes. This doesn’t make her “rancid” by any stretch of the imagination, but unkemptness definitely isn’t to the taste of many…

  • Anon

    Why the hell do people keep discussing whether or not they would ‘bang her’? That is not the point of the article at all, anyone discussing this is acting pretty backward and crass … there is clearly a lot more to a person than whether or not you want to ‘bang them’. Very disrespectful.

  • Harlock

    Good luck with her no boyfriend goals for 2014

  • Simon Beeson

    She’s obviously a lesbian anyway so doesn’t matter boys.

    • Robin Thicke

      This.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that I’ll just stop waxing my back . I know how much women love a hairy back.

  • Abi

    The comments on this make me lose faith.
    As ‘that girl who shaved her head’ I know that hair has become such a thing for women. WHY?!?
    This is brave, and not shaving armpits isn’t something I think I could do. I’ve tried, and the public ownership of the issue and discussion of it was too much. And yet I hate how I (and others) deem this as brave. Why does our society think that aesthetic choices are ‘brave’? To do something brave is to endure physical danger or pain. So, aside from the pain of embarrassment from being publicly mocked, growing body hair (or like i did shaving your head) isn’t brave. And to all you wretches who say that it’s stripping of femininity, or write her off as a ‘lesbian’ or ‘un-bangable’, please consider why you think such things. Think about the society that has not only warped your point of view, but how you are fueling it by regurgitating the same crap over and over.
    To coin a phrase; If we are to change this image, we must first change ourselves.
    Go gal.

  • Mel

    I remember the first time i saw a woman with armpit hair. was shocked and thought it was horrible. 13years later, and I am proud to say I dont shave mine, or my legs, or my great big bush! My partner is doesnt mind in the least. I will however admit that it is still considered very shocking by others, and if i am going out sleeveless or in a skirt, i will shave. for other people. i dont want to feel like i have to do that anymore. So, I am going to stop shaving and dare to lift my arms in public. The more we do it, ladies, the more people will get used to it and it will no longer be such an issue. Lets do it! Lets grow it and show it!

  • dankel

    what about genital hair?

    and, surely a significant number of us feel repulsed by all hair on male/female genitals or armpits?

    maybe its not a question of women growing it out, but rather men cutting it off/

  • Peter

    The comments of this are pretty much exactly the sheep-like, part-of-the-problem, shallow type of comments that make society nowadays retarded.

    First of all, I too like my women shaved. I find hairy armpits unattractive and I’m slightly repulsed by the idea. I’m not pretentious enough to say that I’m not, even though I think that I shouldn’t be.

    But I do genuinely think that I shouldn’t be. The current beauty ideal that women are forced to live up to is far too demanding in my opinion. And it would be one thing if people were to at least support people who don’t want to adhere to this standard, even when they don’t find it beautiful. Instead, women like this just get told that they aren’t ‘fuckable’ or are ‘disgusting’.

    I’m not going to sit here pretending I’m attracted to a girl with excessive armpit hair, but I definitely want to acknowledge that this is a problem, instead of simply and rudely expressing my lack of attraction by saying “Would not bang.”

  • DOGE

    Such armpit hair, much courage, so confident, many applause, must congratulate.

  • alexander

    If I grow my pubic hair really long is that okay? I wouldnt date a woman until her pubes hit the floor and she can braid them.

    • Anonymous

      If that’s what floats your boat then do it.

  • JB

    You douchebags! So many people commenting on here have completely missed the point! This article is here to make you think, which obviously some people seem to find impossible.
    It’s fine to not find someone attractive. That’s fair enough, you can’t really change that. However regardless of how you view her you need to respect that that is her choice.
    The main point of this article is to question why you find it unattractive. For most of you it’s not your own opinion but one forced upon you by society and the media. It makes no diffierence on cleanliness at all, in fact shaving is probably worse.
    In the same way people don’t question tattoos or piercings why should they question a simple choice such as shaving? Like anything, evaluate your point before you go ramming it down people’s throats.

  • ATTENTION FEMALES

    Chances are the guys making/thumbing-up these comments are exactly like many of your guy friends at uni

  • Anonymous

    If this is a genuine concern amongst feminists then surely all battles are won?

    When was the last time you saw feminists fight a genuine threat or injustice worth fighting for? (e.g. the lack of basic human rights for millions of women in Islamic counties)

    Instead they are too busy banning pole dancing clubs and not shaving a pit.

    Get some perspective. Get a grip. As for claims of bravery?! Laughable.

    • Anna Rhodes

      ‘When was the last time you saw feminists fight a genuine threat or injustice worth fighting for? (e.g. the lack of basic human rights for millions of women in Islamic counties)’

      You’re a fucking disgrace ‘Anonymous’: feminists around the world are constantly trying to combat serious issues such as rape, sexism, assault, genital mutilation. A quick google would have sufficed to find out this information.

      If you’re going to make such a loaded comment at least BACK IT UP. You’re supposed to be University educated so when would you over be required to make a comment without backing it up?

      Twat.

      • Anonymous

        My comment was aimed at University FemSocs and student feminists (hence the pole dancing comment).

        I’m not suggesting and the entire global feminist movement does absolutely nothing for women worldwide (hence the perspective comment).

        Perhaps I didn’t make this as clear as I should have. In fact I agree, and you’ve helped me demonstrate my point.

        The issues you have mentioned surely deserve priority over the likes of club photo-booths, promotion videos, pole dancing clubs and armpit hair. The feminists fighting rape, assault etc deserve recognition, not Katherine Soper.

        It is these irrelevant and (in the general scheme of things) meaningless gestures of ‘feminism’ that causes people to de-value the entire movement.

        • arrrggghh

          i see this so many fucking times:
          hey uk feminists why are you bothered about X when Y
          where Y = either FGM in African communities or something something Islam

          more examples:
          why cure this person’s bronchitis when people are being decapitated in Syria?

          why have a go at english societal norms when brown people are doing bad things again lets go save them tear off hijabs plllp pllp misogyny pllllp plllllllp racism

          • Anonymous

            That’s not much of a counter argument considering things like rape, sexual assault, sex trafficking etc are issues that still exist in the UK.

  • Anonymous

    I’m female and I’ve always found feminism difficult to understand, being quite a traditionalist and often seeing it in a light where it has been tainted by some of its more extreme and irrational (perhaps amateur) members and regret to say that I often expect to see similar traits from such articles and, even more so, in the comments section.
    However, I did not expect how helpful, in fact, the comments and article would be, in making me understand and appreciate feminism at this moment in time. I am in awe by such a tiny issue as a patch of skin with hair.

    Firstly, like many people who have previously commented, I have found extreme feminist gestures (such as Miss Soper dying her underarm hair red) difficult to understand, especially when they involve seemingly futile issues. However, the media’s willingness to document these, the fact that these gestures are viewed as heroic and the readership’s uproar that follows, show that these tiny issues are unfortunately still a big deal, especially when it comes to women. It shows that, while any woman in this country of course has a right to do whatever she wants with (in this case) her underarm hair, the more artificial option of shaving is always acceptable, whilst the other option of growing it out will not be favoured by much (perhaps most) of society and not only men will object, but women themselves too perhaps. Regardless of how minute this point about a patch of hair is, it shows that, still, in 2014, whilst one gender is free to do either one of two given options in a situation, with no general social implications afterwards, the other gender can do only one of these options with no general social backlash, whilst the other can only be chosen if you’re prepared to deal with problematic social consequences (considering that you follow the fashion trends of modern day).

    Secondly, whilst I was always naturally for equality, it was hard for me to understand the attention and media centred element of feminism. Why does a girl, who grows out her armpit hair feel the need to publicise this in an article? Especially if what everyone wants equality to be is normal, rather than heroic, in the long run? Well, what we all know and the comments have beautifully demonstrated is that, in terms of hair (amongst many other issues I’m sure), this ‘long run’ has not yet been reached. And in order to change an issue and to, in the long run, make this change a normality, the issue first has to be raised, which is what Katherine (and, I have now understood, other feminists) did and an issue can only be raised by gaining attention, which is where the media angle and red hair dye element come in.

    Whilst I don’t like shaving too much and, thus, shave as rarely as possible, clearly many women find it harder to this and feel the need to shave often regardless of preference and people around them don’t seem to help the situation. It is those people, who want to diverge from modern normality, but can’t because of fear of the general opinions around them, who Katherine is helping, whilst also simultaneously questioning the opinions of the people around them, who are happy with modern normality.

    This is why I think the article is significant, though I may be wrong. Cheers is anyone reads this essay of a comment.

  • MK

    I’m female and I’ve always found feminism difficult to understand, being quite a traditionalist and often seeing it in a light where it has been tainted by some of its more extreme and irrational (perhaps amateur) members and regret to say that I often expect to see similar traits from such articles and, even more so, in the comments section.
    However, I did not expect how helpful, in fact, the comments and article would be, in making me understand and appreciate feminism at this moment in time. I am in awe by such a tiny issue as a patch of skin with hair.

    Firstly, like many people who have previously commented, I have found extreme feminist gestures (such as Miss Soper dying her underarm hair red) difficult to understand, especially when they involve seemingly futile issues. However, the media’s willingness to document these, the fact that these gestures are viewed as heroic and the readership’s uproar that follows, show that these tiny issues are unfortunately still a big deal, especially when it comes to women. It shows that, while any woman in this country of course has a right to do whatever she wants with (in this case) her underarm hair, the more artificial option of shaving is always acceptable, whilst the other option of growing it out will not be favoured by much (perhaps most) of society and not only men will object, but women themselves too perhaps. Regardless of how minute this point about a patch of hair is, it shows that, still, in 2014, whilst one gender is free to do either one of two given options in a situation, with no general social implications afterwards, the other gender can do only one of these options with no general social backlash, whilst the other can only be chosen if you’re prepared to deal with problematic social consequences (considering that you follow the fashion trends of modern day).

    Secondly, whilst I was always naturally for equality, it was hard for me to understand the attention and media centred element of feminism. Why does a girl, who grows out her armpit hair feel the need to publicise this in an article? Especially if what everyone wants equality to be is normal, rather than heroic, in the long run? Well, what we all know and the comments have beautifully demonstrated is that, in terms of hair (amongst many other issues I’m sure), this ‘long run’ has not yet been reached. And in order to change an issue and to, in the long run, make this change a normality, the issue first has to be raised, which is what Katherine (and, I have now understood, other feminists) did and an issue can only be raised by gaining attention, which is where the media angle and red hair dye element come in.

    Whilst I don’t like shaving too much and, thus, shave as rarely as possible, clearly many women find it harder to this and feel the need to shave often regardless of preference and people around them don’t seem to help the situation. It is those people, who want to diverge from modern normality, but can’t because of fear of the general opinions around them, who Katherine is helping, whilst also simultaneously questioning the opinions of the people around them, who are happy with modern normality.

    This is why I think the article is significant, though I may be wrong. Cheers is anyone reads this essay of a comment.

    • tl;dr

      sorry

  • Anon

    Why is the likelihood of this lady being ‘banged’ such an overused metric in the comments section? Who says she’d want to be ‘banged’ by any of you!?

    I think this woman is trying to be what she thinks a feminist should be, and attention seeking along the way. Not really worth the article.

  • Anonymous

    Women have it easy! At least they know pretty much every guy prefers them hairless.

    For guys they have to pick a side – half you lot seem to like us equally hairless (or at least trimmed). The other half pretty much seem to want their men to be gorillas.

    • rachel

      OH MY GOD I NEVER REALISED LIFE WAS SO HARD BEING A CISHET WHITE DUDE THAT’S IT I’M NOT A FEMINIST ANYMORE INSTEAD I AM GOING TO BECOME A MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST THANK YOU YOU HAVE COMPLETELY OPENED UP MY EYES TO THE REAL PLIGHT OF POOR OPPRESSED MEN

      or not

  • Amy

    I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I shaved my armpits, but I can remember having sex twice last night. You guys who won’t bang girls with hairy pits are missing out. (And are also pricks, but I think that’s beside the point.)

    • Anon bloke

      You can’t tell me what to be attracted to, sorry. I’m not a ‘prick’ because we have different ideals of beauty.

      And moreover, due to the scarcity mentality of most men, they are usually happy to be having sex at all, ergo body hair is less of an issue.

  • Steph

    Regardless of whether you think this makes her unattractive, the point she is making is important and feminists don’t do what they do to make men want to ‘bang’ them (believe it or not). If you’re unsure of what feminism is all about, then try reading some academic work (i.e. not the daily mail) from the past 100+ years. You cannot have a valid opinion on feminism or the kind of point this woman is trying to prove until you actually understand it. The fact of the matter is, people think this is unacceptable simply because she is female.

    • :)

      I have read some feminist academia, it’s laughable. Not exactly what you would call scientifically accurate. The initial assumptions are always wrong or incomplete and the conclusions always sing the same mantra ‘it’s the white men’s fault, we need to fix him.’
      I’ll stick to scientifically accurate papers for my academic reading, thanks.

      • Anonymous

        FYI the daily mail comments section does not count as feminist academia

        • :)

          FYI The Daily Mails comment section usually sings the opposite manta to ‘It’s the white man’s fault, we need to fix him!’
          I’d have thought feminists of all people would know the Daily Mail hates everyone except white men?
          Well done on making my point, you fine example of Feminist academia reader.

    • http://www.gorillas.org/ Re: Steph

      I’m afraid you seem to be missing the point. No one has said anything even remotely approaching “this is unacceptable”. We’ve simply been saying it’s grim.

  • Milly

    to every guy commenting about how disgusting this is and complaining when told to shut up: yes, you are entitled to think that (and tbh most of us couldn’t care less whether you’d fuck us or not) but the issue comes when you feel like you have the right to bombard women with comments like this. at best, it makes you a prick. and when it’s backed up by hundreds of others saying the same, and the media pushing that message too, it becomes a real issue.

    and no, it isn’t the same as a girl thinking your hairy back is gross, because girls don’t constantly talk about how gross hairy backs are and the media doesn’t constantly push the need to shave your back to the point where you feel hounded by this (often painful, time-wasting) beauty standard. if you wanna have a hairy back be my guest. i might think its gross but i’ll keep that opinion to myself because i’d rather not be that dickhead.

    • You Tell Yourself That Darling

      Yeahh tell that to the make up industry.

    • anonononononomous

      congratulations on keeping your thoughts about hairy backs to your self

  • Anonymous

    The authors an idiot that just quoted from http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/pit-stop-a-quick-history-of-women-shaving/2/ verbatim. Nice one!
    Any sort of real survey addressing the aesthetics of body hair should look to art history and the female muse. It appears that even a cursory glance at the Renaissance woman will see that armpit shaving has a long and happy history.
    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your GCSE standard social-constructivism, feminists!

    • All the girls on here

      ‘I’m going to negatively rate this comment in a desperate attempt to invalidate it, because I have no rational argument or response.’

      YOU’RE ALL DICKS

      I WISH I COULD GROW MY PITS BUT THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY PREVENT ME FROM DOING SO

      SOBERS FOR MBE FOR OUSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE ADVANCE OF FEMALE RIGHTS AND BRAVERY IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

    • Yeah but

      there’s a difference between how women were depicted in art at a certain time and what they actually did – especially since during the Renaissance artists tended to be mimicking Greco-Roman depictions of the body, and the Greeks and Romans were more into their shaving than Renaissance Europe. When some European women did start removing body hair after Crusaders brought the fashion over from the Middle East, Catherine de Medici objected and the fashion ended.

    • actually

      yup the author is not right on that point. the idea that the perfect woman should be hairless is an old one but (shockingly) old does not equal good. Throughout the European tradition of oil painting the emphasis was on depicting property which included hairless women. John Berger posits that hair represents passion and therefore the woman as inanimate object, as property, was painted without. In any case its pretty obvious that these Renaissance women are vacant eyed and splayed naked in the foreground of the painting for the voyeuristic pleasure of the viewer.

      not fully researching the aesthetics of body hair = foolish
      thinking that the portrayal women in Renaissance paintings (and indeed the whole concept of the female muse) is representative of an ideal state of affairs = dumb as shit

      • well to be fair to her

        she does say that hair removal is an ancient concept – it’s just that the reason we shave today comes from 1915, not the Renaissance. Right through the Victorian era women didn’t shave.

  • Ben Rivers

    I couldn’t give two shits about her armpit hair

  • Serious Armpit Envy Here…

    Regardless of how long women have been shaving, I think it’s fair to say they’ve had body hair for longer. The issue in my mind is that men can choose freely how much hair to remove from where and suffer far fewer social repercussions for their choice than women.

    Some women find male body hair unattractive; some men find female body hair unattractive, there’s nothing wrong with that. If there weren’t a variety of preferences, most of us would be a bit screwed (or perhaps not…;P) But men who don’t shave their armpits aren’t branded as lazy or unhygienic or ‘just trying to make a statement’. In an equal society this would be the same for all genders.

    Personally, I love my underarm hair. I even measure it occasionally (although that’s just a personal quirk of mine.) As a transgender man, I’ve seen my body hair from two different perspectives. Growing up in a girls’ school I was often called gross for not shaving (and that came from other girls!) and grudgingly began shaving – feeling like I should, just to get people off my back. Nowadays I consider my natural abundance of body hair a great asset – although, perhaps this just shows the deeply ingrained idea that body hair is masculine. Hmm. Certainly identifying as male has removed a whole host of quiet, niggling feelings of being too fat and too hairy attached to the female image that I hadn’t even realised were there. After all, apparently fat and hairy is fine for a bloke, even if it doesn’t get him all the girls (or boys, or non-binary folk.) because men are more than just what girls find attractive. I’d like to see that applied the other way round too.

    And finally – Katherine, that’s a pretty impressive crop of underarm hair you’ve got there. Love the dying, perhaps I’ll give it a go…

  • Rachel

    Men, keep in mind that not every woman is only worried about whether or not a man will find her attractive. So I highly doubt when a woman decides not to shave that her first thought is, “oh wow, I guess I won’t find a lifetime partner now!” They. dont. give. a. fuck.

  • JoshuaLew

    I am a 23 year old man, and I was conditioned for a long time to think that female body hair was disgusting, but when my girlfriend decided to grow hers out I knew that it was her right. To my surprise, I saw the beauty and naturalness of it right away. If you can’t love a woman naturally, maybe you don’t really know how to appreciate the beauty of women at all.

  • http://sparky.com Mark Jeffs

    I’m going to fight social taboos by shitting myself in public. Why should my choice to befoul my own undergarments make anyone else unhappy? MY BODY. MY CHOICE.

    • Anonymous

      comparing armpit hair to shitting yourself in public? jeez louise

  • FACT

    If this bird was on tinder she’d get 0 matches #slidetotheleft

  • Anonymous

    You feminists are getting baited by these comments. Hard.

  • Vlada

    Nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with something that is ugly to most of the people.

    Armpit hair, ass hair, it’s ugly, plain simple.

  • Fun New Perspective

    She doesn’t care if you find her attractive or not, she’s merely bringing up that it shouldn’t be a taboo, but a choice, like piercing your ears (despite those who lust only after a unmodified ear). Not everything to do with external appearance is an attempt to lure or repel a potential mate.

  • Anonymous

    Men are more likely to…
    - fail (or obtain a lower mark at) school / college / university
    - go to prison
    - be homeless
    - commit suicide
    - become addicted to substances
    - have their children taken away

    Women are more likely to…
    - get paid less
    - remain in lower job positions
    - get raped
    - suffer sexual abuse / violence
    - remain in the household

    These are real developed world gender inequality issues facing people today. Where do you rank insecurity about body hair on that brief list above?

    To the girl who wrote this article – get over yourself.

    To others – stop being so melodramatic.

    • :)

      The point I have been trying to make put so eloquently. Thank you.

  • Philip Kilby

    I like to lick hairy armpits

  • Jim

    You know what’s hilarious? I see a woman with shaved armpits, and I don’t give a shit. I subsequently see a woman with hairy armpits, and I still find myself not giving a shit. Actually as long as they’re not idiots or obese I find myself attracted to some degree to most women. So why is this an issue?

  • Anonymous

    Nearly every post I’ve read is guilty of either missing the point of the article entirely or applauding and agreeing with this young woman when in reality most of the latter would still judge and pass comment (even if just in their heads) if they saw such a woman displaying underarm hair or unshaven legs in public.

    I too admire the strength of character Soper displays, do I agree with her? Not really. Unfortunately, society has been conditioned for too long to react any other way. Does it inspire me to do the same in the hope of changing society’s view? No. Why? Because it grosses me out too. I like the feel of my skin when it’s soft and smooth, it makes me feel more confident (and as to further underline the point Soper makes – it also makes me feel more feminine).

    I don’t agree with the way many men have voiced their opinions on here – it is in itself vile and repulsive – but I do agree that (unfortunately) body hair (or lack of) does factor in determining male or female attractiveness.

    Ladies, you focus on the fact that a man has a choice to shave but are you not equally repulsed by a man with excessive back hair for instance? To quote many of the guys on here = “would not bang”

    I wish I was less shallow in this respect. I wish society was less shallow. All we can do is choose our own paths and beliefs, not ram them down the throats of others. Be happy and confident in yourselves (hair or no hair) and allow others that same right.

  • http://n/a Rhea Hughes

    I am not a feminist. There are issues in this world that are far more enduring and necessary than whether a girl shaves or not. I understand the equality of pay, the equality of status but aesthetic insight? Please. If you want to be the woman on Cosmo, be the woman on Cosmo. If you want to be the woman who dyes her hair fifty six different colours- go for it. Walk around clothes, walk around naked. I don’t give a shit.

    This is not worth writing. If you don’t shave- fine. That might be something that people aren’t into and some may be fully up for that. That’s fine. Don’t judge EITHER response. It isn’t entirely dictated by the media, it’s dictated by people’s preferences and you owe the individual that right of choosing what they are about. Not the fucking papers. IF you assume people are so fickle as to only believe the churned out tripe radiated from tabloids- then don’t date the people that ARE inclined to listen to those things.

    People, not things. Society is a construct- a construct can be altered, moulded, melted and poured into a new schematic altogether. People can’t. And if you expect them to be- you are 100% infringing on HUMAN RIGHTS.

    I also want to use this opportunity, as feminism has cropped up, to express my disgust at the Brookes femsoc who (apparently as a counter-protest to a religious group outside an abortion clinic) hosted a ‘disco’ to promote freedom of choice. I just want to say- I took my deeply upset friend, a victim of rape, to that clinic that day and she was fucking horrified that you made a mockery of that situation. You can try to tell me it was as a response to the others but it wasn’t read that way by us or anyone else in the waiting room.

    Disgusting. We reported the event in complete disbelief it even occurred and are of the understanding that it has been forwarded to the chancellors of the university for review and passed onto the SU.

    Feminism is fucked up. If you think this is newsworthy- you’re wrong. If you think dancing outside an abortion clinic is acceptable or in any way waging a war on the opposition- you’re deluded.

    We could ignore the others, we couldn’t help but look at your blind disrespect. Do you think she danced as the unborn foetus as a result of a savage, brutal attack was euthanised? No, she fucking didn’t.

    FUCK FEMINISTS.

    Signed,

    A female that isn’t bawling her eyes out because she shaves.

    • Alexis

      dont even associate yourself with the femsoc.
      im sorry you had to go through that. i did witness them doing something there and thought it a bit awkward but had no idea the severity i too will complain on your and your friends behalf.

    • CreepyManByTheBusstop

      great comment, but seriously was your friend that short brunette with the big honkers. I might have to clear up a misunderstanding

  • Lucy

    If she’s fighting for equal rights, that’s fair enough. She has the right to not shave…but we also have the right to not find it attractive or even repulsive. The fact of the matter is, we are used to a certain image of pretty, and armpit hair isn’t it. We also have the right to be accustomed to society’s view of attractiveness, and shouldn’t be attacked by a mob of feminists for not applauding this girl.

    A lot of the comments on here where “feminists” are standing up for Katherine are trying to put down men – where’s the equality in that? Feminism is about rights, not about turning the tables so that men are now beneath us as an act of revenge for past patriarchy. You’re only ruining your own credibility.

  • From a Cambridge Townie

    Frankly, if she wants to grow her armpit hair that is fine for her to do so, I don’t care. However the fact that she has decided to draw attention to it undermines what she says about feminism. Would a man shaving or not shaving his pits, be worth an article even in a student rag like this? NO! If she feels the need to point out what she is doing she reduces equality undermines her own position!

    • Anon

      Exactly this. Hypocritical to the highest degree.

  • Jack Oliver Aaron

    I’m not one to mind about armpits or whatnot but people are overlooking the fact that it’s not usually accepted for men to show their armpit hair in formal occasions. Men wear shirts that cover these hairy parts up but women usually wear dresses that do not.

    I would argue that women and men are free to do as they wish in this area but perhaps this difference in clothing that automatically puts female armpits on regular display may be a cause for this disagreement and perhaps even why women are usually expected to shave.

  • Nikki

    I would like to make the point to all the women criticizing the men for saying they wouldn’t hook up with a girl with hairy armpits to realize men just as women can have a preference.

    There is nothing wrong if she chooses not to shave at all. But yes, some may take a distaste to that, but we need to realize that before we point fingers, women are also capable of judging men as well on terms of looks/ hair what not. To each and every individual there are qualities that attract and repulse us. Some of us women would prefer if men shaved their balls, some don’t care, some like a luxurious chest full of hair, some don’t. Some, like a hairy back whilst others would run and gossip and comment.

    Please don’t sit there accusing men for making bad/awful comments about appearance when it is likely you have may have equally made comments about/judged the appearance of males as well.

    • Anonymous

      Allowed to have a personal preference: yes.

      Allowed to impose that personal preference on others and insult them when they disagree: no.

  • John

    Get a grip female.

  • Nick Beard

    You go ladies! I love body hair, that’s why I never shave my neck beard. Some ladies say it looks gross, but they’re just sexists buying into the military industrial media complex.

  • Matt

    Don’t feed the trolls, ladies.

  • Hairy Pit Dyke Lover Lover

    Boys, you’re missing so much.

  • GIRLS

    Trouble is girls, if your going to go ‘au naturel’ then you have to eliminate all cosmetics from your lifestyle, otherwise you are nothing but a self-righteous hypocrite.

    It is these companies that fuel the media, telling you how you should look like (and as a result make £billions in profit).

    You can’t pick and choose one aspect of the media-induced image and ignore the rest. It completely nullifies your argument.

    • Anonymous

      no it doesn’t. the point is that a woman should be able to choose what she looks like and not receive the kind of vitriol seen on this page

      • Anonymous

        Of course it does. The girl here is moaning about being judged for something that’s natural. If the cosmetics industry didn’t exist and make all those razors, creams, make-up etc then armpit hair on women would be a social norm, and this media image of beauty would not exist. It is because of the industry that she is being judged. Now back to your colouring book.

  • Sounds like…

    The bait is good.

  • http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/12/31/women-wake-up-men-have-made-your-life-better-not-worse/ Jay

    Seriously, men are allowed to and clearly do, for a large part, find this disgusting.

    Feminists, you will not take our right, as human beings, to be disgusted (or, to use a less divisive term, unattracted) by whatever we choose.

    You will never rob us of that right, so trying to shout down people who have said they don’t like this isn’t only stupid, backwards and offensive … it’s also completely, utterly pointless.

    This is the dispassionate, no-bullshit run down of what happened here.

    1) Woman didn’t shave hair.
    2) Some men (and, I imagine, some women) didn’t find it appealing.
    3) THAT’S ALL FOLKS

    Shut up, go home, and get on with your lives. This is not news.

    • Dan

      Precisely. It’s an utterly pointless form of protest. Most men will find this unattractive, and that’s perfectly normal and fine – everyone has preferences. Women have been pulling this sh*t for decades – “Look, I don’t have to conform to standards of beauty!” The men say “Ugh” or “Fine, do whatever. But I still don’t find it attractive,” and nothing changes.

      The point she is trying to make is in itself immature, in a way. I could not wash or trim my nails for a year, or never wear anything more than a bed sheet, but what will that ultimately achieve? She’ll most likely go back to shaving her pits, I guarantee it.

      • Dan

        They need to feel like they’re doing something important. They haven’t got anything significant to moan about, so they’ve had to settle for these endearing little “protests”. I know it’s tempting to point out the futility, but can you imagine the shit we’d have to deal with if this all stopped? I say let ‘em have their fun.

        • Steve Williams

          you are a coward. you’ve probably never given a woman an orgasm because sadly, you wouldn’t know how to please a woman. Pathetic time waster. Great article despite the apparent men afraid of hair…how do you cope with everyday life lads? Must be a scary world out there if you’re thrown by armpit hair.

    • Anonymous

      for the 50 billionth time in this comment section, NOBODY IS ASKING YOU TO FIND IT ATTRACTIVE. idiots. the argument is that it shouldn’t be taboo for a woman to grow her armpit hair. of course you’re allowed to find it disgusting but then you get on with your life and don’t give her shit about it. women don’t live to please you

  • Anon

    Surely it’s hypocritical for girls to be hating on the guys when say they dislike armpit hair, I bet that 95+% of those girls shave theirs religiously, because the vast majority of girls would never let theirs grow, because THEY think it’s ‘grim’ or ‘disgusting’ or ‘unclean’ or whatever.

    I’m sure the guys who posted the ‘grim etc’ comments feel it for the exact same reason as the girls feel it about their own, but the guys just said it a little less sensitively.

  • jake

    The sooner feminists realise men and women are different the better, not any better or worse, just different, and it would be a pretty boring world if we weren’t. Also we are not born blank slates that then grow up in solitary. Of course we are going to be influenced by the world around us, that’s human nature, how we learn, and there is usually a reason things become ‘normal’ or popular, because the majority of people like it that way. This is not specific to women, i for one find very skinny guys disgusting to look at, but not women (although it is by no means my preference) and clearly many women feel the same.

    So, yes, we will be socialised to think in a certain way, that’s the way the world is, so do not try and make me feel bad that i find bodily hair on women fucking disgusting and i will not make girls feel bad that they don’t like skinny guys or bald guys or w.e. not everything is sexist.

    Finally, most of ‘feminist’ commenting on this post are the reason feminism lacks credibility and is hated. By using ‘real men’ at any point makes your feminist comment redundant. i completely support gender equality, however this is not what a good proportion of feminists preach, thus damaging the movement.

    p.s would bang. minus the hair

  • you are

    a pidgeon

    • You need

      A dictionary.

  • Andy

    Can’t think how many people I have heard comment on how bad Jeremy Paxman looks with his new facial hair. Half the commenters on here mustn’t represent the overall public reaction since I’ve not heard anyone jumping down their throat telling them “it is unnacceptable to judge someone for a personal choice and this is why we need more male role models fighting against the imposed ideal of Hello magazine readers”.

    • Anonymous

      And as usual everything has to be about men, even feminism

  • bluefacedgirl

    YOU GO GIRL!!

  • jizzle

    aaahh jog on feminism. would everyone be praising this if she decided to not wash for 60 days and stank of BO? but why should she have to conform right! whatever…

    all this stuff about “men don’t have to do any of this” crap, what about finger nails?

    how many girls would be celebrating an article by a lad who decided to grow long minging fingernails and never cut them? yet many girls grow theirs long? ‘oooh so brave of him!’ yeah thought not.
    Or toe nails? Wow, you’re so brave, you’ve got minging long toe nails. Fantastic. Freedom fighter.
    Or what about monobrows. Girls, would you all be applauding gents who can grow one if they grew theirs nice and bushy?
    Or just never cut our pubes. it’s rank, men and women alike agree.

    someone had it spot on earlier ‘you could go around with snot hanging out your nose if you wanted to but its nothing to be proud of’

    be great if we could all go round wearing shit clothes, with shit hair cuts, not looking after our appearance and all fancy each other but we don’t, get over it. appearance matters to humans, it’s evolution, stupid. get over it.

  • I HATE MEN

    It makes me laugh all the pathetic men-trolls who go on about ‘banging’ the lady in this well written and interesting article. They can’t handle intelligent women, and I’d bet they can’t ‘bang’ their own!

    • The Truth

      Clearly mad that no ones wants to bang you.

  • a

    You’re all stupid period. Yo even have an opinion on this is stupid. Go do something meaningful instead of bitch about hair.

  • Male passer by

    There should be no more drama about a woman deciding not to shave her armpits than there is about a man deciding to have a beard. And there should be less drama about both. Hair happens and always has. People should find a way to cope with things that have always happened, humans are weird.

  • Anonymous

    Feminists might as well be lesbians

  • Eight

    Nobody’s telling you not to shave your armpits – go ahead if you want, but don’t expect people to find you attractive for it. And if people don’t then who are you to complain? You self-righteous cunt.

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t find her attractive, who are YOU to complain? Why should she have to be attractive to you?

    • hang on

      she never said anything about needing people to find it attractive – just that people shouldn’t be judgemental arseholes about it. Like the kind you’re being right now. I think you’re the self-righteous cunt here.

  • IMP

    You go, girl. I haven’t been shaving for 10 years and my cousins just noticed/are scandalized, LOL, but my lovers have not been. If you can’t appreciate my beautiful body, it’s not for you!

  • Sian

    The article is full of hyperbole and bias. It starts with the premise that historically shaving is usually practiced in countries where there were problems with lice. Firstly, lice are prevalent over pretty much all places inhabited by humans. And secondly this article uses this premise to deliberately hint that the lice were the reason for the shaving (i.e. if you shave you have an issue with lice). Actually historical records actually show that shaving was primarily for other reasons. Egyptian men would shave their facial and head hair to deprive the enemy in battle of a handhold to prevent decapitation. In Roman times shaving was a sign of civilisation and progress with beards and facial hair a symbol of barbarism and servitude. Of course times change and hair falls in and out of fashion. There was a period in the Middle Ages where European women removed body hair – but this ended in 1500s when Queen Catherine de Medici of France objected to the process.

    The article suggests the practice in the 1920s was because of “fervent” advertising by Gillette and the men’s shaving market looking to expand their market. This is a deliberately narrow explanation of events so as to support her article. The start of the 20th century represented a shift in women’s fashion with more revealing fashion. It also represented a period where women had increasing powers as consumers. Make-up (a industry where women were often involved in the development) also flourished during this period. Women’s magazines also played a big role. So it’s true that the shaving industry and women’s magazines played a role, but their initiation of promoting women’s shaving was influenced by the women. The practiced was initially adopted by the fashion elite and then gradually trickled down to your “typical” consumer.

    My main issue with this article is that the author is saying that she shouldn’t be made to feel bad for not shaving… but the bias of the article has the potential effect of making women who do shave feel bad about their choice. Many women shave and pluck and tan and tone and it’s their way of celebrating their womenhood. Many of these women are feminists. And do you know what? That’s great! And it’s their choice; just as it is Katherine’s choice to not shave and to dye her hair red and wear make-up. No one should be criticised or made to feel bad for making themselves feel good about themselves. The problem is that when the author acknowledges that it might be a personal preference and that friends have said “it’s their right as a women”, it’s followed with a negating sentence that “it’s [not] possible today to grow up with a completely objective view of our body hair that isn’t influenced by both the socialised desire for smoothness, and the negative connotations we attach to women who don’t shave”. Oh these silly women, thinking they’re making a free choice when really they’ve been tricked by society! There’s other parts of the article that subtly dig at shaving, such as the selective history of shaving hinting that shaving is linked to lice.

    To be fair, I completely agree with the supposed “point” of this article. It’s stupid to judge a women for not shaving. The attitude I support is (put bluntly) “don’t be a dick to people whose preferences don’t match your own”. But dear Katherine… please use less hyperbole and try and write more balanced articles, if you choose to write one in the future. I expect more from a graduate!

  • http://NONE Sian

    The article is full of hyperbole and bias. It starts with the premise that historically shaving is usually practiced in countries where there were problems with lice. Firstly, lice are prevalent over pretty much all places inhabited by humans. And secondly this article uses this premise to deliberately hint that the lice were the reason for the shaving (i.e. if you shave you have an issue with lice). Actually historical records actually show that shaving was primarily for other reasons. Egyptian men would shave their facial and head hair to deprive the enemy in battle of a handhold to prevent decapitation. In Roman times shaving was a sign of civilisation and progress with beards and facial hair a symbol of barbarism and servitude. Of course times change and hair falls in and out of fashion. There was a period in the Middle Ages where European women removed body hair – but this ended in 1500s when Queen Catherine de Medici of France objected to the process.

    The article suggests the practice in the 1920s was because of “fervent” advertising by Gillette and the men’s shaving market looking to expand their market. This is a deliberately narrow explanation of events so as to support her article. The start of the 20th century represented a shift in women’s fashion with more revealing fashion. It also represented a period where women had increasing powers as consumers. Make-up (a industry where women were often involved in the development) also flourished during this period. Women’s magazines also played a big role. So it’s true that the shaving industry and women’s magazines played a role, but their initiation of promoting women’s shaving was influenced by the women. The practiced was initially adopted by the fashion elite and then gradually trickled down to your “typical” consumer.

    My main issue with this article is that the author is saying that she shouldn’t be made to feel bad for not shaving… but the bias of the article has the potential effect of making women who do shave feel bad about their choice. Many women shave and pluck and tan and tone and it’s their way of celebrating their womenhood. Many of these women are feminists. And do you know what? That’s great! And it’s their choice; just as it is Katherine’s choice to not shave and to dye her hair red and wear make-up. No one should be criticised or made to feel bad for making themselves feel good about themselves. The problem is that when the author acknowledges that it might be a personal preference and that friends have said “it’s their right as a women”, it’s followed with a negating sentence that “it’s [not] possible today to grow up with a completely objective view of our body hair that isn’t influenced by both the socialised desire for smoothness, and the negative connotations we attach to women who don’t shave”. Oh these silly women, thinking they’re making a free choice when really they’ve been tricked by society! There’s other parts of the article that subtly dig at shaving, such as the selective history of shaving hinting that shaving is linked to lice.

    To be fair, I completely agree with the supposed “point” of this article. It’s stupid to judge a women for not shaving. The attitude I support is (put bluntly) “don’t be a dick to people whose preferences don’t match your own”. But dear Katherine… please use less hyperbole and try and write more balanced articles if you choose to write one in the future. I expect more from a graduate!

  • SianE

    Test!

  • George

    Unlike most of the troll commentators who had already made up their mind seeing the title, I wanted to comment to say I had found it enlightening.
    It is clearly an issue you have considered very thoughtfully and it’s inspiring how you have braved social – and thus psychological fears of – disapproval but lived up to your beliefs! Good on you!
    I had never really thought much about this before but now I feel that you are on the right side of what is right. In fact I do not find it unattractive at all. All the best and God bless :)

  • Halo Haynes

    Surely it SHOULD be able to be a personal choice. Without even thinking of feminist views, it is not seen as “gross” for males to have underarm hair, or unhygienic. It doesn’t make a difference who the hair is on. As long as she cleans regularly then I don’t see how it could be the former.

    Whilst I am not about to start growing my body hair out, I can respect that it is her decision to do so and the bravery she needed to overcome this social no no. It IS a pain getting rid of body hair, an ongoing battle to stay silky smooth.

    How many of us ladies have left the house and realised that we have a little underarm stubble (when we only shaved the morning before in the shower) and felt like we can’t raise our arms to visible height all day and walked around like a bloody robot to save the embarrassment?

    It would be nice to think that it could be more of a personal choice rather than something that is socially accepted.

    I started shaving before I really even had hair because I felt like everyone else my age was doing it and I would get picked on if I had fine hairs on my legs in P.E and things. I didn’t really need to shave at that point but I feel like I was pressured into it by a need to fit in. Now a days, I am quite happy to break the mold with eccentric outfits and wild hair and make up but I still would find it a huge struggle to dare to go out with body hair.

    So go her, she is doing something she feels is right for her despite what it makes people think of her. Not many people can actually say that.

  • SHESAHAIRYBITCH

    That is just so rank.
    Gross enough as it is.. why the flip would u waste dye on it ew

  • MAN

    I find angry feminists far more offensive than armpit hair.

  • Anonymous

    imvho, nobody should give a fuck about this

  • M-L

    People are only jealous that they cant grow armpit hair like that, I know I am …

  • Am I not being reasonable?

    Q: Why dont you shave your armpit hair?
    A: Because I dont want to.

    FAIR ENOUGH.

    Don’t make this about feminism, by doing that you immediately put yourself under a label of inequality that shouldnt exist.

  • http://www.man.co.uk Mr Man

    I am the head of the man authority. Men do not like armpit hair on women.

  • Ash

    Good on her that she feels comfortable doing what she wants, just like anyone (MALE OR FEMALE) should have the right to. However, people saying men are pigs for thinking it is disgusting need to grow up, sorry not all men find underarm hair attractive.

  • Anonymous

    Feminists are some of the worst people in the world

  • Anonymous

    YES TO THIS. shaving is so energy intensive, i flat out refuse to shave my legs. and you know what, rocking up naked with a forest has never resulted in a guy complaining. more hair please, less negativity

  • Jaz

    Lots of respect for her for doing it. It’s her body, it’s her choice. I also like how she said you can still be a feminist if you shave.

    I just personally wouldn’t do it. I’ve become so accustomed to hair removal that it would feel so strange not to do it.

    Kudos to her though. The article is very well written and quite inspiring. I’ll be going against the patriarchy…just not in the same way.

  • Anon

    i don’t really care what others choose to be honest, personal preference is shaven

  • N

    Theres nothing wrong with liking it
    but equally theres nothing wrong with NOT liking it.
    It doesn’t make you narrow minded to not like something
    It doesn’t make you all “justice” for standing up against someone who has an opinion as valid as yours, it just makes you a jerk.
    I for one… don’t like it, I’m physically more comfortable without it, I think its gross, I dont like soggy hair under my arm. I don’t find it attractive on a male or female, but a little bit on a guy I can deal with.

  • Ash

    I neither agree nor disagree with the actions in the article, however I think people are looking at this on a far to personal level and just wanted to give the argument some real food for thought.

    For clarification, I am male.

    The whole argument can be seen from an economic theory known as Game Theory. Lets allow the scenario to run out – so women now stop shaving various body parts and consequently men neither need to stay as ‘socially attractive’ as is the case today. We know end up with a less ‘socially attractive’ society as a whole (less six packed men etc etc and women with make up and smooth bodies etc etc – again for the sake of this post, I neither agree nor disagree). This presents an opportunity for some in society to gain from a ‘profitable deviation’ by shaving and / or going back to the gym (speaking very crudely of how people are socially attractive) and therefore get the partner they desire over others (again very crudley of course). We then, over time, revert back to the society we have today as other realize they too can gain from this so called profitable deviation. This is not sexism nor is it anti-feminist, it is merely a reaction of society and something that has proven true of centuries. I ask why women initially started shaving, even why the first woman started shaving….it makes sense from a Game Theory point of view.

    Now I know this assumes superficial attraction between partners, but unfortunately this is a proven quality (from BOTH genders) speaking from a statistical level world wide. Given two candidates that are similar in all aspect bar looks, you chose the one in which you find most ‘attractive’.

    Or an alternative view is that this post will lead to the end of firemen’s calendars and female posters from shops. Again doubtful as Game Theory would also revert this.

    So just maybe, attractiveness isn’t actually a feminist topic at all – the concentration should be on equality in the workforce – which is progressing at an acceptable rate (assuming people are willing to understand that historical predigest wont die overnight) and equality in other aspects of life. A true feminist would also fight for areas in which males are under-represented, such as child care in divorce settlements.

    This argument goes much deeper than body hair. However the argument of being bangable, whilst not phrased correctly, is actually of significant importance to realizing this isn’t actually a feminist issue at all, other than a total societal issue.

    My aim of this was not to offend either sex, but food for thought.

  • Holly

    This is ridiculous. Feminism should have stopped once women received equal pay and the right to vote. Feminists need to accept that everyone is different and have different opinions. If this girl decides to stop shaving her armpits fair enough, but does the whole world need to know? Probably not. The guys on here are entitled to say they don’t like it, as surely by preventing them doing so you’re removing your right to have an opinion too?

  • Anonymous

    Kudos for making your own choices or whatever, but why announce it to the world afterwards? Just reeks of attention seeking. Typical feminist.

  • Anonymous

    I have no problem with you growing your hair, but please refrain from writing an article about it that is trying to change other peoples opinions and posting images of it of the internet.

    Nobodies forcing you to conform, that’s your choice, so stop trying to force other people into what you believe.

  • Common Sense

    I shouldn’t feel like i have to bang someone because they have armpit hair. I will bang and find womanly whatever the fuck i want to without your self righteous asses telling me what to do because she is so called “Brave”.
    No…she is a fucking idiot that wants to be different.
    0/10 would not touch with somebody else barge pole let alone my own.
    Keep your hair, just don’t think any guy would go there that isn’t desperate.
    Feminazis everywhere.

  • Charlotte

    Nobody is seeking positive endorsement here, just acceptance.
    The point is that it shouldn’t be an issue. There should be no reaction and the fact people are taking this so personally is ridiculous; is if they have the right to be offended by someone’s physical appearance.

  • My Two Cents

    Some of the comments above, many written by women, acknowledge that not shaving your armpits is uncomfortable, and as a man I agree. It is also irrefutable that the society in which we live in, as morally wrong as it may be, has stigmatised women who grow there armpit hair. Because of this, I imagine that the proportion of women who don’t shave their armpit hair is exceptionally low.

    I champion her right to do whatever she wants, however I can’t help but think that this is merely an exercise for attention rather than a genuine life choice, given what I have previously pointed out.

    Live your own life and fuck what other people think. If you have to write an article expressing how proud you are to be different then you’re missing the point. You won’t change the minds of misogynist bigots, but why care? Good for her that she doesn’t shave, but this smacks of attention seeking.

    • Katherine Soper

      Yo. I had initially decided I wasn’t going to respond to comments, but I wanted to address the ones that talk about attention-seeking. I stopped shaving almost seven years ago, so it’s all rather old hat to me – not something to brag about, just normal. The title and captions for this make it all seem more recent (they’re also more aggressive than I personally would have chosen, but that’s to be expected). When the Tab told me they were republishing this article from the Cambridge site they asked me for more photos, and I think the result is that it looks more self-absorbed than I anticipated.

      Also, one thing I didn’t mention in the article was that seeing women who didn’t shave and who weren’t ashamed about it was what really helped me make the decision to stop. I genuinely think a lack of visibility is what stops a lot of girls taking the plunge, and so I feel the need to fly the flag a bit. When I wrote this, I set out to write the kind of thing I would have wanted to read when I was considering giving up shaving but didn’t feel brave enough to do so – no ploy for attention, and definitely no demand for anyone to find me attractive.

  • Brick

    I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!

  • Brick Tamland

    Everything women do in terms of modifying personal appearance is to make them more appealing to men, and vice versa. Consciously or not, it is written in your DNA and completely idiotic to suggest otherwise.

  • bored

    Boring. Wasted 3 minutes of my time

  • RedShift

    I totally agree with her.

    There’s a whole plethora of things women do that makes very little difference to how attractive they are.

    Each to there own but in my book she’s hot and it’s totally not a turn off.

    I think women should know there are a lot of guys who really don’t care and will find you attractive/unattractive regardless of whether you have hairless armpits or not – it’s certainly not where my eyes wander if I find a lass attractive!

    I also daresay there is a lot of guys who if pushed would say they’d prefer armpit hair shaved off but are also indifferent enough to actually rather you left it and got quicker ready!

    My apologies if that last one drifted into sexism in itself but look, the reason that ‘take ages getting ready’ stereotype exists is because so many women don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without makeup, or going out without shaving legs, armpits, nether-regions, etc

  • http://hahah Dave Brian and Steve

    Why is everyone complaining that she’s getting judged on whether she shaves her arm pits and her looks. The article is about her not shaving her armpits, and there’s pictures in it. What else is there to go on, she could be lovely or she could be a total arsehole but nobody knows.

    But the fact she’s obviously trying to get some kind of self publicity out of not shaving her arm pits is pretty poor, surely feminists would say it doesn’t matter.

    Either way would not bang…

  • http://www.ubu.org.uk Rob Griffiths, UBU President

    Isn’t it just a question of who tends to wear sleeveless tops?

    Men (generally speaking) tend not to go sleeveless, and those who do tend to shave.

    Women will far more often go sleeveless, as such it’s far less unsightly for them to shave.

    When anyone’s underarms are covered up, it doesn’t make a difference… just women tend to go sleeveless more than men.

  • MG

    The only thing that I can conclude from feminism is that only middle class people, with too much time on their hands, could turn such frivolous matters into genuine crises. All of these ridiculous bans imposed and protests about a fucking page on a newspaper. And now we have an article about a woman and her armpits, acting like she’s a deviant to society.
    Neo-feminism is absolutely pathetic.

  • Juwonadedjitiwo

    ew exterminate quickly, -100/10

  • Female

    I think it’s amazing that she has the courage to be true to herself. We are all socially conditioned to invest in certain stereotyped ideals of beauty (or ‘ugliness’). When I first saw the pictures I was also initially ‘grossed out’ – but that’s the point of the article! Why SHOULD we be grossed out at something that is perfectly natural? Evolutionary speaking, the hair wouldn’t be there if it didn’t have a purpose – ie to keep the area clean.
    She’s not attention seeking by writing an article about her choice – she’s bringing to light how silly and baseless the taboo about unshaved women is.
    And for those people who are moaning about feminism – the fact that you are trying to oppress the right of women to speak up for issues that affect them just proves the need for feminism. Educate yourselves.

  • Hm.

    The point of this article should really be the surprising fact that there are some people who think that an armpit can be sexually attractive based on the amount of hair around it. It’s really still just a sweaty patch of skin that rarely steals the show over it’s rounder, more pert neighbours.

  • vinnye

    so to conclude, sicilians is better than viallis

  • James

    These extreme feminists (not talking about the girl in the article, just general extreme feminists that I have seen commenting on things over the last few months) are by far the key reason for most of the sexism I see regularly… The ridiculous arguments they start, completely undermine any real issues of inequality

    The whole blurred lines issue last term was ridiculous. I can certainly understand that some of the lyrics could be offensive, and it is certainly not my place to say how someone should feel about the song, but for the simple fact of being a guy who was not against the song, i was attacked for not wanting the song banned… I was inadvertently told that because i did not support banning the song, i was ‘pro-rape’ … Seriously, how dare people suggest that? I have more reason to be against violence towards women than many people… And this stupid and frankly pointless behaviour just strengthens my negative views on this misinformed concept of feminism that seems to be sweeping our university… But please don’t think i believe it is a general thing, just a select group.

    I just hope that one day, the same girls who create arguments for the sake of creating them, realise how they are inadvertently causing more negative views towards women, and actually start doing something to help the REAL issues of inequality… Maybe volunteering for a support group for victims of rape, or domestic violence…. Alas, i feel feminism for some of those who appear so involved, is simply a pass time, and they don’t care about helping the real issues at all.

  • Who the fuck cares

    Very good point James. Would also like to mention that a lot of people say they shave but if they don’t, their boyfriend doesn’t care… Most of this pressure seems to be coming from women themselves, as most of the guys on here seem to be either making jokes or telling you all to calm down, maybe its that they don’t care – some think its horrible, some don’t, thats that – you should be looking somewhere closer to home to blame this injustice. Plus, not that it is the point of the article, but it is clearly inviting people to talk about what it looks like and what their opinion is, and considering that the majority of people have not, and will not meet her, the only thing they have to talk about is what she looks like and the fact she has armpit hair, so thats what they’re making an opinion on. Yes, its not a woman’s duty to look good for men, but if she doesn’t look good shes much less likely to get one. Not saying thats her only goal in life or anything like that, but its more like a common courtesy issue – if anything i think standards are going towards men being more particular – plenty shave more than just their face nowadays. I know i do, and my gf prefers it so its something i’m happy to

  • Anonymous

    When and why and how did what the author describes as “he socialised desire for smoothness, and the negative connotations we attach to women who don’t shave” become a thing?

    I’m a male only in my 50s, and when my taste in female beauty was formed, the socialized desire was for “going natural.” That’s what I find sexy, and I’m glad that I’m old enough now that I don’t have to deal with dating young women who shave everything. It makes them look as if they’re trying to be Barbie dolls or little girls – both profoundly unsexy things – and failing, because of course a grown woman trying to look like that is grotesque.

  • Will Baker

    I’m sorry if I gave some slice the privilege of coming back to mine for a good seeing to I would expect her thane the courtesy to shave.

  • Mr Fatty

    It can work both ways. A female I knew, and whose opinion I hadn’t asked for, once expressed her utter revulsion at my chest hair – which I hadn’t intended to expose by the way!

  • Shaven Haven

    Hi x asl x

  • Anonymous

    I am a straight born woman, who doesn’t affiliate themselves with feminism.
    However I have never shaved/waxed in my entire life. I’ve never been interested in it for myself personally, but sometimes, because of conditioning, I think that maybe I should give it a go. But really I don’t want to, so I don’t. I’m not overly concerned about my legs, no one gives a second glance and I am a lucky person that my hair on my legs is a very fair blonde. However I’m mostly concerned with my armpit hair. People, I’ve heard, would rather a woman with unshaven legs than unshaven armpits, and so in public I don’t show off my armpits (I cover them up – so I wear clothing with sleeves all the time). Not even at home now, because people really do judge. Both my parents, my mum and dad, have tried talking me into shaving my hair. My mum has waxed so much in her life she’s basically bald everywhere but her head.. But my father is a quite hairy man. So when my father said this to me, I retorted that he doesn’t shave his legs. That sorta shut him up. And neither have confronted me about again because I’m a very stubborn person.
    However I am seeing in my generation, the younger generation, that this is not only affecting women now, but also men. In some circles men with hairy chests/backs and even genital area is frowned now on men. Personally I like the natural look. Heck, I even like beards/moustaches.
    But really I don’t care if people choose shave or wax, what I care about is that they are doing it because they wan to – some women I have heard like shaven legs and armpits because its more comfortable. What I am concerned about is society is “hair” shaming. Adding a connotation because I am a woman I either fit into box a) b) or c). How about I just don’t like shaving? Geez.

  • bob

    yo yo

  • Mature dad

    I have a 5 year old daughter and would be delighted if when she reaches puberty there are female role models she can look to who don’t shave their body hair. As a mature male I am amazed at how repugnant women find the whole notion of body hair – despite the fact that it is so completely natural. While many men don’t seem to mind their partners not shaving women themselves generally find it disgusting and do takes a tremendous amount of courage to ignore friends’ negative attitude and comments. The more women refuse to shave the more normal it will be and eventually completely acceptable. Maybe the media will join in and show women and models with body hair. Gone on – dare to be brave,

  • Ricia

    This is TRUE women’s liberation! And environmentally friendly too. Where do all those nasty razors end up going that get tossed in the trash? I am shave-free as of 2013 and love it. I agree taking it out in public is tricky especially because I teach in a country where women who look and act like little girls is deified. Thank you for sharing!

    • bloomingdedalus

      Oh yes, social expectations are absolutely evil. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care at all if a woman shaves much of anything. But you’re pathetic and childish if you think it represents some sort of oppression.

  • Arthur

    Congratulations. I encourage my wife to do so, although she only does it in winter due to the social pressure…

  • Lucky Guy

    Thank you! My wife doesn’t shave and why should she? It takes time, money, irritates her skin, would make her scratchy half the time. She is beautiful on her own without having to do what some magazine or razor company says she should do. Thank you for posting this. I hope my daughter can be so comfortable with herself.

  • bloomingdedalus
    • Ellie

      …because double standards about beauty, the disney princess myth and the stereotypes left behind by the era of the 1950s housewife that trapped women in the home are important issues? Seriously, grow up.

      • bloomingdedalus

        Like I said, it used to be about serious shit. Now women are the legal terror of all male-kind inventing hundreds of new laws that cast women as perpetual victims of men no matter what situation they are in. I’m supposed to believe this is some sort of “karma” for my sex, but I had nothing to do with the suburban crap. Armpit hair doesn’t bother me in the slightest when it comes to women – I just have to make fun of how stupid making a big deal out of armpit hair is as well as make some comments about how women objectify and shame men.

        • Ellie

          And you honestly fail to see how this is part of that?

          • bloomingdedalus

            I see it as wilful manufacturing of childish complaints that don’t in any way meaningfully rise to the standard required to title it “oppression.” I could just as well say that wearing pants is oppressive or that women want to marry successful guys instead of homeless losers is “oppressive.” It’s not – it’s just how it is. Women in western culture have far more power than the vast majority of men. To be fair, more positions of serious power are occupied by men, but that in no way is indicative of widespread power exerted by men that is demanded by nonsense like “patriarchy theory” which attributes to all men some ephemeral original sin called “privilege” that nearly no men actually possess when the evidence is examined. On the contrary, the vast majority of men are far more disenfranchised than the vast majority of women.

            Fortunately there’s some men out there who are willing to stand up to the nonsense spouted by feminists who play victim constantly when nothing could be further from the truth.

            • Nanna

              If you think shaving is so bad, then that means you think make up is wrong and also don’t brush your hair. Because unbrushed hair and no make up is natural.
              It’s called making your self look and feel better. That’s why so many men have starting shaving other parts. My husband shaves his butt, because he hates the hair.
              He knows I don’t care, so this is a stupid thing. And all femist woman are insecure.

              • bloomingdedalus

                There are plenty of feminist women who are not secure. And, yes, I am not attracted to women who use makeup. I also don’t really care about carefully preened hair. If a woman spends more than 30 minutes adjusting her appearance in a single day (including showering) – I assume she’s a vapid, moronic narcissist. I’m an atheist, but I still have a strongly entrenched opposition to vanity.

                • Ellie

                  Again the grand hipocracy. Hate vain women but they must shave. And judging women, how very patriarchal…

                  • bloomingdedalus

                    Well, sheesh, I guess it’s just so unfair of me to judge the behavior of the opposite sex… I must be a bigot – a rabid misogynist – if I have any opinions whatsoever.

                    Also… when did I say women must shave? The first girl I dated didn’t shave her legs ever and rarely to never shaved her armpits and I loved her very dearly. Never once wore makeup for the year we were together. Still one of the best women I’ve ever met.

                    At least I know that when us Men’s Rights people have nothing to complain about other than the fact that we’re generally expected not to have giant beards that most of our work in securing our liberation and freedom is done.

              • Ellie

                Say that to my face. I feel beautiful but not because you tell me so. I am a prouf , beatiful and secure feminist women and have more confidence than any women I know who spends her life looking in magazines for the next diet craze or beauty secret. Don’t talk about things you know nothing about.

              • Ellie

                Oh and FYI, broadly speaking being a feminist I don’t judge other women for their choices. maybe try it sometime.

              • CCM

                It’s astonishing how misogynist feminism has become these days.

            • Ellie

              And you’ve entirely missed the point. Hair removal has gone from being a choice for women to being a social expectation. Whether or not men remove hair on any part of their body is a choice and largely they are not judged for it. Your disgust should have no baring on another persons actions. She isn’t hurting anyone but making a choice and a statement. Also I’m calling you on your anti feminism bullshit. Patriarchy hurts everyone, men and women. The same social expectations that say women should remove hair are the same ones that say men shouldn’t be single parents, paternity leave is unnecessary, that there is one frankly outmoded ideal image of beauty for men and women and that bodies outside that should be shunned. It also says women should stay in the home. Want to see a country run like that? Look at the southern united states; anti choice, anti women at work (fox news had a meltdown when women became the natiobal majority breadwinners last year), there is a near constant mention of rape not being a good enough reason to have an abortion, there is no right to paid paternity or maternity leave anywhere and the majority of both houses are ruled by men and by a long way (both sit somewhere in the 70% bracket). You hate vanity when the values you cling to encourage it. Patriarchy encourages women to to be less. You doing believe in white male privilege? Look at the top 100 CEOs world wide, vast majority men. Look at history. White men had control of everything until the early 20th century, you honestly think pur culture is unaffected by that male dominance? Why in america are black men shot and killed by scared white men seen as the norm? Why are the prisons filled with ethnic minorities? White male privilege is alive and well, don’t you dare try and tell me otherwise.

              • ThatDudeGuy

                “Whether or not men remove hair on any part of their body is a choice and largely they are not judged for it.”

                This is complete bullshit. I am a guy who shaves his body hair and believe me, I get crap for it 90% of the time by both other males and females. So while you girls are expected to shave, us guys are expected to be hairy in certain spots, else we are seen as less than men unless you’re an extreme body builder because SOMEHOW it’s okay for only them to shave every inch of their body and not receive any backlash.

  • All men

    most butters yat ive ever seen. sort it out

  • CCM

    You don’t have to shave your armpit hair, but I don’t have to find it attractive. Go ahead, don’t shave your armpit hair. Not like the hair police is going to arrest you and send you to hair prison.
    And there are guys who are quite turned on by body hair on women. It’s Rule #36 of the Internet. If it exists, someone has a fetish for it.
    Then again, I’m not attracted to women anyway, and I shave not only my armpits but my whole body.
    Now if you excuse me, I’ve got a Sunday picnic to attend to with other Patriarchs to find yet more ways to oppress women. If you thought pink Legos were the worst form of oppression that women face today, imagine the horror of Pink Knex! *twirls mustache and laughs maniacally*

  • Naturalisbest

    Being a Naturalist is NOT being a Feminist! Don’t confuse the two. A Naturalist rejects shaving. Feminists, however, have the same excluding mindset of hatred that racists have. Feminists will try to increase their ranks under unrelated causes, such as rejecting corporate ideals for beauty. The main goal of Feminists is to take children away from single fathers.