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Shaving is the pits, which is why these badass female celebs ditched their razors and opted to go au naturel. She was 31 years old and the biggest movie star in the world, so showing off her au natural armpit hair proved to be quite a seminal hygiene moment. Madonna has lived for shocking fans with her antics through during her four-decade career. That includes flaunting her natural underarm hair. The Queen of Pop has flashed her unshaved look in numerous Instagram photos over the years, and now her daughter Lourdes Leon is following in her footsteps.


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The only body hair conversation women ever need to read

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List of Partners vendors. JoElle Lee is a skincare expert, educator, author and celebrity esthetician with over 20 years of experience.

Some hollywood women say too busy to shave armpits

She is most noted for being the former personal esthetician to First Lady Michelle Obama. I heard it from boys starting around second grade, and it soon inspired my quest to change what the universe, or at least genetics, had blessed me with hairy arms. My arms and legs, however, were covered in soft, dark hair.

My mother suffered the same fate as me, so it ran in the family. In my mind, having hairy arms made me less pretty, less female, and the fact that it was mainly boys who made fun of me only confirmed my suspicions. That was kind of the point. A February article in The Atlantic delves further into the topicbut the point is, by the beginning of the 20th century, American women were trying all kinds of horrific methods to rid themselves of their body hair. As in the '80s, the choices for hair removal involved chemicals that itched and burned or tearing the hair out by force, which hurt like hell.

I tried all of them. In the beginning, my mother insisted that if I wanted to get rid of my arm hair, bleaching it was the best option. Anything else would cause the hair to grow back in rough and spiky, not unlike how your legs feel a few days after shaving. Though I did it anyway. At a certain point, the '80s brought the advent of the epilatorand my mother bought one for herself. I crouched in the hallway outside her bedroom door, listening to the little exclamations of pain that she tried to keep to a minimum.

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I was intrigued. When I expressed interest in trying out the torture device on myself, my mother told me to help myself, so I did. Naturally, I was wrong. As I got older, I took to using hair removal creams when the days grew warmer. Eventually, to reduce the need to do it so frequently, I moved to waxing and sugaring. By then it was the '90s, and I was in high school, so I did it myself. I can tell you for a fact that I did a terrible job. My goal was always to remove as much hair as possible, but the pain usually prevented me from getting everything, so I was left with random patches of hair, which probably looked weirder than before.

Occasionally, I would see her, walking around with her hairy arms bare, not appearing to care at all.

Shave it or let it grow? collecting stories on women’s body hair

I would simultaneously admire and be disgusted by her choice. Why did she not want to remove her arm hair as well? What did she have inside that I was lacking, that made me feel such revulsion over something so inificant? My obsession with the hair on my arms, and removing it, continued as I grew into adulthood. As I became more upwardly mobile, I began to go to a salon for sugaring because, according to those who professionally sugar, it le to permanency.

I would get lazy during the winter months, but during the summer, my appointments were strategically planned out so that my arms would be hair-free for big events. As the years went on, laser technology improved and prices dropped, so I scoured the group discount sites for laser hair removal deals.

I decided I would spring for the cost to treat myself in the hopes that it would be a more long-term solution. Pregnancy made my skin too sensitive to wax or sugar, and once I had children, there was just no time to go out for a sugaring appointment.

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Little by little, I found myself too busy to notice, too overwhelmed to care about something as trivial as having hairy arms. Postpartum depression, breastfeeding challenges, lack of sleep—these were things that mattered. Hell, I was lucky if I managed to shower every day. When I had finally stopped breastfeeding and had the time and the money to try out laser hair removal, I found myself not really caring anymore. Why would I spend that several hundred dollars on something that only I care about?

Anytime I had brought up this insecurity to friends, they claimed not to have even noticed.

The e(pit)ome of women empowerment! stars who ditched the razor and put their armpit hair on full display

Who was I doing this for? Women and some men spend thousands of dollars to appear to have less hair, and for what? To feel better about ourselves? To attract a partner? In fact, looking back it seems kind of ridiculous to have been so strongly impacted by what those year-old boys said to me all those years ago.

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I Accept Show Purposes. Skin Body. By Glynis Ratcliffe Glynis Ratcliffe. Glynis is a Canadian writer with over four years of experience. Her work also appears on Romper and The Washington Post.

Embracing my hairy arms was the most liberating thing i've ever done

Byrdie's Editorial Guidelines. Updated on Apr 04, Reviewed by JoElle Lee. Reviewed by JoElle Lee on Jun 30, Featured Video. Related Stories.

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Men have "Movember," where they grow out their facial hair to raise money and awareness for men's health issues, and now ladies have "Januhairy," a reason to skip shaving and grow their body hair with pride.


They've ditched their razors and have embraced their body hair.


Maybe the answer, like many cultural answers, is in history — body hair removal can be traced back for centuries.


This month, women all over world are putting down their razors, waxing strips, tweezers, thread, lasers and everything else we use to pluck, pick and remove hair and going au naturale.