Fluffy pits: reflections on #Armpits4August

Today is the last day of Armpits4August, where women grow their armpit hair throughout the month to raise money for Verity, a charity for people with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Before I continue, let me provide the obligatory link so you can donate.

As the month draws to a close, I’ve decided not to bother shaving it off again. I rather like it.

I always found it strange how leaving one’s armpits in their natural state could possibly be a political act. Thanks to patriarchal beauty standards, though, it is. Patriarchy and capitalism got drunk together one night and found a really good way of oppressing women while forcing them to shell out money on thoroughly unnecessary products. After that, they hugged, expressed their glee at being on the same page, then ended up awkwardly snogging until capitalism passed out snoring. The next morning, avoiding eye contact, they decided to pretend that the tonsil-hockey hadn’t happened, but the getting women to remove hair from their armpits was Definitely A Good Idea and they should totally do it. Unlike most drunken plans, they totally did it. 

Growing up under this system, I started shaving my armpits the second hair started growing there. Maybe even a bit before, just because I thought I should. When the light went on and I realised how preposterous this was, I didn’t stop shaving, even though I knew I didn’t have to. It would always get to That Awful In Between Stage, like growing out a fringe. It was stubbly and awful, and it itched like fuck. So I’d shave it off again.

Armpits4August gave me the opportunity to finally force myself through that barrier. After a month of growth, I now have about half an inch of lovely fluff. I’d never even been able to gauge what it would look like, given my history of shaving. It turns out it’s soft and dark, with a little patch left bare where the joint is. You can see a photo here, and while you’re on the page you might as well sponsor me.

It’s no more or less trouble than shaving it off. It doesn’t smell, and it’s kind of fun to wash because you can shampoo it. When I sit in front of a fan, the breeze gently tickles the hair. But perhaps best of all, it’s a really good filter to identify arseholes.

Most people have been fairly positive about the whole armpit-hair growth. The majority of those who are less than enthusiastic are, at least, completely neutral to the whole thing, because it really is no big deal what anyone else does with their body. Nobody I’ve had sex with has run away screaming; it’s been greeted largely with, at best, an “I like that” and at worse complete indifference. This is because I tend to have sex with cool people.

I’ve only received a tiny bit of negative feedback. Some of it comes from trolls, who would still find reason to attack me if I lived their dreams and got married to Julian Assange at an EDL rally. The rest comes from sexist men, who are probably rather menaced by women not existing solely for their entertainment and amusement. In short, the negativity comes from people I don’t care much to know anyway.

And so I’m keeping my fluffy pits and it will be exciting to see what happens next. I’ll finish by saying DONATE DONATE! IT’S ALL FOR CHARITY!

3 thoughts on “Fluffy pits: reflections on #Armpits4August”

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