Body hair

Forgive me if this is too much information, but i don’t shave anywhere.  And i can’t believe that it has to be like this, but my parents give me so much shit for not shaving my armpits.

They’ve long given up on my legs, but ohhhh no, you better shave your armpits before you start teaching.  They claim that “most people” find underarm hair on women repulsive.  They actually put it on the same level as indecent exposure.

I just can’t, even for a second, accept their hypothesis of “it’s repulsive to most,” because not only do i find it attractive on both men and women, i’m not willing to buy that something as natural as body hair could be considered “repulsive.”  If cultural norms dictate that it’s acceptable on men, why shouldn’t it be acceptable on women, too?

I honestly haven’t a clue if people (other than my parents) really do find it repulsive.  I guess it doesn’t get talked about very much, at least not around me.  So i need your opinion.  Do you find underarm hair on women offensive?  Why or why not? Please try to give reasons, and feel free to remain anonymous if you want.

P.S.  If you’re interested, this post by my friend Sam has the beginnings of a discussion on women’s body hair, coupled with some relevant artwork.



Filed under the body

14 responses to “Body hair

  1. Lauren

    While I don’t think I would have the balls to let my pits go au natural, I don’t think it’s offensive at all. I once listened to a guy go on a rant about how he had to back out of dancing with a girl at a party once she revealed her fuzzy axilla. In his attempt to sound like some kind of mac daddy with very high standards, he instead sounded like someone who had never had much time in the presence of a woman’s body. Not saying that to have a preference against body hair is bad, but to act appalled at the sight of it is childish.

  2. Ra

    To be frank, hairless guys freak me out just as much as hairy women. I don’t mean just a bit of hair you can barely see on a woman’s legs, but really hairy women I find to be unattractive. Guys should have hair. I find that to be a sign of masculinity. Hairy women can also appear to be quite masculine to me. But, I like guys with clean shaven faces and find facial hair to be really unattractive to men and women, especially the mustache. What can I say? I like a clean look! However, it doesn’t mean I shave everyday. I go without shaving for weeks! I just hide it very well so no one knows.

    • n

      But we’re not talking attractive/unattractive here. What i’d like to know is if it’s considered offensive on women. Or do you equate attractiveness with acceptability? Because i guess some people’s aesthetics could work that way…

  3. yao

    Offensive would be too strong a word but my feelings of armpit hair on both men and women is mutual. To put it simply, it makes me cringe. Cause your pits sweat. And it doesn’t get a lot of airing out unless you walk around with your arms above your head all day. Add coarse strands of hair on a hot summer day and it’s like a permanent sauna in there. Plus, if you wear deodorant, then the hair gets clumped… Too graphic? I’ll stop.

    • n

      Yeah, i thought the same thing about clumping when i first started wearing deodorant, but if you let it dry before putting your top on, the hair stays unclumped. And i don’t know if just having hair there makes you sweat more.

  4. I’d think that any woman in this day and age go unshaven is pretty darn brave. It’s very unique and if I ever came across a woman who proudly showed her armpit hair to me, I might be surprised but I wouldn’t find it offensive. However, if her armpit hair was out of control hairy, I think I’d find it pretty offensive. Just because I want everyone to trim and take care of their hair wherever it is growing from.


  5. worldin1450

    My question is: how many times are you going to wear sleeveless? When I shave I usually forget to do both legs and armpits, and honestly it doesn’t really matter since no one will see it.

    However I think I’m susceptible to the social norm, and even though I don’t think offensive is the word, I find it uncomfortable when I do see an unshaven armpit in a girl (one of the girls on my badminton team doesn’t shave and she wears sleeveless all the time). I guess I’m just not used to see it in real life?

    • n

      I’ll be wearing sleeveless for the hotter days of august, but probably won’t have a need to once school starts. But i think you can see a tiny bit of the hair if you wear short sleeves and raise your arms (teaching english will probably require a lot of miming).

      I guess it could be an uncomfortable surprise if you’re not used to seeing it… I just didn’t think it was that uncommon for it to be unshaven.

  6. Eden

    I don’t believe that it’s offensive at all. There’s nothing wrong with women having body hair in terms of how offensive it is. Of course if it’s too much and seemingly out of control, then it can look horrible, but offensiveness and attractiveness are different things. You might get surprised reactions though, if just because it’s rare in women.

    I’m not sure why they say it’s important ‘before you start teaching’ either. Would you be wearing vests or short-sleeved shirts around students?

    • n

      I completely agree that offensiveness and attractiveness are different things.

      I figure if my school is lax when it comes to the teachers’ dress code, i could be wearing short-sleeved button-downs, and some of the hair could potentially be seen. I honestly don’t think that’s reason enough to remove it, though. I just think they don’t want me to be seen by anyone anywhere with armpit hair showing. :\

  7. njs

    I read a trivia fact somewhere when I was around 15 that mentioned how much more time women spend shaving than men, and I didn’t understand why until I asked someone. About a year later I was floored by seeing someone with unshaven underarms.

    When the shock had worn off a few hours later (no, no exaggeration) I realized that I found it immensely attractive. Since then, only one person I’ve dated has not shaved their underarms. When I mentioned to the others that I found it attractive they didn’t understand and felt it was weird and declined to stop shaving even in the hypothetical case where there were no social pressures.

    I’m all about letting people make their own decisions, but it seems strange there is such an aversion to the natural state of things. I also think my ignorance about the matter shows how little people are actually offered an informed choice anymore.

  8. hairyjazmin

    I didn’t know I would become a goddess if I shaved. Or how I’m kind of hairy and I
    don’t care if you are or not.
    And no one else should either.
    Rambling if you will, about armpit and body hair. And not very well put together at that.
    The subject of armpit and body hair, in all it’s forms on women, seems to be not a big body
    issue debate topic. Not one that I’ve come across, but maybe I just haven’t seen it.
    It’s probably there amongst all the other loads of body issues and projections done
    onto your body. Lost among the airbrushing, dieting overkill wash of TV and magazine
    advertisements that we just get everyday.
    But it’s there.
    It’s on TV all the time and just like everything they tell you that you should be as
    a woman, it using words and images to let you know that this is how you need to look
    to be attractive as a woman.
    “I’m your Venus, I’m your power, Your desire”
    For shaving. If you shave, not only will you become like the goddess Venus, a sexual
    attractive being wanted by all. Poetry and art has been created around this single
    idea and form. But you are empowered for it. If you don’t shave, well that’s just
    the opposite.
    “It gets closer so you can get closer.”
    Because no one wants to get close to someone with armpit hair? Hm. Yes. That in order
    to be intimate with someone you need to take care of your pit hair and remove it.
    Advertising is a problem, but the way people think? Sometimes others things like
    porn take a big play on that.
    Example from texts from last night.:
    “apparently he was unaware women come in unshaved form. curse you redtube and your
    unholy lies”
    There are two things here.
    1. The assumptions that all women’s armpits are hairless all the time. That they have
    always been this way and always will be. If not, something is wrong with them.
    2. Pornography tells lies about women. But pornography tells the truth about men.
    This is brought to a blinding brightness with the comments that follow. One of the
    the top rated comments saying:
    “apparently she was unaware women shouldn’t come in unshaved form.”
    Emphasis added. Because really? They shouldn’t? Culture has taught us that you have
    to shave you do not have a choice Otherwise you are unattractive and unkempt. That
    it is gross to have hair armpit hair in site where others see it. And porn has taught men that all women shave,
    should have, have to shave. At least all women that you will want to be with,
    or should be with.
    This is where society and porn have turned shaving, which is a choice and made it a
    How many times do you look at a girl with stubble on her legs and think (or even
    heard someone say), “didn’t she have time to shave that?” or armpits too. I’ve heard
    girls make excuses, “Oh, I worn a long sleeve because I didn’t have time to shave my
    armpits.” or “I would have to shave” I have to shave. Not I want to shave.
    Because you cannot be seen this way with out being judged for it and all attractive
    women shave, it’s just the way things are.
    I am, by choice, a random shaver. I shave sometimes and other times I don’t. It’s
    been four years now as a “Hairy Girl” though. It has nothing to do with what I’m
    wearing or if I am with someone. If their biggest issue with me is armpit hair, that is
    their issue not mine. They do not have to like my pit hair, that’s their
    preference. But I am not going to change that because it’s what they want. If and
    when I feel like changing that, I will. But if someone asks me, and they have, to
    shave for them. For sex or just when we go out. It’s a no.
    Why? Because I don’t think it’s “icky” or “unhygienic” or “manly”.
    Because you don’t ask a girl to change her hair color because it’s not your
    preference. Or her shoes and cloths and make-up. You don’t start asking her to
    change the way she talks, where she works or what she eats. You as a person, make
    your own personal decisions for a reason, because it’s who and what you are.
    Someones preference should not make you feel as though you have to do something
    If you want to shave, by all means do. I’m not concerned about who shaves their
    armpits. I’m concerned that people think women need to shave and that if you don’t?
    You are not a goddess among the long tan legs of every ad out there.
    Truth be told, my new hubby happens to love my armpit hair. He says an unshaved women looks like a women when a shaved women looks like a child.
    I will end this for now.
    Your UNSHAVED and HAIRY mistress, not your SHAVED goddess!!!!!!

  9. I am just checking in to see how you and your wonderful growth is doing. I hope you have found what it is that makes YOU happy.
    your hairy mistress

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