I remember that moment clearly.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in April. I was 11 years old and my feet were boiling in my riding boots. As I kicked my boots off I saw something I had never seen on my skin before: black hair around my ankles. I looked at them in disgust. Something was terribly wrong!
Turned out nothing was wrong. I had just grown my first body hair. Womanhood had taken its first steps, in its own natural way. I had just never seen it before.
Women spend approximately $10,000 and eight weeks of their lives getting rid of body hair. Time and money wise, it is equal to a month-long all-inclusive yoga retreat in Bali, plus four extra weeks lying on a beach with another thousand dollars to spend on mojitos.
Instead of treating ourselves with a yoga retreat, we get our hair plucked and waxed out. Result: smooth for a week and it’s itchy for the next three. And the cycle goes on. This trend has been pretty standard since the 80s.
But now it looks like something is happening. Today Miley Cyrus posted this picture of herself licking her armpit (not so surprised), and Lena Dunham revealed that her summer plans include growing hairy underarms. There’s a whole Instagram account devoted to pictures of women and men showing off their hairiness.
Recently I went to a Hatha yoga class in London. Our teacher was an Australian lady in her mid-twenties. When we raised our arms for the first sun salutations, I saw it. Hair. Thick, long, black hair in her armpits. I felt like the clean and cute yoga world was suddenly kicked in the a*s by this real human being. I almost put my thumb up. You go yogi girl.
Summer is almost here and the magazines are already competing for our attention with lines like, “Reveal your inner Goddess“ or “Here’s how to get your sexiest summer legs!” Of course, “sexy” and “goddess” here is equal to hairless and smooth.
Sorry folks but I think Summer 2016 is going to be different. Hair is on its way to becoming the new cool. First, we will see it on trendsetters and the cool kids but soon we will all get used to it—like we got used to high waist jeans and leggings and Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows.
If children are now seeing hairy women, perhaps they won’t get freaked out like I did after my horse riding lesson. Because really, there shouldn’t be anything freaky about having hair.
It’s us to decide what we want to do with it. If growing it back all old school feels like the right thing, heck go for it.
Save those pennies for that Tequila Sunrise in Bali.
Author: Sara Kärpänen
Editor: Caitlin Oriel