BY BLAIRE ERSKINE
Body hair is nothing to be ashamed of. With each passing year, more and more women seem to be shortening their shower time by skipping right over shaving and embracing their natural body hair. While this might spark a sense of panic for razor companies, this revelation undoubtedly gives women who want to spend their time focusing on something other than every stray body hair reason to celebrate.
According to Christine Hope (via USA Today), society has been pressuring American women to rid themselves of body hair for over a century, with advertisements for razors appearing as early as 1915. However, we’re living in the 21st century now, baby — and all signs point to body hair making a big comeback.
Artist/model Alexandra Marzella revealed in a 2018 Vogue article that she’d “stopped shaving completely” years earlier. She explained that she will shave on occasion — but only if she feels like it. And it would appear that Marzella is in good company, as a number of A-list celebs have also opened up about living the wax-free, razor-free lifestyle and embracing their natural bodies. Here’s a look at just some of the celebrities who take pride in their body hair.
Julia Roberts’ accidental Notting Hill body hair reveal
These days, many celebrities take to social media to show off their body hair — but one of the most famous celebrity body hair moments was captured long before the rise of Instagram.
In 1999, Julia Roberts was at the height of her career, having spent the last decade starring in films such as Steel Magnolias, Mystic Pizza, and Pretty Woman. Of course, Roberts looked every bit the superstar she was (and still is) when she hit the red carpet in April 1999 for the premiere of her new film, Notting Hill. Wearing a red Vivienne Tam dress sparkling with sequins, America’s Sweetheart was all smiles as she posed for photographers and waved at fans, revealing her unshaven armpits while doing so.
During a 2018 episode of Busy Tonight (via Allure), host Busy Phillips asked Roberts if she’d intended to make a statement with hairy underarms. “I think I just hadn’t really calculated my sleeve length and the waving,” Roberts replied. She added, “So it wasn’t so much a statement as it’s just part of the statement I make as a human on the planet for myself.”
Amandla Stenberg loves her au naturel body hair
Actress Amandla Stenberg has made many a headline for her outspokenness — tackling subjects like cultural appropriation (via Dazed), adding to the conversation surrounding preferred pronouns (via Teen Vogue), and coming out as gay (via Wonderland). In October 2018, Stenberg made more headlines when she revealed her unshaven body hair during the European premiere for The Hate U Give (via Glamour). The star posted a picture of her red carpet look on Instagram with her armpit hair in view, captioning the photo with the hashtags “#drama” and “#armpit.”
Nearly a year later, Stenberg once again showed off her au naturel pits on Instagram, posing in a matching tank and underwear set with her arm stretched up and out of frame. While most comments were supportive of the star, one follower commented, “But I can see the hair under your arms.” Of course, Stenberg’s fans were quick to shut down any negativity. One fan replied, “So what[?] She is beautiful the way she is.” Another follower took a more sardonic approach to the questionable commenter, writing in reply, “Good for you … Fun fact: That’s a predominant spot in which hair grows.”
Paris Jackson is giving her brother a run for his money when it comes to body hair
Paris Jackson, daughter of the late Michael Jackson, has never been one to shy away from being completely and authentically herself. The model and actress has a history of standing up and speaking out for what she believes in.
In March 2018, Jackson took to Twitter to address fans directly and request that they stop editing photos to adjust the color of her skin (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Please stop lightening my skin to make me look more white,” Jackson wrote. She continued, “And please stop darkening my skin to make me look more mixed. I am what I am. I’m aware of what I look like and [I’m] finally happy with it”
Her “I am what I am” mindset should come as no surprise to those who have followed Jackson’s career. After all, in August 2017, the star took to Instagram to show off a photo of her body hair, captioning it, “If you’re not competing with your brother over who can grow longer leg hair, [what’re you even doing?]”
Emily Ratajkowski’s body hair makes her feel “sexier” sometimes
Emily Ratajkowski made quite a wave in 2013 when she starred in the music video for Robin Thicke’s controversial song “Blurred Lines” wearing next-to-nothing. In a 2015 interview with InStyle UK (via E! News), Ratajkowski revealed that the music video was the “bane of [her] existence.” The actress/model doesn’t like that her name is seemingly forever tied to the “Blurred Lines” video, but she’s not ashamed of appearing nearly nude. The star told InStyle UK, “It’s weird to me that the reaction to a woman’s naked body is so controversial in our culture.” She continued, saying, “I also don’t think I’ve ever had an awareness of my own body as being super-sexual. It was always just my body.”
In August 2019, Ratajkowski once again addressed her body in a major publication, this time with a personal essay published in Harper’s Bazaar. Addressing body hair, the star wrote, “For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose.” Ratajkowski added, “On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy.”
Bella Thorne embraces her lazy side when it comes to body hair
Bella Thorne — the actress and singer who was catapulted to fame after scoring the role of CeCe Jones on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up — has been the subject of many headlines and water cooler conversations for consistently and unabashedly presenting her genuine self to fans. In 2019, the star even released a collection of poems detailing her personal struggles called The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray.
However, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul wasn’t the first time Thorne used her writing talent to express herself to fans. In July 2017, the star penned an essay for InStyle, in which she discussed her feelings on the stigma surrounding women with body hair.
“Guys feel more manly when they have body hair, right?” Thorne wrote in the essay, including a headline-making photo she’d previously shared featuring her unshaven leg (via Glamour). The star continued, posing the completely reasonable question, “So what’s the problem with a woman wanting to feel more manly (or, in my case, just lazy AF)?”
Scout Willis opens up about the state of her underarm body hair
Unlike her famous parents, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Scout Willis seems to prefer staying out of the spotlight. In May 2019, the famous daughter took to Instagram to put the paparazzi on blast. Alongside a photo featuring Willis and her younger sister, Tallulah, being caught off guard by paparazzi photographers while purchasing snacks, Willis wrote, “You know, if you’re ever in need of some humility, just come back in your next life through the vagina of a celebrity and you too can have an existence filled with surprise paparazzi encounters.” Poking a bit of fun at herself, Willis added that her face in the photo looked as if she was “enjoying the smell of [her] own fart.”
While she might hate being the center of attention, Willis definitely made headlines in February 2015 when she arrived to her first photography exhibition at London’s Hoxton Gallery sporting visible body hair under her arms (via People). The response to her unshaven pits prompted Willis to later address them on Twitter, writing, “Love that I make art and all people seem to care about is the state of my underarms.”
Madonna has body hair and doesn’t care
If there’s one word that could be universally agreed upon to describe Madonna, we imagine that word would be “fearless.” As anyone who’s even slightly followed the superstar’s life and career knows, Madonna has famously used her music, music videos, and legendary fashion and costuming to make bold statements. As noted in a 2018 piece in The Guardian, Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition tour “broke box-office records and taboos, mixing themes of female sexuality, power, religion and gender fluidity.” Considering the superstar’s history of going against the grain and redefining gender norms, it makes perfect sense that Madonna would both let her body hair grow freely and proudly present it to the world.
In March 2014, Madonna posted a photo to Instagram that some might consider quite revealing — and not just because of the lacy black bra she’s donning. In the photo, the “Like A Prayer” singer has her arm strategically folded behind her head, making her unshaven armpit the star of the show. Madonna captioned the photo, “Long hair … Don’t care!” The star also added the hashtags “#artforfreedom” “#rebelheart,” and “revolutionoflove” to the eye-catching post.
Lourdes Leon takes her body hair cues from Mom
Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon seems to have taken after her mother in the fearlessness department. While she’s not in the spotlight nearly as much as Madonna was in her early 20s, Leon certainly received a penchant for bending the rules from her superstar mom.
At the 2018 Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Awards, Leon stepped onto the scene in a sheer white dress that quickly became the talk of fashion publications — much like the similarly sheer white dress Madonna wore for her “Like A Virgin” performance at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards. However, Leon’s white dress moment was perhaps even more iconic for the way her nipple was clearly visible through the super sheer fabric.
That said, Leon’s breast wasn’t the only thing that had people talking about her look for the evening. In addition to sporting unshaven legs, the model lifted her arms while posing for photographers, proudly showing an armpit full of dark body hair. While we don’t know for certain when Leon stopped shaving her pits, a December 2017 Instagram post from Madonna features Leon showing off her pits and grinning from ear to ear.
Lena Dunham made body hair a priority
Lena Dunham — creator, writer, and star of the hit HBO series Girls — has long been vocal about body positivity and her own struggles with body image. “I spend a lot of my career trying to break down the negative forces that the media exerts on women in trying to control their body image,” Dunham revealed in 2014 interview on Good Morning America. “So for me it’s all very sort of anathema to who I am to admit that I too have struggled with the concept of perfection.”
In her 2014 memoir, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned (via The Washington Post), Dunham opened up about the pressure women feel to shave or wax their body hair, writing that sometimes the decision to shave or not shave isn’t always decided by women themselves.
A year later, in 2015, Dunham apparently did make the decision for herself, revealing on Instagram that she wanted to “grow her armpit hair for summer” (via The Washington Post). And, in January 2016, a bit of underarm fuzz could indeed be seen in a bikini pic Dunham posted to her account.
Lola Kirke’s armpit body hair can’t be controlled
Fans of Mozart in the Jungle likely recognize Lola Kirke as the actress behind the show’s central character, Hayley Rutledge. Kirke has also appeared in Gone Girl as Greta, as well as alongside a real-life Greta — the Gerwig one – in Mistress America. And, if you loved HBO’s Girls, you’re definitely familiar with Kirke’s older sister, actress Jemima Kirke.
However, if none of this is ringing a bell, perhaps you know Kirke as the woman who rocked hairy armpits at the 2017 Golden Globes (via HuffPost). Apparently, a number of viewers had some deeply troubling feelings about Kirke’s unshaven pits, as the actress revealed in a January 2017 Instagram post. “Thanks to all you beautiful people who didn’t send me death threats on account of my #awesome #hairyarmpits!,” Kirke captioned a post showing off her Golden Globes look.
According to Kirke, the stigma surrounding women with body hair stems from a need for control. “Hairlessness is equated with consumption,” the star told Teen Vogue. She continued, “And when a woman defies the ability to be easily consumed, that’s threatening, because when we consume them, we’re able to control them.”
Bekah Martinez embraced body hair for her daughter
Bekah Martinez made waves within Bachelor Nation when she appeared on Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor. At only 22 years old, Martinez was the youngest woman competing for the affections of the 36-year-old race car driver. And while she ultimately didn’t walk away engaged to Luyendyk Jr., the quick wit she displayed throughout her time on the season quickly made Martinez a total fan favorite.
After her time on The Bachelor, Martinez started dating a non-Bachelor Nation man, Grayston Leonard, and gave birth to their first child together in February 2019 — daughter Ruth. In August 2019, the reality star took to Instagram to open up about how becoming a mother completely changed her perspective on cultivating a healthy body image.
“I stopped shaving my legs and armpits about a year ago as a practice of self-love,” Martinez captioned a photo featuring her unshaven legs. Revealing that she’d always struggled with her body hair, Martinez continued, “When I got pregnant, I decided to work to overcome this insecurity … It’s about showing girls you don’t have to listen when society tells you your natural features are ugly or gross.”
Miley Cyrus showed off her body hair and sported hairy pink pits
While Miley Cyrus has changed up her appearance and public persona numerous times, it’s safe to say the star has completely shaken off her days as Hannah Montana. The former Disney darling has made a number of bold career moves since breaking out of the teeny-bopper role, famously causing a collective gasp throughout America when she twerked on Robin Thicke during their 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.
To put it simply, Cyrus has proven herself to be a person who’s unafraid to take risks and turn the public’s perception of her on its head. In April 2015, the star debuted her armpit hair during Joan Jett’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — and the very next month, she took to Instagram to reveal that she’d dyed her underarm hair a vibrant shade of pink (via The Hollywood Reporter).
While a September 2019 Instagram post appears to show Cyrus with hairless pits, we don’t doubt that she’ll bring back the body hair sometime in the future. We’re definitely #TeamPinkPits over here!
Lady Gaga and her pits’ peach fuzz body hair
Lady Gaga made an entire career out of subverting the expectations of how a proper pop star is supposed to look and act. From the meat dress she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010 (which will perhaps go down in red carpet history as fashion’s most eccentric moment), to the time she turned herself into a human bouquet for London’s 2012 Fashion Week, this gal has always opted to stand out rather than blend in — and has encouraged her fan base (a.k.a. her Little Monsters) to love themselves for who they are. So, it makes sense that Gaga would be one to ditch the razor and let her body hair grow where it may.
Most Gaga fans likely remember the time she rocked turquoise armpit wigs during a 2011 performance of “Born This Way,” but in a June 2017 Instagram post, no wigs were necessary. In the selfie posted to Gaga’s Instagram, a bit of fuzz is clearly visible on the “Bad Romance” singer’s armpit — though it’s not quite as noticeable as those turquoise armpit toupées.
Gaga captioned the fuzzy photo, “Like a summer peach.”
SOURCE: THE LIST