Women have only been shaving their armpits for about a century. Before the advent of the sleeveless dress — and an ad in Harper’s Bazaar for depilatory powder that removed “objectionable hair — American women rarely bared their underarms in public, anyway. One hundred years later, if a celebrity is caught on camera with a little fuzz where it’s not expected, it becomes a news story and the subject of disgust, an unseemly act of laziness or a charged political statement.
It’s nothing new for women to decide not to shave, for either personal or political reasons. But a new trend celebrates the hair under there with a little more glamour by livening it up with some color. Credit for the trend goes to Roxie Hunt, a hairstylist at Seattle salon Vain. Hunt celebrates armpit hair as “direct-action feminism.” “By having hairy pits,” she writes, “I am exercising my right to make my own choices about my own body.”
Her pit proclamation made, Hunt set about dying her co-worker’s armpit hair a vibrant shade of aquamarine and detailed the process in a blog post. The hashtags #dyedpits and #ladypithair, though they appeared before Hunt’s manifesto, have seen an uptick in recent months, with the colorful results on full display.
Hunt was so pleased with the results of her first underarm dye job that she hopes to do it again. “Maybe some day we can try a different shade,” she writes.