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Women with Armpit Hair, Dyed Pink: a New Way to Shock

2015-07-16

The latest thing is to not just let your underarm hair grow out, but to dye it.  This results in a dramatic effect which is rather charming when done in shocking pink or other eye-catching colors.

I’d show you a picture if I had one.  If you want to see pictures, check it out here: axilla (the New York Times.)

The practice of shaving your pits was recorded in ancient Rome by Seneca, who criticized the opposite practices of shaving all hair, including the legs, and leaving all hair alone, including the axilla.  According to Wikipedia, shaving underarms became widespread among women around 1915 in the US and Canada, but not in Europe until after WW II.

Muhammad recommended that both sexes shave their underarm hair and that has become standard practice for most Muslims since then.   Competitive swimmers, mostly male, shave all their body hair, including the axilla, to reduce friction in the water.

The Straight Dope points out an article  from 1982 in the Journal of American Culture by Christine Hope bearing the grand title “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture” that reveals an ulterior motive.   Ms. Hope states that women shaving their underarm hair began as a widespread practice only after a marketing campaign that started in 1915 in Harper’s magazine, simultaneously with the fashion of wearing sleeveless dresses in summer.  Shaving one’s legs, in this view, was also associated with the appearance of short skirts and sheer stockings.  See the article, linked here, for more details.

Since the 1960’s, a reaction to this trend occurred among the “hippie” culture, and American women began to leave their axillary hair unshorn, along with burning their bras.  Now, having underarm hair isn’t shocking enough, and dull people are saying it’s ugly.  So dying it pink is a new option.  You have to use caution, though, because the skin there is sensitive; you can’t use full strength peroxide to bleach it, only half-strength.

I think it’s kind of cute.

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