For decades, it’s been an unspoken rule among women that having visible armpit hair is uncouth and a sign of poor grooming.
However, a growing number of women are taking back their armpit hair for themselves.
According to a December 3 Styleite article, these women are adding hair extensions to their already-grown-out armpit hair, bedazzling them with stick-on sequins and even dyeing their pits bright, candy-colored shades.
Roxie Hunt, a Seattle hairdresser, was among the first proponents of dyeing one’s armpit hair, according to the Washington Post, when she decided to accentuate a co-worker’s blue hair by helping the woman dye her armpit hair the same shade of blue.
The trend really took off after Hunt posted a blog entry detailing how to dye your armpit hair. The blog post has been shared more than 35,000 times, the Washington Post reports.
Since the blog entry went up, hundreds of women have shared photos of their own rainbow-colored pits with Hunt — the “free your pits” movement was in full swing. The movement celebrates a woman’s right to make choices regarding their own bodily appearances, and to embrace body hair as a normal part of being a human.
“I would hope that in the next few years we can normalize the concept and female body hair and change the dialogue about what this country considers naturally beautiful,” Hunt told the Washington Post.
“This is really a fad that someone thought they could start but probably didn’t work,” says Capri Bougere, Owner/Operator, Strictly Styles Salon. “I don’t think this would go over well in the corporate world either. Even still, most women shave their underarms because it’s clean and fresh. Also if the hair extensions under your arm got caught on something I’m sure that would be very painful.”
Reactions among the women who have dyed their armpits and posted photos to their Tumblrs, Instagrams and Twitters to join in on the #freeyourpits movement have been largely positive — a mix between celebratory and rebellious in nature.
However, reactions among the public and the women’s friends and family have been largely negative.
Destiny Moreno, a Seattle high school student, told the Washington Post that her family members were “disgusted” by her dyed armpit hair at first; however, her friends have been largely supportive of her choice. Meanwhile, behind the veil of anonymity, Internet users have left comments on Moreno’s YouTube videos — which currently have more than 170,000 views — that either question her sexuality or call her a hippie.