As a female, I have spent years shaving my armpits every few days. I became embarrassed whenever it grew longer than four days and people would see it. I was taught to shave there because women don't have armpit hair—I was told it is gross and not something women have.
This summer, while working at my summer camp, I started questioning why I was shaving. I really couldn't think of a good reason why I should be shaving—it's only hair, after all.
So I told my friends that I was going to see how long I could go without shaving my armpits and legs. I wanted to see what it was like to grow out my hair and embrace it. I didn't think I would make it very long. After a few weeks, I shaved my legs, but not my armpits. And now over after about two months, I am still going strong.
It felt so freeing to not shave every few days. I stopped being embarrassed about my body hair. I fully embraced the hair and barely notice it now. Sometimes I wear tank tops for the point of showing it off, because why the hell not? It is so incredibly liberating to not shave and show off what your body does naturally.
My camp friends were fully supportive of my hairy pits—boyfriend included. I came home from camp and got a few cracks from my parents and sister. They are not as into it and try to avoid seeing my armpit hair. I have been offered a razor on multiple occasions and asked questions about it—but no razor has been used.
Going into my experiment, I thought I would smell much worse now that I have hairy armpits. I haven't noticed much of a difference; although, I do unconsciously put on more deodorant and wash my pits more thoroughly than before.
I don't love the look of hairy armpits, but the meaning behind it is so liberating that it doesn't matter. I have always been a person who has struggled with body confidence and by doing this, I have gained so much confidence.
Something so small, like armpit hair, made me really think about how I shouldn't be obsessing about how I look and what other people think about my appearance.
The entire experience of letting my body hair grow out was incredibly freeing. I stopped feeling insecure about what my body naturally does and what other people think. I can't even remember why I was nervous when I didn't shave for a few days and thought people would notice. I encourage anyone who feels the pressure to shave their armpits to let loose and go natural.