What is the link between PCOS and (armpit) hair?
Nothing, directly. One of the possible symptoms of PCOS is hirsutism (excessive hair growth where it ‘normally’ doesn’t grow on women) and this is something some women with PCOS may struggle with, especially given that almost all images of women in the popular media show women (PCOS or not!) as largely hairless (except on their heads, of course!) The rich variety and diversity of body hair growth in women is never represented, which makes it very easy to assume that you’re the odd one out.
What does ‘cis and trans women’ mean?
A cis person is someone who identifies as the gender they were ascribed at birth, whilst a trans person is someone who identifies differently to the gender they were ascribed at birth. Armpits4August respects every individual’s gender identification and is open to all self-identified women.
Aren’t you just a rip-off of Movember?
Maybe. But we’re also trying to start (continue) a conversation about body hair more generally.
Are you just a bunch of hairy man-hating lesbians?
No. Not at all. See here.
Do I have to grow my body hair to be a feminist?
No, of course not – it’d be as useless as a chocolate teapot to simply switch one set of enforced beauty practices for another! Our point is rather that the dominant and pervasive practice of body hair removal for women is seen to be so obligatory (by most) that many women have removed their body hair from the point it first emerged and have never (been able) to consider the alternative. The perceived necessity to conform to such narrow ideas of beauty is harmful to our sense of self-confidence and self-worth as well as being ridiculously time-consuming and expensive. This recent trend (insofar as it’s become normalised for the vast majority of women living in the west during the c20th) has become so quickly entrenched that it’s easy to find someone who will argue that it’s more ‘natural’ for women not to have body hair. Armpits4August isn’t trying to argue for the superiority of whatever being ‘natural’ actually means but, de facto, it cannot be more ‘natural’ to remove naturally occurring body hair. Yet, for many, it appears so. The idea of not removing body hair is, for many women (perhaps most?) a scary idea, particularly because of the worry about how others might react. We hope to create a safe space and environment where women who want to can try and see how they feel about it, whilst raising money and awareness for a good cause. If you decide afterwards to continue with regular body hair removal, then at least you own that decision.
Do I have to be a feminist to grow my body hair?
No! We encourage all women (self-identifying) to participate and grow their body hair, regardless of whether they also identify as a feminist. We do, however, consider the ubiquitous practise of body hair removal to be a feminist issue.
Can I plait my pit hair?
Yes, if you can grow it long enough! Send us a pic for the website!
Can I participate without growing my pit hair?
Yes. If you don’t feel comfortable actually growing your pit hair, please show your support by donating money to the cause, buying merch, growing out other body hair, being supportive to other women giving it a go, attending actions or coming up with your own. If you already have hairy pits, we suggest dying them in solidarity! We could have a rainbow of pits!
Can men participate?
We welcome support from men who can show they are allies by donating money to the cause, buying merch, being supportive to women giving it a go, or even by dying their own pit hair!