By Angela Lince

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Hurst’s Flickr. This photo shows off what I hoped to achieve, but thanks to my genes, I wasn’t able to grow the luscious, thick armpit hair I desired.

Open the doors for our cold, sweater-approved friend, Winter. He requires all mankind to wear two-inch thick clothing, if you don’t, expect frostbite. This might seem drastic, but Winter is a great friend, especially to those in favor of not shaving four times a week.

For myself, when the cold air reaches my location, I know I’ll be guarded by insulated pants and my desire to shave, will be at its lowest. Although weather contributes to my careless attitude toward shaving, I can say in general I don’t really care if people see the animal growing from my armpit. Sadly, it’s not that way for everyone. Thanks to our modern day society, women shave in order to feel accepted, and be considered clean and pretty.

This norm really upsets me. Yes, I’m just your average cis-gender millennial, who’s mildly passionate about feminist rights — I guess you could say I’m aware of what’s wrong with this world, especially concerning feminist rights. That’s why I decided to conduct a social experiment to personally uncover why people find body hair disgusting on women.

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One month progress. Photo by Angela Lince

My experiment all started with ditching the razor, and asking a few close friends for their opinion. Almost everyone was on board with the exception of a few guy friends who were disgusted.

“Why are you doing this? Don’t you think that’s kind of nasty,” was a common statement. Although these comments hurt, I had to push forward.

Throughout this hair growth journey, I continually dealt with rude comments and mean glances. This was especially the case while working out. I didn’t realize people actually cared about your appearance while in the gym, until I felt eyes beaming into my back. Every time I lifted the weights, showing minimal pit hair, I was given the weirdest look from the dude next to me. I contemplated the idea that maybe I was lifting incorrectly and it bothered him. Let’s hope.

In the eyes of my mother, I was the “Social Justice Warrior” of the year, but that didn’t come easily. After a lengthy explanation as to why I was going against the grain, she finally eased up.

Putting the annoying looks and ignorant comments aside, I happened to discover more about myself than I expected. I realized the boys who can’t handle a free-spirited soul that refuses to abide by social norms, will never have me. I’m not going to change myself for any reason, and most definitely not for anyone, except myself. I won’t pretend to be someone I am not, It’s impossible for me to fake anything. Whoever falls in love with me, will be open-minded, like I am, and will be excited to take on the lame stereotypical world with me.

Social worker Rebecca Corral questions the expectations men have for women by asking, “Shouldn’t woman feel grossed out by a man’s body hair? How is any of this fair?” Corral is right. The only way to end women’s pit hair discrimination is to eliminate it, starting at the womb. As parents, it’s vital to keep your child open-minded. Before handing your daughter a razor, be aware that setting a narrow precedent for her can potentially lead to body image issues down-the-road.

Another way to abolish the pit-hate is to end the “more hair means you’re more masculine” idea.  Stop playing into this gender binary. All genders ARE ALLOWED to grow as much hair as they please, wherever they please. It’s evident that to most of society the amount of body hair you have plays into your gender identification, but that doesn’t mean you have to hop on that bandwagon.

As an advocate for lengthy armpit hair on women, I highly recommend hopping on the body hair bandwagon. Oh, and if you’re really feeling adventurous, add a little colored dye to your armpit hair. I did it, and felt really special.

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