A month-long campaign encouraging women to grow out their body hair has got off to a flying start, with women from around the world showing their support with social media selfies.
Januhairy, started by Laura Jackson, 21, from Warwickshire was launched at the beginning of the month to help women love and accept their natural hair while raising money for charity – similar to a female version of Movember.
While some are flaunting the natural fuzz on their armpits, others have taken photos of their unshaven legs, saying there’s no shame in rocking a natural look.
Women from all over the world have already joined in with 21-year-old student Laura Jackson’s month-long Januhairy campaign that aims to raise money for a body confidence charity. Pictured: Instagram user alinegooncalves from Brazil shows her support
One user, who posted a picture of her hairy underarms, commented: #januhairy and all year long really. #nye #2k19 #noshavenoshame
Another said: I believe in my choice of shaving when I want to, not because you think I’m disgusting.
‘I know a woman can be #sexy with #hairylegs or without. Also men are sexy with #hair or #nohair #romanianvlogger #hairylegs #freedom #freeyourself.
The campaign’s supporters have been created with their captions – Londoner sophielmee wrote: #januhairy and all year long really #nye #2k19 #noshavenoshame
Video creator Alexandra Myth, who lives in London and has over 13,000 Instagram followers, said: ‘I believe in my choice of shaving when I want to, not because you think I’m disgusting’
Another Instagram user shared a longer view with the caption: I’m so down for #Januhairy – let’s make 2019 the year that women are no longer shamed for their natural body hair.
‘Let me be clear, if my pit kitty offends you, that problem is not mine, it’s yours and you should go away and do some unpacking on that.
‘Think it’s gross on me but fine on men then you need to go check your sexism stat.
According to a 2017 study women who shave spend £6,500 and eight weeks of their life managing unwanted hair. The expenditure figure more than trebles if you wax. Think of all the better things we could be doing/spending our money on? That’s a load of holidays you could have gone on, dinners and drinks with friends, spa days etc. Is it really worth it?!’
Laila Campelo from Recife in Brazil shared her post with a Brazilian translation of ‘Genuine beauty persists. The rest is fake and ephemeral’
Others were equally proud posting: ‘This ones for all you haters. Love me or hate me, either way I’m on your mind.’
Exeter University student Laura said she came up with the idea after growing out her own hair for a performance.
‘Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand or agree with why I didn’t shave,’ the third-year drama student said.
‘I realised that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly.’
She hopes to raise £1,000 for charity Body Gossip’s education program, which teaches young people about body image.
The campaign has divided social media users with some saying ‘why do they think that making themselves ugly and shaggy will prove anything?’ Pictured: user Jennne shows her support
User Cobybudridge, believed to be from the US, commented: ‘#januhairy. I dunno. If I quit shaving, I may quit showers too. A slippery slope’
Posting a snap of her armpits on Instagram to kickstart the challenge on 4 January, founder Laura wrote: ‘After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair. I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving.’
But it hasn’t all been positive reaction, as though Laura says she feels liberated, she explains that some people around her don’t understand why she isn’t shaving.
‘When I first started growing my body hair my mum asked me “Is it you just being lazy or are you trying to prove a point?”. Why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point?’
Exeter University student Laura Jackson, 21, (pictured) started growing out her body hair when preparing for a one-woman show as part of her drama degree
The aim of the campaign is to not only empower woman to embrace their body hair, but also to raise money for charity Body Gossip, which encourages people to feel confident in their own skin
Having spoken to her mum about it, Laura’s mum is now joining in Januhairy, which she describes as ‘a big challenge for her’.
Social media users have been divided about the challenge, with one writing ‘why do they think that making themselves ugly and shaggy will prove anything?’
Others have been supportive, with another writing ‘I love this! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I stopped removing my body hair about 2 years ago; it suddenly struck me one day that I didn’t particularly mind how it looked, so why was I putting in all this effort that men are never expected to?
User bargo_sam from Brazil chose a black and white effect for her selfie demonstrating her unshaven armpits
‘People often want to know what my reason for growing my body hair out, as if it’s a political statement, but really no-one should have to provide a reason for letting their body exist as it does naturally.’
Among those taking part in Januhairy is University of Exeter students India Howland.
‘I think having body hair is one of many things women should never be made to feel lesser for,’ India Howland, 22, from Lymington, Hampshire, said.
‘I’ve heard girls apologise for having hairy legs before.
‘But you should be able to embody your femininity any way you want to – no one should feel pressured into shaving.
‘It’s a choice,’ the third-year drama student said.
Laura added that her project is ‘not an angry campaign for people who don’t see how normal body hair is.
‘It is an empowering project for everyone to understand more about their views on themselves and others,’ she explained.
Instagram user Contyvevropskymstylu shared a picture from the Czech Republic, showing herself lounging in the bath
An Instagram user by the name of Cfbia from Brazil simply accompanied her image with the word ‘confidence’
User Mrsbeinfinity captioned her picture of her armpits: ‘This ones for all you haters. Love me or hate me, either way I’m on your mind’
Instagram user Nomipalony referenced a 2017 study that says women who shave spend £6,500 and eight weeks of their life managing unwanted hair
User _sabinefisher who appears to be 18 and from New Zealand has also joined in with the campaign