null

{Click on Any Image to View It Full Size in a New Window}  

 

Unshaven armpits are dividing the Internet,” writes the London Express, “but is it a trend to try or still taboo?”  

In 2012, “an enterprising group of British feminists were inspired by the movement to start their own hair-growing charity enterprise,” adds the Daily Mail UK, “and Armpits4August was born.”

null

Stated co-founder Tasha Skerman Gray (above right) on London’s highest-rated Morning Show (below): “I haven’t shaved any part of my body for four years.”

null

Not beating around the bush, Tasha testified: “I stopped shaving because I was working as a nanny and thought the children won’t care, then I realized that I actually really liked it, so I decided to stop completely.”  

As the morning hosts turned 50 shades of red, Gray grinned: “I think my body hair looks really nice. I take pride in my appearance and I don’t see why that should include shaving. I call them my ‘Pit Kittens.’”  

Declaring “How Comfortable I Feel Will Not Be Decided By My Underarms (below left),” nostril-ringed Tasha teamed with fellow feminist Gina Fuller {the blonde leaping below right, with fellow founder Sarah Hickmott and grounded Gray} to launch Armpits4August.

null

“The idea is simple,” explained the Daily Mail, “throughout the month of August women are encouraged to let their underarm hair grow—asking friends and family to sponsor them to raise money for charity to benefit people with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), such as leader Sarah Hickmott.  

“The disease is so common that it affects up to 10% of all women,” notes Bust magazine, “and a common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism, or excessive body hair growth, so the choice to let one’s underarms go free seems appropriate.”  

Co-founder Fuller feels: “We chose August because it’s the month where your armpits are out so can everyone can see them. We just went for the month that is the most difficult” in terms of having to depilate. “We see such a narrow stereotype of what beauty is in the media and magazines. If you do see women with armpit hair, it does seem to be a certain type of woman (below left). But there are plenty of pretty, feminine women who do it too” (below right).

null

So let’s concentrate on the bushy beauties who are letting the fur fly these days! Contrary to outmoded assumptions, you clearly can be both feminist and feminine!

null

In fact, Feminism is basically about choice (below left) … and many modern militants are indeed ‘choice’!

null

As the slogan says: “I can shave or not shave whatever the hell I want to!” No wonder it’s sometimes called ‘Northern Muff.’  

Or often ‘ArmBush’ … and in extreme cases, Urban Dictionary declares, ‘Hairy Mary’:

null

Sleuth’s personal favorite slang for it is the dreaded ‘Bob Marley in a Headlock.’  

As Will Ferrell expanded and updated that mental image:

null

Alas, the 4th highest-rated submitted definition of ‘Armpit’ at Urban Dictionary is, “Something that should be shaved … on a woman.” What a (side) boob!

null

Though many men are now finding it foxy (below left)—since not to shave is brave … and “usually means she’s hot to trot!” (below right).

null

And it often comes with a double bonus: It usually means that ‘natural pits’ accompany ‘natural tits’ …

null

… a trend that’s continued down through the decades {below, a half century apart}.

nullAnd that desirable development holds whether flat-chested or full-breasted:

null

Actually, it’s only in the Western world that women shaving their body hair has become the ‘norm.’ From India to Israel (below) you’re more likely than knot to find hair there!

null

And even in light-maned, fair-skinned Sweden a razor revolution is taking place: “The most notable trend here is armpit hair on the ‘gentler sex’,” writes blogger Sinéad Louise. “It is part of the feminist movement. Some of you may be wondering why having armpit hair has anything to do with feminism? While I am no expert, I have a vagina, so I’ve encountered certain expectations of beauty that society placed on women.”  

“So I used the old ‘don’t knock it till you try it’ mantra and decided not to shave for six weeks. It was surprisingly easy,” reports Sinéad, “because I’ll let you in on a little secret: females can grow body hair. In ‘welcomed’ and ‘unwelcome’ places.” She’s welcome to grow it anywhere she likes!

null

More ‘in your face’ about it is Swedish artist Arvida Byström, who became the ‘Sex Symbol of the Movement’ with this widely-circulated pose to show how it grows:

null

“I don’t remove my body hair,” the former model maintains. “My art has a pretty specific femme style, and I think it’s important that it is taken seriously—my pictures aren’t ironic or sarcastic.” But they are erotic … proving she also doesn’t shave her pubic hair … and has a perfect pert pair (below).

null

“There’s a lot more to me than the fact that I’m a woman,” Byström believes.   We believe her … and afflicted with the Stockholm Syndrome, can only conclude: “How Swede it is!”

null

“The underground armpit hair trend is sprouting all over the world,” states The Standard newspaper, and ‘pits’ popularity has prompted a rash of publications to take advantage of the trend. Why everything from a British ‘laddie mag’ to an American women’s manifesto has jumped on the glandwagon.

null

For kids there’s even a coloring book (below left) … and for photography buffs, a coffee-table tome.

null

And now it’s considered ‘Art’: “Despite Victorian paintings of bare, classical-style hairless nudes,” observes Read All About Books, “early photography shows that many women did not shave their underarms. It is possible that paintings followed the classical ideals or religious works, or likely the sight of a woman’s body hair was too risqué or erotic for a respectable audience.” But not for fine art book covers …

null

“It was not until after Modernism (circa 1915),” the study concludes, “that female body hair was widely shown in paintings… but not without scandal.”  

Especially involving artist Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), described at the time as “a crazy Italian fuck” when painting in Paris. But not so crazy—his 1917 erotic masterpiece Nu Couché {Reclining Nude} recently sold at auction for $170.4 million!

null

“Sex Sells!” headlined The Guardian after Chinese businessman LiuYiqian purchased the portrait. “The model offers herself up to the painter, lying back on a rich red bed, her eyes as black as desire. This is not an academic study of the nude; this is a painting about sex.”

Declared the Daily Mail: “The artwork, one of Modigliani’s greatest, hit the sweet spot of ‘rarity, quality and beauty all represented in the same object,’” in the words of esteemed auction house Christie’s, which sold it.

null

“Only Picasso, whose Women of Algiers abstract set the $179 million record for a painting sold at auction in May 2015, is more expensive.” But while Pablo was focused on his art—and on his friend Amedeo (below left)—Modigliani was a slave to sex. “

null

“His most significant love,” reveals the Daily Mail, “was the young French art student Jeanne Hébuterne (above right), who he is said to have raped at their first meeting. Despite that, they began an intense, passionate affair.  

“During this period, from 1917 to 1920, Modigliani was to paint his best work. Indeed, it was in 1917 that he produced Reclining Nude, which is undoubtedly a masterpiece. At the time it was considered scandalous,” the Mail sums up. “When it was shown along with several of his other nudes at his only solo exhibition …

null

… the police closed down the show. ‘Those naked women, complained an officer. ‘They have pubic hair!’”  

As did his lover/muse/model Jeanne … and Sleuth has uncovered the only photo of it in this rare 1917 pose:

null

“Let’s admit it. He had good taste,” concludes What’s About Art. “Look at her, an astonishingly beautiful young lady {age 19 to his 33 at the time}, who would become the subject of his biggest masterpiece.”  

And her biggest tragedy: The morning after Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis on January 24, 1920, Jeanne Hébuterne—heavily pregnant with their second child—“stepped backwards out of a fifth-floor window and killed herself.” She was just 21 (below left)

null

They are buried together at famed Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (above right)—where Mr. and Mrs. Sleuth paid their respects in 2004, watching the tourists ignore the site on their way to the nearby shrine to rock ‘god’ Jim Morrison.  

 

Coming Next: Armpits4August … A ‘Hair-Raising’ Experience!