Yes, Women Have Body Hair, So Why Do People Still Freak Out Over It?
When Amber Rose released her half-naked Slut Walk announcement photo on Instagram, it seems the whole internet took a big gasp before launching into a plethora of opposing arguments.
There was plenty of talk about whether or not the semi-nude photo was truly a feminist act to champion female body hair -- or a ploy to drive up participation for her Slut Walk coming up in October. You can peep the photo that caused outrage, here, on Rose's Twitter page.
It Was Both, As Confirmed By Amber Rose.
She clearly promoted the Slut Walk on her social media platforms and also referenced the photo in another Instagram post with a hashtag that read "bring back the bush."
The Daily Mail's Piers Morgan Was Especially Vocal About The Photo
He asked her to "put it away," which led to a fiery exchange between him and Rose.
Other Critics Wrote Off Her Hair As Nasty And Distasteful
The Conversation About Body Hair Has Historically Been More Restrictive For Women Than Men
Despite the fact that pubic hair's biological purpose is to keep the pelvic area protected and clean, sexist societal standards implore women to be entirely clean-shaven on their vaginas and other areas of the body.
The only place deemed acceptable for a woman to have hair seems to be her head and there, the mainstream preference is long, sleek, and straight.
Women have long been resisting these unrealistic expectations, with many of them posting photo dedications to their body hair even before Amber Rose's internet-breaking vag reveal.
Remember Laura De, the model who was bullied on Facebook for starring in a photo series about body hair shot by Florence Lecloux? She was called a "slut" and "anti-feminine" for the photos.
Then there was the body-positive model, Paris Jackson, who had to address haters on her Instagram story who criticized her armpit hair in March, according to Refinery 29.
I didn't realize that people were going to get so upset over my armpit hair. I didn't realize that was such an issue. It is so funny. People are really mad. I wish I could post some of these responses. You can just tell how angry and infuriated these people are... I love hair, and sweat, and BO. I fucking love it, I think it's great. Some people think that it's like super disgusting, especially on girls, but every human body does it. It's natural. Get over it.
Popular illustrator, Lalonie Davis, also shared a photo of her body hair in March and was greeted with plenty of trolling, including instructions to commit suicide.
The body hair conversation goes beyond aesthetics, as the expectation is just another way for our culture to police women's bodies. As Lalonie pointed out, the passion behind people preferring women to be clean-shaven as a symbol of femininity is only rooted in misogyny.
This is especially evident by the fact that Twitter trolls would seemingly rather a woman commit suicide than to go against physical beauty standards that make them uncomfortable.
Such hair standards also dismiss the fact that life happens and women just might be too busy living their lives to shave every single day. And even if a woman has all of the free time imaginable, the requirement is still dehumanizing because choice is still taken out of the equation.
This hair conversation may seem like a small thing to a giant feminist movement, but it matters because it centers the power of that choice.
Women should be able to have hair, shave hair, gain weight, lose weight, dress scantily or conservatively — and all without public commentary on why doing so lessens the value of their womanhood.