Dear internet/human race, CUT THE SHIT WITH THE FEMALE BODY HAIR SHAMING.
Let's drive this one point home: Women can do whatever they want with their bodies. Whether that be on the outside or inside, it doesn't matter. If it's not your body, YOU GET NO OPINION.
Got it? Great. Moving on.
A Belgian philosophy student, who goes by Laura De on Facebook, is receiving massive backlash and shame for posting a picture of herself on August 15 in which she's holding her arms up. People are taking offense to the fact that her armpit hair is unshaven.
And to that I say, "Who gives a flying fuck?"
Sexist, misogynistic internet trolls, that's who.
The picture was taken as part of a photo shoot with Belgian body image photographer Florence Lecloux.
Lecloux posted a series of photos of Laura on her Tumblr, saying she doesn't often talk about her "struggle against the dictatorship of the smooth body."**
In the Tumblr post, she said,
I do not often talk about my struggle against the dictatorship of the smooth body... Let me explain! One of the worst things it is the constant oppression of girls and women having to remove hair/shave on the entire body. Where does this idea to do his hair disappear? Why are valued my long hair but not the rest of my hair? Why waste time and money? Often it hurts, we cut the epilator hard, it pushes it again… It never stops. Why this endless fight? Who can make me hurt me to lose my life for that? Well I have the answer: NO ONE! Nobody has the right to require you to do certain things with your body. Your friends do not have to blame yourself, your lover/partner/... not to call you a lack of hair, the unknown do not have to disfigure you in the street. Hair removal or not, makeup or not, fashionable or not, it's only you who decide, not others. Dare, be authentic, you will keep close to you as non-toxic people.
Laura immediately started receiving hateful comments once she posted the images she was clearly proud to be a part of.
The Facebook post has gotten over 7,000 comments and 6,000 reactions. Laura says people were even sharing it across various Facebook pages just to express their apparent disgust for the girl's natural body hair.
Because, you know, just because a man is allowed to have hair all over his body doesn't mean a woman is allowed to! The natural human form is only acceptable for men to sport, remember?!
People were commenting things like, "Fucking slut," "Well good luck with the tarantulas under your arms," "Fuck what kind of pig are you" and "Throwing up looool this thing is so anti-feminine."**
Fucking slut haha
Well good luck with the tarantulas under your arms!
Fuck what kind of pig are you
Throwing up looool this thing is so anti-feminine.
No, what's anti-feminine is trying to tell a woman that she's not allowed to determine what her definition of being a woman is.
Mind you, me and the aforementioned troll do not have the same definitions of "feminine" and "anti-feminine."
You see, for me, femininity is defined by the woman (gay, straight, trans, bi, man, woman, non-binary, what have you) and how she feels is the most organic way to express said femininity.
And being anti-feminine, by my definition, is telling women that what makes them feel good about themselves is not valid just because it doesn't adhere to your particular standards of beauty.
However, I would never attack this troll and say he or she doesn't have the right to have his or her own definition of beauty and femininity BECAUSE IT'S NOT MY BUSINESS TO DO SO.
Get it, trolls?
Regardless of your opinion on female body hair and whether or not we should keep our skin bare or let that shit grow, your opinion doesn't matter unless you're talking about your own body.
So leave Laura alone, assholes.
Laura looked to feminist Facebook pages for support, and eventually posted the photo again with a body-positive message for her viewers.
In the post, she praised and thanked all people for supporting her and continuing to fight against unfair beauty standards.
Clearly, this isn't just an American issue.
I am a girl who decided to do what she wanted her body. As a boy can do it… And the consequences of this is collective humiliation, harassment, insults, threats… am often told that in Belgium and in France we do not need the feminism, that women have enough rights .. All this violence proves that ..no. In Belgium, a country that calls itself free and developed, when a woman wants to say no to waxing it will be punished in any case until she goes inside the standard again. I wanted you tell all: Thank you. The hundreds people who came to support me with their comments, their private messages, their sharing my photos and artistic projects. Girls, boys and non-binary that fight for a fairer world with courage and inflexibility, you are my heroes.
To prove, once again, that the choices she makes about her body are entirely her own, she waxed her armpits and posted about it.
Hello! Saw the number of question we ask me, I'm going to respond to (already) one here! Is what I think it's better a body in the natural? That's what I'm against waxing? In fact, I would like to point out the fact that I'm not much for the no hair removal for waxing. I think it's time to leave the choice to all the world, that's all. Sometimes I shave, sometimes not, the important thing is that it's my choice. I wish everybody loves his own body and don't judge those of others. A principle: my body, my choice. Be happy.
That's a pretty good motto to adhere to: My body, my choice.
**Editor's Note: All translations were done by BuzzFeed.