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Ode to My Armpit Hair

I've never owned a disposable razor, I haven't shaved since '78
Prepubescent armpits are not natural on grown women, I see shaved armpits as body hate.

Armpit hair is natural, Armpit hair is soft
Armpit hair is not a prickly mess, Not a puffy forest of shadowed stubs...
Ode to My Armpit Hair

By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)
Written May 4, 2007

I've never owned a disposable razor
I haven't shaved since '78
Prepubescent armpits are not natural on grown women
I see shaved armpits as body hate.

Armpit hair is natural
Armpit hair is soft
Armpit hair is not a prickly mess
Not a puffy forest of shadowed stubs.

I love my armpit hair
I would be sad if it was not there
In Europe, shaven underarms are rare
And as an eco-feminist, I just can't buy "Nair."

I raised my arm this evening
And there was my soft long hair
Endeared, I felt sorry for women
Who were scared of what grows there.

Who would I be shaving for?
Who benefits from it all?
Perhaps the purpose is to distract my energies
From facilitating patriarchy's fall!!

What does my armpit hair symbolize?
Why does it threaten you?
Shaven armpits that use deodorants get cancer more often
And corporations stink more than you!

homepage: homepage: http://www.kirstenanderberg.com

and 05.May.2007 18:14

so what

if I love to shave arm pit hair
it doesn't mean I hate it

if I love to shave arm pit hair
it doesn't mean I use cancerous deodorant

if I love to shave arm pit hair
it doesn't mean I use "nair"

if I chose to abort a baby
you'd say fine, that's your choice

so give me the freedom of my choice
i will not shave in shame

Grommets 05.May.2007 20:04

Sphincter McGee

I like my silky smooth armpits Kirsten. I do not like black wirey things annoying my skin. Though I like the look of it, it feels uncomfortable, therefore I shave mine off, though I do not use deodorant because I like the smell of my armpits very much. Mmm, delicious salty yeasty cake smell on squishy smooth skin is my favorite.

and you have the comfort of peer approval all the way 06.May.2007 02:25

kirsten anderberg kirstena@resist.ca

Well, now you know how WE feel. We who do NOT have free choice to NOT shave, there is much more pressure on us TO shave than you have pressure on you to NOT shave. You are reflecting the dominant paradigm, and have the weight of mass behavior on your side, much more than you have some kind of pressure to feel shame from ONE person saying you shouldn't shave. I was actually giving a voice to the voices we normally DON'T hear on this subject, your view is on every fucking magazine cover out there...and all throughout as well. Lily Tomlin, Julia Roberts, others, have taken shit when they did not shave...it is really not "free choice" to *not* shave. Young girls are brainwashed THEY MUST shave from very early on, even as a rite of passage. You felt defensive at ONE person saying you shouldn't shave, yet I hear for three + decades I "MUST" shave...for work, for school, for family, for lovers, for society even...you have heard you should not shave how often from whom?

There is comfort in acting in the way the status quo approves of, in acting in accordance with the masses. And I seriously doubt you experience ANY persecution in the U.S. for NOT shaving! But women DO experience persecution for NOT shaving in the US. Again, this poem is to give voice to the SMALL percentage of women out there that choose to allow their armpit hair to grow like MOST women in Europe. To give STRENGTH to those women who are sick of that shit and want to get out of that cycle of nonsense...to lend them a hand...and tell them they are not alone. I am going to post this poem in Europe, actually, now that I think of it, and see if they react differently to it. But again, you missed the point of the poem if you felt a need to retort with the standard...we already KNOW that almost all women in the US shave, WHY is yet another topic altogether. Women pluck their eyebrows off and draw them back on en masse everyday, women pay to lodge plastic in their tits, women shave legs and underarms chins, it seems like a lot of work just to look fake...and it seems arbitrary beauty standards to me...but I understand full well I am in a minority here...

the 06.May.2007 22:58

i don't (s)

i shave
i don't wear make up
my tits are real
and so are my unplucked eyebrows

my armpits are rarely exposed to public view
so it is really about my OWN personal choice

to say that you don't have freedom of choice is
not the truth

you retort with the "pressure" you are faced with
well..grow up

there are six billion plus humans on the planet
and not every one of your choices is going to be
met with acceptance by all

I'm going to continue to shave and not think
twice about who it will please or not please

I'm another sucker 06.May.2007 23:26


I'm another conformist, sorry. but I think some of the above posters are in more denial than me.

I used to leave my pits hairy, but employment factors have contributed to me doing the hairless pits thing.
It's really sad that in my conservative (sunny) town where I live I feel like I have to do it to come across as professional. Actually, I feel like if I leave my pits in their natural state that it will be seen as a statement of rebellion to society, like saying "I'm a ferral hippie who doesn't care about being seen as professional," or that I put my personal politics before my career rather than simply being normal, (no wonder I conform though, since the reality of female armpit hair has been hidden from me throughout my entire life, no wonder I too see it as almost unnatural).

so what are the reasons for the posters who say they don't like it? Do they even know?

for me I think its just because I'm not used to it. There was a brief time when more people I knew had hairy pits than didn't, and I actually thought shaved pits looked ridiculous when I did see them. but now that I'm in a conservative town again, I've conformed and accepted it as normal again. We just need to see more of it I think. It is normal after all. As soon as I'm more confident in my profession, I will let em grow back. sorry. You're right, Kirsten. we are all upholding the status quo.

It's interesting that the common thing for women is to shave their pits but leave some (or all) of their vagina hair. it's as if to say "in the public context i am to be seen as pre pubescent, and only those I get naked for will see that I am indeed a sexually mature adult." so what's with that?

any gender theorists out there want to shed some light/psychoanalysis on that one? I have no idea.

Shaving 19.May.2007 23:13


I've actually had some really weird people telling me that it's unhealthy and nasty if you don't shave off all of your pubic hair. Seeing as this shaving of pubic hair is a recent fad makes me wonder how on earth we survived when we didn't shave that stuff off. I think a lot of guys really have some sick fantasies of having sex with little girls but realizing that it's against the law to do so, they seem to think women have to make themselves look like little girls i.e. shaving armpits, arms, legs, pubic region. I'm beginning to wonder if in 10 years women are going to be told they have to shave their heads. This shaving thing has turned into an obscenity if you ask me.