Young woman sparks controversy with pics of underarm hair
Laura De, a young Belgian woman, created some hype on the internet when she posted a picture on Facebook showing her... armpit hair! The post went viral and was shared more than 2,300 times. Her page now has over 14,000 likes. However, along with this vast attention came a torrent of insults:
These are just some of the shocking comments she received:
“Shave, you nasty girl!”
“You made me throw up 146 times!”
“Your pictures are gross!”
and even: “I’ll kill you, you’re so fucking stupid!”
… I’m sorry, WHAT?
Hurt by this collective bashing, Laura decided to react in a Facebook post that called for peace. Far from being intimidated, she took back ownership of her beauty, without expressing any hate towards her aggressors. "Love and tolerance are the keywords of our battle," she claimed.
There will always be bullies on the internet, but you can’t deny the fact that in Western society hairlessness is the accepted norm. Not shaving is often considered inappropriate, even without malice. "I’m often told that we don’t need feminism in Belgium or France anymore, that women have enough rights. Obviously, all this aggression proves that that's not the case," the young woman commented.
At the end of the day, many people were raised with an ideal image of womanhood, and anything different to that image can be initially shocking. But if considered more closely, hair removal is anything but natural: it's painful and it causes red spots, cuts, and burns. From this perspective, shaving is actually the abnormal behavior.
It takes a great deal of courage to expose yourself to criticism. Laura is fully aware of how cruel the web can be, but still decided to put herself out there to show that there are other ways to be a woman. "I’m a girl who decided to do whatever she wants with her body. Just the way boys do.”
In a subsequent post Laura stressed the fact that she’s not against hair removal, but she has strong feelings about the importance of personal choice. The revolution brewing is one focused on the elimination of shame. "Actually, I would like to point out the fact that I’m absolutely neither for hair removal nor against it. I think that everyone should have the choice, that’s all. Sometimes I shave, sometimes I don't, the important thing is that it’s my choice."
Some women remove their hair, others prefer to use hair clippers that shorten the hair without mutilating the skin. And there are others who don’t touch a thing. Whatever the choice may be, it belongs to the woman who made it. Nobody should have to fear psychological bullying or judgmental criticism.
Laura stood up to the world with a beaming smile — "Because my smile evokes how much I love life <3," she says proudly.
A revolution of the gentlest kind!