Some women are going au naturale throughout the month of January. Here’s why.
Men have “Movember,” where they grow out their facial hair to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, and now ladies have “Januhairy,” a reason to skip shaving and grow their body hair with pride.
Laura Jackson, a 22-year-old drama student at the University of Exeter in the U.K., started the movement after growing her own body hair for a performance and noticing her own reaction to it. “After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair,” she posted to an Instagram account created for the campaign. “Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it.”
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Hi I’m Laura, the gal behind Januhairy! I thought I would write a little about my experiences and how Januhairy came about… I grew out my body hair for a performance as part of my drama degree in May 2018. There had been some parts that were challenging for me, and others that really opened my eyes to the taboo of body hair on a woman. After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair. I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving. Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it. I realised that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly. Then I thought of Januhairy and thought I would try it out. It’s a start at least . . . I have had a lot of support from my friends and family! Even though I had to explain why I was doing it to a lot of them which was surprising, and again, the reason why this is important to do! When I first started growing my body hair my mum asked me “Is it you just being lazy or are you trying to prove a point?” . . . why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point? After talking to her about it and helping her understand, she saw how weird it was that she asked those questions. If we do something/see the same things, over and over again it becomes normal. She is now going to join in with Januhairy and grow out her own body hair which is a big challenge for her as well as many women who are getting involved. Of course a good challenge! This isn’t an angry campaign for people who don’t see how normal body hair is, but more an empowering project for everyone to understand more about their views on themselves and others. This picture was taken a few months ago. Now I am joining in with Januhairy, starting the growing process again along with the other wonderful women who have signed up! Progress pictures/descriptions from our gals will be posted throughout the month. Lets get hairy 🌵 #januhairy #bodygossip #bodyhairmovement #happyandhairy #loveyourbody #thenaturalrevolution #natural #hairywomen #womanpowe
Januhairy encourages women to let the hair on their bodies grow in support of a charity, Body Gossip, which empowers people to be the best version of themselves through arts and education. On her crowdfunding site, Jackson has a goal of 1,000 pounds (or more than $1,200) through sponsorships supporting women who grow their body hair.
“Society seems to be behaving as if the natural hair we grow on our bodies is unattractive and distasteful. We are so used to removing our body hair that we are becoming unfamiliar with our authentic selves,” she wrote.
“Media and films have an influence on young women and how they feel they should be,” Jackson told TODAY Style by email, explaining that Disney princesses and other portrayals of women had an effect on her self-esteem growing up.
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Welcome to Januhairy! The acceptance of body hair on women is unfortunately still a predicament. We are displayed in the media as feeling ‘confident’ when our legs are smooth, eyebrows plucked, armpits waxed etc. Society seems to be behaving as if the natural hair we grow on our bodies is unattractive and distasteful. We are so used to removing our body hair that we are becoming unfamiliar with our authentic selves. Januhairy, is an experiment for women to come together, encourage one another, and be sponsored to grow out our body hair for the month of January. All too raise money for the charity, ‘Body Gossip’! #januhairy #bodyhairmovement #happyandhairy #loveyourbody #thenaturalrevolution #hairywomen #womanpower #selflove #feminine
On social media, the Januhairy campaign stirred a bit of debate. While there were plenty of supportive posts, there were also a fair share of negative commenters.
“It’s important that we see these (negative) comments, because it reminds us why we are doing this campaign and what opinions we are trying to change,” Jackson told TODAY Style. “These people don’t understand this yet and that’s OK … that’s what the campaign is for. At least we are all talking about it!”
It seems as though Julia Roberts was way ahead of the curve on this one. The movie star caused a commotion when she arrived at the premiere of “Notting Hill” with underarm hair in 1999. She recently dished on “Busy Tonight,” however, that it was really an accident, as she’d misjudged the length of her sleeves and how much they would show of her armpits.
Gigi Hadid appeared to sport some underarm “fuzz” more recently in a Love Magazine advent calendar video, though it’s possible it was just fabric from a jacket she’d been wearing. And women’s shaving company Billie made history by running ads featuring women with body hair.
We may just have a trend on our hands!
The ultimate goal of Januhairy, according to Jackson? “This project will hopefully allow us to understand more about ourselves and from that understand each other more!” she said.
Interested in joining the movement? Fill out this form to get started!