Life&Style writer Chelsie Henshaw praises the DJ and astrologer’s efforts to normalise body hair on women
Recently a Twitter user shared two images of astrologer and DJ Marissa Malik with the caption ‘I love body hair on women and those of you that don’t are WEAK’, a tweet which attracted a lot of attention. Whilst in this day and age, female body hair has started to become more acceptable, there is still such a long way to go to achieve equal standards between men and women. Unfortunately, body hair on women remains a debated subject on the internet as many are repulsed at this possibility, whilst body-positive figures strive to show its normality. It is imperative that we change the damaging narrative surrounding body hair.
Speaking to Dazed Beauty, Marissa Malik stated that in response to the popularity of her post there were many ‘(presumably) cisgendered heterosexual straight men feeling it was their place to weigh in on my choices’. Why do certain men feel the need to tell women their body hair isn’t attractive? I, for one, would like to see these double standards challenged more. Why is there such a stigma around body hair on women, yet body hair is respected on men? The discourse surrounding body hair is one that needs to become more adapted to the current times. Throughout the seemingly crazy 2020, we’ve experienced so far, we have seen some positives in the body hair movement, for example, Januhairy. Throughout January many women decided to abandon hair removal products and let themselves flourish in their natural states. Talk about empowering! In an article by the Guardian, you can read about many of the experiences and thoughts of the women who tried Januhairy. To summarise, this campaign liberated women and led to more of a focus of self-love, something which isn’t always easy to do but is so important to your mental wellbeing.
Also, the current lockdown situation has only led to more women deciding to experiment with body hair, saving themselves the constant hassle of shaving. Stacey Solomon has said she won’t be shaving her legs until lockdown ends. Could lockdown have a lasting positive impact on the body hair movement as women see there is no harm in baring hairy legs or not wanting to shave? Yet, the media continues to present the standard of beauty that women must not have body hair. This is due to a highly capitalist attitude- brands choose to make women feel they must remove their body hair to be socially accepted so that they can profit from products to do just this. It is saddening to live in a society that cares more about profit than women being comfortable in their own bodies. Malik also discusses the ‘Pink Tax’, this tax being that products targeted specifically towards women, such as razors and shampoo, cost much more than those targeted towards men. Although the Pink Tax is a different issue than that of body hair, it is still one that needs discussing further, because why should women pay more for products than their male counterparts?
Society has conditioned our minds to be repulsed at body hair on women, it is too easy to silently judge another woman for having body hair, even those who seem fully accepting of body hair on women may have these intrusive and negative thoughts. The societal narrative surrounding body hair must be disrupted so women are not held to such narrow standards. However, it is important to add that the purpose of this article is not to shame those who do choose to remove body hair, that’s entirely your choice. At the end of the day, women should feel completely comfortable with their bodies, regardless of whether they choose to shave or not: your body, your choice. And, for all those who don’t agree with body hair on women, as Malik says ‘ask yourself why you feel negatively about a woman being empowered to do whatever she wants with her body’.