Every summer without fail – scratch that, even well before the summer begins – the media will bombard us with messages pushing forward the whole “beach body ready” agenda.
This agenda suggests that in order for a woman to legitimately pull off a bikini, she should be as slender as possible and basically be completely free of any kind of flab or imperfection.
Of course, the alternative to this is that she turns up at the beach, entirely unbothered by the opinions of strangers, reveling in self-confidence and total freedom. According to society, this is the less desirable of the options.
But believe it or not – the concept of beach body readiness is not merely about how slim and toned you are, apparently it’s also about how you choose to groom your body.
Yes, although it is entirely natural, in the last few decades it has been regarded as socially unacceptable for a woman to let her armpit hair grow without – shock horror – taking a razor to it and trimming it at the very least.
And it’s certainly not just ordinary women that are lambasted for growing out their armpit hair.
Remember the “infamous” moment at the 1999 London premiere of Notting Hill when Julia Roberts turned up in a glam red dress without having shaved her pits.
In fact, often those in the public eye are held at a higher standard. I mean, they are regarded as the epitome of all things elegance and glamor and according to popular opinion, armpit hair does not fall into either of these categories.
Male celebrities are also slated for their appearance in the media. Oscar winner, Russell Crowe, has received his fair share of body shaming for his weight:
Luckily, in recent years, there has been a rise in body positivity activism, whereby people, predominately on the internet, champion the cause of loving your body exactly how it is (radical, right?)
Well, it seems that not everybody got the memo because recently 20-year-old actress Bella Thorne was photographed – armpit hair and all – on vacation in Hawaii. And unfortunately, the Daily Mail felt the need to draw attention to her not-so-hairless pits.
They shared the “story” on their Twitter page, writing: “Bella Thorne shows off her ARMPIT HAIR on vacation in Hawaii.”
“Armpit hair” is generously capitalized for their readers, just in case we happen to miss the fact the piece is, in fact, about “armpit hair” and accidentally scroll past without giving it the attention it clearly deserves.
In addition to the unnecessary mention of her body hair, we are then giving a description of the star’s “ample assets” and her “peachy posterior”.
“Her tiny olive-colored top struggled to contain the former Disney star’s ample assets, while the low cut bikini bottoms resulted in a perfect view of her admirable abs,” the writer digresses. “Bella also made sure her peachy posterior was on display as well, as she splashed around in the surf.”
We are then given a description of her “numerous” accessories and makeup or lack of it:
“Accessories were quite numerous and included a chunky metal wristwatch, a large ring, a plethora of chain necklaces and a crucifix earring attached to her left ear. The Shake It Up starlet looked to be mostly make-up free, though did seem to be wearing a slick of watermelon-tinted lipstick.”
Unfortunately, other publications such as Hollywood Life, The Inquistr and The Sun also expressed their apparent surprise that the young actress chose not to shave her armpit hair.
Luckily, some more enlightened people on Twitter gave the Daily Mail a piece of their mind for turning something entirely natural into a spectacle.
“Why is this even an article, let alone a headline?” one user wrote. “People have lives, interesting ones. Who the hell would be the least bit interested in her underarm hair? A new low.”
And plenty of other people chimed in with their views on the topic:
Who knows why our society likes to scrutinize people’s bodies to the extent that it does? Can’t we all just agree that we should do with our bodies whatever we want without it being heaps of unnecessary attention?