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Women With Body Hair: 16 NSFW Photos Of The Real Deal

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    Photographed by Blaise Cepis.

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    Many women see their body hair choices as reflections of their gender, sexuality, and femininity. Today, body hair is often associated with masculinity: Women with thick hair on their arms or faces are deemed "manly" or "unfeminine." Some women, though, are flipping this association on its head — instead viewing their body hair as an important and powerful aspect of their womanhood. And, many of them continue to encounter sexist double standards in response to their choices.

    Just this week, Instagram banned the account of Australian online magazine Sticks and Stones after it posted a photo of two young women with their pubic hair peeking out of their bathing suit bottoms. In a discussion with Mic, Sticks and Stones director Ainsley Hutchence attributed Instagram's decision to sexism, stating that men regularly post, without consequence, Instagram photos that reveal a bit of pubic hair. Following media scrutiny around the account ban, Instagram has since reinstated the magazine's account and issued an apology.

    Culture's relationship with women's body hair is always in flux. The '90s and aughts served women a highly groomed (and difficult to maintain) vision of hairlessness. Eyebrows were tweezed to pencil-thin lines and the take-it-all-off Brazilian had a moment. Now, sensibilities are swinging back in the other direction, with more women opting for a full brow, a full bush, and lower-maintenance looks for the rest of their body hair. Ahead, we speak with 10 women who are making the choice to skip the shave.



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    "My hair is very fair, so I used to think 'Oh, wow, I can get away with not shaving.' I kept growing it out and then realized, once you could see it, that I didn’t actually care. I just got really comfortable with it being there."

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    "My boyfriend encourages me to have body hair wherever I want. He likes for me to do whatever makes me happy. It’s your body; it’s how you represent yourself."

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    "I love body hair. I see no reason not to have it if you want it. I stopped shaving my armpits because I realized it's not what made me feminine. I actually felt more feminine with body hair and decided to just run with it.

    "It makes me feel great, and I feel even better when I see more and more women are shaving their armpits less, too. Hell yes, ladies!"

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    "I just reached two years of [growing out] my armpit hair. My leg hair and pubic hair have kind of always grown out. My pubic hair I groom. I have shaved in the past, but I find it very uncomfortable, so I just leave it. And, I like the way it looks."

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    "I just kept [my armpit hair] for myself, and it was one of the most empowering things I ever did. It feels nice to have it there, and when I see other women with it, like on the subway with their arm up, I feel like we’re part of a secret club or something.

    "I definitely used to be shocked if I saw a woman with armpit hair. It’s getting more common...It’s just a little jarring at first, I suppose. Anyone who I’ve been dating, for the most part, doesn’t care. I’ve had some people who do. But, I was never willing to change, because I don’t see the point."