Amandla Stenberg Declares That Armpit Hair Belongs On The Red Carpet

Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images.
Amandla Stenberg, one of Hollywood's true beauty chameleons who's fearlessly rocked everything from neon eyeshadow to blue braids to rainbow hair to a crystal-encrusted bobby pin headdress, is now getting attention for simply showing off the hair that grows naturally on her body.
For the European premiere of her film The Hate U Give, Stenberg arrived in a black, low-cut Valentino gown with spaghetti straps, which allowed the hair on her armpits to be fully on display.
After posting two pictures from the night on Instagram, with Stenberg adding the succinct caption "#drama #armpit," fans erupted in praise for the 19-year-old star.
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#drama #armpit

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A few of the more ecstatic comments included "FREE THE ARMPIT HAIR YAS QUEEN," "Pit game strong sis!," "Gorgeous, talented, AND a body-hair posi queen?!," and
"Queen of destroying beauty standards."
Though it may seem like a small gesture for a star like Stenberg, who identifies as non-binary, to step onto a red carpet proudly displaying her armpit hair, it continues to be a contentious move — even in 2018. Actress Lola Kirke, for example, received death threats after showing up to the Golden Globes in 2017 with hairy armpits. Just last month, transgender, gender non-conforming artist Alok Vaid-Menon posted a photo of themselves with their body hair showing (hairy armpits included) and revealed they still get daily hateful comments. And, already, not all of the comments on Stenberg's photos are positive, with some messages like, "Please shave that."
As Vaid-Menon stressed to Refinery29: "I’m just really exhausted and tired of rehashing a really simple idea that we should allow people to own their own bodies and do with them what they want. Body hair doesn't make us more masculine or feminine. It just makes us us." And that seems to be the exact message that Stenberg is sending to fans too, as well as the idea that there is no one way to be beautiful, and no one look you have to subscribe to if you are non-binary, either. Not shaving or choosing to shave your body is, after all, an entirely personal decision — and one Stenberg has proudly made on her own.

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