Gracing the latest digital cover of Glamour UK, actress Emma Corrin, who stars as Princess Diana in Netflix’s The Crown, proudly poses showing off her armpit hair. Unlike what some critical questioners in the comment section on Instagram assume, this was not an accident. In the interview, Corrin explains that showing her body hair on the cover was completely intentional.
"I think it’s interesting how the media and a lot of our culture loves to label or to pigeonhole women," Corrin tells Glamour UK. "How I present myself, what I do with my makeup, my body hair, my hair, or anything aesthetically, will always be dictated by what I feel and nothing external."
For Corrin, growing out her armpit hair was a decision she had long been considering, but only recently acted upon. "I’ve been meaning to grow it for quite a few years, but I’m recently single," the actress told the outlet. "I haven't done it before because I've been in a relationship and I guess I had been programmed to think that I should probably shave for the benefit of both parties. But fuck it — I don't really want to shave! I realized, 'Why did I ever bother?' It's been quite an underwhelming realization of, there's no drama in it. It's just there. I'm hoping it's on the path to becoming normal and it never has to be a thing you notice."
While tools and trends have changed over the centuries, the phenomenon of not shaving as a form of protest of restrictive beauty standards distinctly got its start during the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, many women ditched razors and tweezers all together, though today's renewed support for letting your body hair be is decidedly different. Women can keep their eyebrows perfectly sculpted and choose not to shave their legs. Or maybe they want to shave their legs and let their armpit hair grow. More than ever, it seems to be seen as a choice that one can choose to subscribe to, engage in only sometimes, or skip altogether.
Regardless of what the occasional internet troll might say, Corrin is onto something. According to one study conducted by Mintel, almost one in four women under the age of twenty-five no longer shave their armpits, compared to just one in twenty in 2013. But even Corrin admits the practice of body-hair removal was something she thought she had to do for the longest time, proving that the more the subject is talked about and normalized, the more women can choose to decide for themselves.