Shaving or not shaving your body hair is an entirely personal decision akin to wearing lipstick or getting Botox or, idk, dressing in head-to-toe hot pink. But for some reason that still hasn't stopped people from freaking the fuck out whenever a famous woman walks onto a red carpet with unshaved armpits.
In the past few months alone, celebs like Amandla Stenberg and Lourdes Leon have sparked online debates over their visible body hair. While there are plenty of people who are rooting for these celebs, who are showing an alternative to mainstream beauty standards, there are a lot of haters too, who are quick to write rude comments on Instagram despite absolutely no one asking for their opinion.
Of course, this isn't just a red carpet phenomenon. There are plenty of women who aren't famous who don't shave their armpits, either. And for them, just like these celebs, the reasons for doing so vary. Plenty just don't have the time, or simply don't care. Others are fed up with the expectation that women have to shave. "The fact that it only applies to women makes me not wanna shave that much more," Adeline Straatmeyer, a 22-year-old college student in South Dakota who doesn't shave her legs or armpits, says.
Since plenty of people continue to have strong opinions on this matter, we asked five women who choose not to shave their armpit hair why, exactly, they made that decision for themselves. Read their stories, then tell us yours in the comments below.