People who identify as women spend thousands putting their bodies through painful treatments and planning their outfits carefully, all because it’s unconventional to show body hair.

Januhairy is about encouraging women to put down the razor, wax, and thread and just embrace the hairiness. Started by student Laura Jackson in 2018, Januhairy aims to promote body positivity and acceptance of body hair on women, while raising money for charity. And those taking part have been flocking to Instagram to show off their beautiful hairy selves. Some of the people taking part have spoken to to explain why the are bearing all on social media.

Image: Instagram

Emily Ross, 29

‘I love Januhairy – what better way to start the year than with an initiative to normalise female body hair. ‘Growing out my body hair has been a truly empowering experience – an external sign to the world that my body is for me.

‘Women’s body hair is continuously policed, and choosing to embrace our natural body hair is often met with (usually male) criticism. At the end of the day, women should choose what makes them individually happy. ‘Today that means I’m not shaving, but if a woman prefers to remove her hair that’s great too! ‘We are all individual owners of our bodies and have a right to feel at home in them, whether that pleases others or not.’

Picture: Emily Ross

Chloe, 39

‘I started shaving my armpits and legs when I was 14 when I moved schools and was immediately picked on for having hair – it wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about before. ‘If I didn’t keep up with the shaving/hair removal, I felt a deep sense of shame, added to by the male partners who would comment in horror if my leg hair or pubic hair started to grow in. ‘Not everyone did but it was enough to reinforce what I had learned: body hair was gross.

Picture: Rebelliousredhaid/Instagram

‘In 2018, I decided to grow out my armpit hair (it was winter, so nobody would see) to see how I felt about it and to challenge my own perceptions. It was strange. And then it wasn’t, it just felt completely normal.

‘It turns out that I really like it. I think it’s important to normalise body hair, and remind everyone that it’s a choice. ‘Grow it or not but never feel pressured to do something to your body just because society as a whole says you should.’

Emina Redzepovic, 34

‘I’m taking part to try and break the stigma around women’s body hair. We are conditioned to think it’s not feminine, disgusting and a flaw when in fact it’s natural and a normal body function. ‘Hair on all kinds of bodies is beautiful.’

Picture: Emina Redzepovic

Tatjana, 29

‘I just want to normalize body hair on woman. You don’t have to like it, but you should at least be able to tolerate it. ‘If we don’t see more people embracing it in films, TV, on social media then it won’t be widely accepted.

Picture: Tatjana

‘That’s why I made a post about it on social media. I saw January and thought this is a good thing for woman. I also just wanted to feel the difference between shaving and not shaving, it’s a little more freedom.’

These are some of the other people embracing Januhairy:


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‘ @januhairy ? not afraid, not ashamed. not anymore.’ @vale_meow is my new favourite person. We have all been afraid to disrupt the algorithm at one point or another. We have all been ashamed of just…being, especially when we are not conforming to the pressures of societal ideals. It’s a daily challenge to love and appreciate our bodies. We are programmed to alter and correct ourselves for the judgmental eyes of society…why? But we look at what we have done. What this hair represents. We will continue to hold up our middle fingers to society and say ‘not anymore!’… I hope you all say to yourselves on a daily basis, ‘not anymore!’ We are women, deal with it! #januhairy #notamymore

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