I shaved my armpits, more or less every few days, for the better part of twenty-two years. This winter, I stopped.
I was curious. I wanted to see, for the first time ever, what my un-groomed armpits looked liked. Since noticing the first brown sprouts as an awkward middle schooler, I’ve tried to keep my underarms hair-free. Despite a generally lax attitude toward any kind of complicated personal grooming, on this front I was always consistent. Every few days, I swiped at them with a razor blade so that nothing grew beyond a bit of stubble. I never left my armpits alone long enough to notice which way the hair pattern swirls, or how the color shifts the longer it grows. I didn’t know if it would be soft or spiky or somewhere in between.
Growing up, women who grew their armpit hair were either called hippies or French. There simply wasn’t room in the imagination for them to be anything else and there weren’t many—or maybe any—adult women in my everyday life choosing to go, as we might have said, au naturel.
Even now, I admit to sometimes being startled by my own reflection. It took a few months for the hair to really fill in and get to a place that sufficiently reminded me of my dad. (Turns out, I’d recognize this hair swirl anywhere.) With t-shirt season upon us, I’ve been debuting my personal grooming choices in public. It’s anyone’s guess how I might feel about my newfound hairiness come full-blown summertime, but for right this minute, I love my hairy armpits. Which, of course, is all that really matters.
What about all of you? Clean shaven armpits or happily hairy?
For the curious:
I’m wearing my very favorite new t-shirt*in whitewash.
Also my very favorite jeans* in life’s work.
My lipstick is by Kosas, in phoenix.
My earrings are from the local shop, 21Tara.
This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.