Raise your hand if your armpit is hairy

Today starts a month dedicated to women growing underarm hair as a way to promote awareness of a condition that can cause atypical hair growth and as a way to promote acceptance of letting people decide for themselves how they will wear or remove hair.

Armpits4August is based in London and promotes donating to or seeking sponsor donors to a charity for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormone-related condition that affects millions of women whose symptoms can include excessive body hair growth and hair loss on the head. It can also cause irregular periods, fertility issues, weight problems, and a number of related health concerns. Learn more about it from the Mayo Clinic.

Medical conditions aside, the movement serves as an opportunity to question your own beliefs about your body and the bodies of others and why you have certain grooming practices or expectations. Does the idea of women with underarm hair bother or intrigue you? Why? What about men with underarm hair? If you see someone with grooming practices that are different from the ones you follow, how do you respond? Do you feel the desire to control someone else’s body? Are you holding onto beliefs that don’t help you treat yourself and others with respect and understanding?

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