Grow or trim? When it comes to female body hair, the discussions often flare up. Even if there is only one possible conclusion: everyone must feel free to decide for themselves. That is exactly the message that the London photographer Ben Hopper wants to spread about armpit hair.
In the course of history, something strange has happened: women have the tendency – I say, almost an obsession – to depilate themselves. Armpits, legs and bikini line, everything must be smooth. For years we were encouraged by gossip magazines and glossies.
Fortunately, this is slowly changing. For example, there are many stars that set a good example and show their body hair without hesitation. Just think of Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Cardi B, Madonna, Lourdes, Gigi Hadid or Rihanna. Or Nike, which had tied an armpit hair model earlier this week. And photographer Ben Hopper also lends a hand. He made a photo series in which all kinds of women proudly display a bunch of armpit hair, appropriately named ‘Natural Beauty’.
“The beauty industry has brainwashed us. For years, women have been encouraged to depilate themselves,” Hopper explains. “With this series, I don’t want to say that all women have to grow their armpit hair. I just want to show that the possibility exists. People don’t have to reject it right away. On the contrary, we should question all beauty ideals.”
The photographer himself is already a fan of a small bush under the arms. “That can be really beautiful. Sexy and even empowering. You must stand firmly in your shoes to grow your armpit hair. Anyone who dares and does not care about all criticism radiates a lot of confidence. That is certainly attractive.”
‘Natural Beauty’ was first released in 2014, but is now going viral again. Moreover, the project is always supplemented with new photos. Curious about all the pictures? You can admire it on the Instagram page and on the Hopper website. We have already made a selection.