'Januhairy' Is the New Movement Empowering Women to Grow Out Their Body Hair
Just like Movember, Januhairy is encouraging people to grow out their body hair for a good cause
Similar to the social movement in November, which encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide, Januhairy is a new annual event targeted to women.
Januhairy encourages women to embrace their body hair by growing it out throughout the month. This new craze was started by Laura Jackson, a drama student at the University of Exeter in the U.K. after she noticed a difference in how she felt when she grew out her body hair for a role.
“I grew out my body hair for a performance as part of my drama degree in May 2018,” she wrote in a selfie posted on the Januhairy Instagram account. “There had been some parts that were challenging for me, and others that really opened my eyes to the taboo of body hair on a woman. After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair. I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving. Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it.”
That’s when she put her feelings into action. “I realized that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly. Then I thought of Januhairy and thought I would try it out. It’s a start at least . . .”
She explained that the photo she posted was taken a few months ago, but she’s still participating in Januhairy and starting the growing process over again.
She’s encouraging others to support the movement and the cause associated with it. Jackson created a Crowdfunding page to support the body-positive organization, Body Gossip, which empowers every body to be the best version of themselves through Arts and Education. Her goal is to raise 1,000 pounds and she’s three-quarters of a way to her goal (739 pounds have already been raised).
Only 9 days into the month, the movement has already taken off. There are 2,796 Instagram posts with the hashtag #januhairy featuring empowering selfies from participants.
One Instagram user explained why she was taking part in the movement. “This is not a campaign to say, ‘oh women should be hairy’ but a movement in solidarity to discuss the importance of young women taking back ownership of how their body should look, whether that means being hairless or not, it’s up to individuals to decide.”
Another wrote: “I believe in my choice of shaving, When I Want to, Not Because: You think I’m disgusting . I know a woman can be #sexy with #hairylegs or without. Also men are sexy with #hair or #nohair.”
Some celebrities have already been promoting this movement way before the month began. Madonna, Julia Roberts, Paris Jason and Madonna’s 22-year-old daughter, Lourdes Leon, have all rocked body hair in public. Most recently, Leon walked the Gypsy Sport runway with unshaven legs and proudly showed off her hairy underarms on Instagram.