There’s no faux fur here.
An ad on the Nike Women’s account featuring a woman proudly baring her unshaven armpit has sparked a debate online — and the comment section is getting prickly.
“No dude, this is not freedom this is not a type of ‘i love my body,’” wrote one Instagram user whose comment has garnered nearly 1,500 likes. “this is bulls**t shave that s**t.”
The Nike ad features Nigerian-American singer Annahstasia posing in a Nike sports bra with one arm raised over her head, defiantly displaying her natural armpit hair. The sportswear company posted a photo of the LA-based singer on their Nike Women account with the caption, “Big mood.”
The Nike post comes during a growing “au natural” movement in which women are electing to not shave their body hair — for some, it’s a protest of mainstream beauty standards. And the laissez-faire attitude towards shaving legs, underarms, upper lips and more is in vogue with stars like Amandla Stenberg and Lourdes Leon strutting down red carpets flaunting their natural fur.
However, as the heated volley in the comment section of the Nike Women’s Instagram post shows, not everyone is supportive of women’s public display of their natural body hair.
“For f***sakes shave your da*n pits,” wrote one user. “This is DISGUSTING.”
While several users commented with the green throwing up emoji, other users implied that women who didn’t shave their body hair only made them unattractive to men.
“All I can say is good luck finding a bloke who will shag you after seeing you have the same amount of body hair as he does.....” wrote one user.
Another female Instagram user wrote, “The only good thing about this is that the rest of us who still shave&wax will have more men around.”
However, the barrage of negative comments were quickly outnumbered by those in support of the queer singer’s armpit hair, and pointing out the sexist beauty standard.
“STOP DEGRADING HER JUST BECAUSE SHE HAD BODY HAIR! YOU DONT SAY THE SAME ABOUT MEN WITH ARMPIT HAIR. HER BODY HER CHOICE,” wrote one Instagram user.
Another user added, “Guess what: women are human beings. We can do whatever we want with our bodies...We don't have to live up to anyone's expectations except our own. Nike, love it!”
While some online praised Nike for supporting the “natural movement,” others accused the sportswear company of using it as a way of virtue signaling.
“What's ridiculous about it that they make it as a statement, and absolutely not natural the way these ‘wannabe natural girlpower’ girls,” argued one user. “When I was a teenager, girls really had pit hair, but it was natural, and I can tell you it was not nice and smelled really bad!! So off with the hair and on with the roll-on pls!”
Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment from Nike have not been answered.
One user argued that the expectation of women to be clean-shaven is simply a marketing ploy from the beauty industry. According to Vox, news of a woman cutting herself while shaving her legs made national news in the 1920s. But by the 1950s, women’s grooming had become mainstream. “Sorry to say but shaving under the armpits was pushed by marketing to sell more razors,” wrote one user. “It is plainly a social construction. And instead of imposing your views, you should respect your fellow humans.”
Meanwhile, others online were simply confused about all the fuss over a little fur.
“It's simply hair on a body,” wrote one user. “Female or male doesn't matter. It's just hair.”
Another Instagram user questioned why there was so much hate in the comment section when the photo “is beautiful on so many different levels,” adding that she loved the bra and the model’s confidence. Her comment garnered over 1,000 likes on Instagram. “No one is forcing anyone to [look like] anything.. she’s just a model that has armpit hair. I think this beautiful woman deserves more love... the hate is unnecessary.”
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