A History of Women and Underarm Hair
- Next1 of 6Ben Hopper via @BenHopper
- Previous Next2 of 6Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images
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- Previous Next6 of 6Madonna via Instagram
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Unshaven1 of 6
Back in 2007, London-based photographer Ben Hopper began a photo project to challenge society's definition of beauty. He's since released the collection of photos, Natural Beauty, which depict various models, actresses, designers and friends flaunting their unshaven armpits. To put the images in perspective, we're taking a look back at the history of women's hair under there.
1920s2 of 6
This postcard from around 1920 was meant to be provocative. But with the release of the first razor specifically marketed to women as the "safest and most sanitary method of acquiring a smooth underarm," hair-free pits soon became the norm in America.
1950s3 of 6
In parts of Europe, women's underarm hair wasn't considered so taboo. For years, Sophia Loren unabashedly revealed her au naturel armpits.
1970s4 of 6
By the late '60s and '70s, having armpit hair became a political statement in the U.S. Singer Patti Smith casually flashed her unshaven underarms on the cover of her 1978 album Easter.
1990s5 of 6
Julia Roberts carried on the tradition, rebelling against the hair-free Hollywood standard in the late '90s.
Today6 of 6
Madonna caused quite a stir when she posted this selfie on Instagram. But it isn't the first time the icon has bared her hairy underarms. As a teen in the '70s, she struck a similar pose.
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