Forget dry-January, now the newest and coolest trend of the month is called Januhairy.
But what is it exactly? Januhairy is the combination of January – dah – and hairy. It is a social movement that encourages women across the globe to ditch razors and wax strips for this month with the goal to make it acceptable to have body hair on women.
Januhairy was launched in 2019 by the student Laura Jackson – that first free her body hair for a school project – with a dual purpose: to break down the stereotype that wants a perfectly smooth woman (at least in the armpits and in the legs) and to raise funds for the Body Gossip charity, which through art and culture promotes female talents.
At the beginning of her campaign, last year, Laura Jackson wrote on Instagram: “Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand or agree with why I didn’t shave. This is how I realised that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly.”
The goal is to normalise something natural that, however, is still a taboo. And even if the focus may be on women, this movement includes all genders and identities, pushing everyone towards all experiences within this prickly subject.
However, despite movements such as Januhairy, but also #nowax and #thebodypositive, push women to be their true selves, it seems that they ultimately decide for themselves and this is why depilating represents an indispensable gesture for most of them.
Now, that all these social movements exist and encourage the younger generations to feel free as they are, is commendable. But, I am asking, do shaved legs or shaved arms, a clean groin and intact armpits (also for hygienic reasons) cancel a century of feminism? Can you be a frequent razor-users and still feel emancipated?
The matter has also been taken seriously by some companies that deal with hair removal, such as Braun and Gillette Venus, in order to understand what is the attitude of women towards this topic.
A recent survey demonstrated that 52 percent of the sample shaves for themselves, because they feel they have to do it, and just 1 in 5 women feel influenced by society. That shows how in 2019 women’s decisions in relation to hair removal are based primarily on personal preferences and about what makes them feel good generally speaking.