Student launches 'Januhairy' campaign to get women to 'love and accept' their body hair
In shocking news, it turns out women have body hair. The horror, the horror! (The jury's still out on whether or not women fart; I'm choosing to believe they don't.) Within the past year, we've seen several stories about women embracing their natural hair, from a proud bearded lady to Instagram's favorite unibrow model to Madonna's daughter rocking armpit hair in a New Year's Eve photo.
Now Laura Jackson, a student at the University of Exeter, has started a crusade to convince more women to 'love and respec' their natural body hair. It's called 'Januhairy,' a month-long campaign to put down the razor, grow out those follicles and relish in the disgusted looks from haters. The 21-year-old Kineton, Warwickshire native hopes to raise £1,000 for a charity, the Body Gossip Education Program, which teaches teenagers about body image.
"I just want women to feel more comfortable in their own beautifully unique bodies," stated Jackson. "This isn't an angry campaign for people who don't see how normal body hair is. It is an empowering project for everyone to understand more about their views on themselves and others."
On Instagram, she described the genesis of 'Januhairy':
"I grew out my body hair for a performance as part of my drama degree in May 2018. 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. I realised 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..."
"I have had a lot of support from my friends and family! Even though I had to explain why I was doing it to a lot of them which was surprising, and again, the reason why this is important to do! When I first started growing my body hair my mum asked me 'Is it you just being lazy or are you trying to prove a point?' ...why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point? After talking to her about it and helping her understand, she saw how weird it was that she asked those questions..."
Jackson says that she's had a "great response" to 'Januhairy' so far, with women from the UK, the United States, Canada, Germany, Russia and Spain signing up to participate. And one of those women is her skeptical mom, who initially didn't understand the movement. So, now we have 'Movember' and 'Januhairy.' I can't wait to start my own movement: Totally Hairless April.