Januhairy: Rooting for body positivity, one hair at a timeRekha Balakrishnan
Laura Jackson, a 21-year-old student at Exeter University launched the Januhairy campaign to take on stereotypes that exist around body hair.
If men can have “no shave November”, why can’t women have their way too? With our hair, I mean. For centuries, women have been expected - sometimes even told - to keep their body parts free of hair to look “respectable” and “acceptable” in society.
I remember a weekly childhood ritual that involved my grandmother liberally applying turmeric paste all over my body so that I would have less body hair when I grew up. She said, it was to make sure I did not look like a bear. Somehow, that worked in my favour (don’t ask how) and I have always had to make lesser trips to the salon than most of my friends.
But what if you grew out the hair on your hands, legs, armpits and hmmm… down there? If you ask me, as long as you clean up well, nothing! But for the millions of girls influenced by the hairless and spotless Disney heroines and Barbie dolls, this could be a momentous decision.
So, why should men have all the fun… or the hair? Laura Jackson, a 21-year-old student at Exeter University launched the “Januhairy” campaign to take on stereotypes that exist around body hair. She did this after following a “no hair” policy for a production she was part of. Laura urges women all over the world to ditch their razors and “hair on” for the entire month.
In an Instagram post, she said,
As part of Januhairy, Jackson is also asking other women to post photos of themselves on social media platforms, to look and feel as normal as possible. So don’t be surprised if you come across women showing off their hairy legs, arms and armpits.
And it’s just not about making a statement. Jackson hopes to raise £ 1,000 for ‘Body Gossip’, an educational charity that campaigns on body image issues.
Interestingly, this is not the first time women have shown off their hairy bodies in the hopes of promoting body positivity, but that doesn’t seem to have had much of an effect. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Dakota Johnson, Beyonce and even Julia Roberts have shown off their hairy armpits on red carpets.
But, is “Januhairy” going to be another fad or will this be the beginning of a movement that will enable and empower women to start feeling more comfortable about their bodies? Will it be a new lesson in positive body image or will it just be a month of all (h)air, and nothing later?
We believe any statement made by women to make a positive difference can be debated, but not derided.
Here’s to Januhairy, and feeling good about it!