French women have been posting pictures of their armpit and leg fuzz on Twitter this week, in an attempt to fight the stigma surrounding female body hair.
The hashtag #LesPrincessesOntDesPoils (Princesses have hair) became a top trending topic on the social media site last night, spawning over 25,000 mentions and a heated online debate.
The campaign – which was named after a body-positive Tumblr, ‘Les Princesses Ont Des Poils’ – was started by 16-year-old artist Adele Labo (@adelelabo). After apparently “suffering enormously” because of the unrealistic beauty standards at her school, she began encouraging users to send in images of their natural hair on Twitter earlier this week. Within days, the hashtag was overflowing with photos of girls with unshaven leg hair and grown-out pits.
While the campaign was widely praised, it was also – disappointingly – highly divisive. Despite natural hair now being flaunted freely by names like Miley Cyrus and Madonna, the hashtag exposed how inbuilt the stigma still was; with many branding the pictures “disgusting”, and accusing Labo of “feminazism”.
“I think society stigmatises women,” Labo told AFP shortly after the hashtag went viral yesterday (July 12). “There is massive social pressure over body hair.”