People on the internet sure are mad about a virtual robot’s decision to grow out her underarm hair
Another day, another instance of people on the internet getting mad at a woman’s body.
Body hair is natural, as natural on women as it is on men. And yet it remains one of the most polarising subjects, with even the slightest trace of body fuzz on a woman eliciting strong reactions and feelings of outrage.
When Swedish model and artist Arvida Byström posed for Adidas Originals’ Superstar range in 2017 with unshaved legs, for example, she received death threats while last year a Nike campaign featuring Annahstasia Enuke was deemed “disgusting” by many on social media for its display of armpit hair.
And now, I’m sorry to say, people are still trying to police women’s bodies. Even those that aren’t real.
CGI model and Dazed Beauty Arts Editor Miquela – formerly known as Lil Miquela – recently made the decision to grow out her underarm hair. So far, so fine. Or so you would think. Despite the fact that Miquela is a virtual robot, her armpit hair has made some people very mad and they are insisting that she shave. On a recent Instagram post of Miquela’s where some hair can be seen, a comment demanding “Shave the pits” has received over 250 likes while one comment “The armpits 🤮” was liked over 400 times.
Comments such as these reveal the deeply ingrained, deeply harmful attitudes our society has towards women’s bodies where people feel such a sense of entitlement over women’s bodies adhering to a standard that they deem “attractive” and “desirable” that it has led to people demanding that a digital, CGI model change her body to suit them.
Well Miquela has a message for these people: get over it.
“Maybe it's because I'm a robot, but I've always found body hair to be really beautiful – it's so natural, so...human,” says Miquela. “I recently figured out that my hardware allows ALL of my robo body hair to grow if and when I want it to, and very fortunately, my programming doesn’t allow me to think there is anything wrong with that. Body shaming isn't really part of my source code – I guess they replaced it with agency and a pinch of ‘mind my own business.’”
As we can all agree, Miquela says, there’s a lot more happening in the world to worry about than what someone decides to do with their own body. “There are forums when opinions are encouraged – like on a ballot (make sure to VOTE!) – but the comments of my Instagram isn't one of them,” she says.
“Bodies are. Period. The end. Any descriptors we put at the end of that sentence are contextually subjective, and low key kind of irrelevant. Beauty, desire, sexiness – they're all things we view through these lenses created by societal norms, and that's the real thing we need to address. I mean… cool, fun, healthy norms? I've literally never met one.”