Januhairy: women are throwing away their razors this month to address the prickly issue of body hair 1 month ago

Januhairy: women are throwing away their razors this month to address the prickly issue of body hair

The New Year brings a host of new possibilities.

It also brings a load of body hair.

So far, we've got Veganuary. We've got Dry January. We've got some sort of incredibly middle class Apple Watch challenge that most people probably won't be engaging in because they don't have Apple Watches.

And then we've got Januhairy - the #NewYearNewYou challenge that encourages women to bin their razors, cancel their wax appointments, and let it all grow freely.

For 31 days, at least.

Started a few years back by UK student Laura Jackson, the movement was originally a call for women to ignore the societal pressures inflicted on them concerning the way their bodies look.

According to Women's Health, the drama student ended up growing out her body hair for a role - eventually deciding that she wanted to keep the natural dream alive and #StayHairy.

 

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Since then, Januhairy has taken on a mind of its own, with women from all around the globe taking to Instagram to share photos of their pits, shins, and inner thighs - hair and all.

But this year, it's not just about the hair and the societal implications that come with it: it's about saving the planet too.

Those among us who have opted to grow out their hair for the month, the year, or the rest of their lives have also been doing a solid by donating to a campaign dedicated to protecting the world's forests.

The aim is to draw attention to the natural female body while protecting the natural world all at the same time.

"Our charity focus this year is to support TreeSisters in protecting, restoring and funding reforestation," said Januhairy on Instagram.

"We envision a world in which it is normal for everyone to protect and restore themselves and their world, a plight we resonate with as women, to protect and restore our personal natural habitats!

"Give back to the earth and show some support for the women of Januhairy, by digging deep into your pockets and supporting this charity in funding important tree plantations."

As with most movements that involve women doing things that men general don't approve of (see free-bleeding, abortions, and achieving the right to vote), Januhairy - despite its solid, do-good implications - has received a fair amount of criticism online.

And while there's always the odd fair Tweet or comment that questions why growing body hair should ever be considered as rogue or outrageous, the majority of the critiques do seem to come in the form of a succinct and telling: "Ew."

What it all boils down to is that, for the most part, women are expected to be hairless - and it's this expectation that Januhairy seeks to eradicate.

If a woman feels more comfortable growing out her body hair, then cool, she should be allowed to do that without the act being deemed a shocking and rare statement.

But similarly, if a woman prefers to shave her entire body once a week because she enjoys the smooth, silky feeling of sliding beneath her fresh bedsheets after a long hard day at the office, she shouldn't be judged for doing that either.

The issue, as aforementioned, is still a prickly one. But maybe it shouldn't be.

Until then though, surely we can all just go ahead and do out bit to save the planet regardless.

Hair or no hair.