Watch the discussion with the photographer on his view of armpit hair.
Video credit: IntoConnection
A stunning photo series of women showing off their armpit hair is doing the rounds on the internet.
The striking pictures were captured by photographer Ben Hopper in a bid to show that women can be attractive without conforming to society’s expectations of hair removal.
The 37-year-old, from London, photographed dozens of ‘hairy’ women in his Hackney studio for the project named Natural Beauty.
“I am mixed race and have quite fair sensitive skin and thick dark hair. This made shaving a very difficult and often…
And now the images – most of them taken between 2016 and 2018 – are showing the world that ‘hairy is beautiful’.
Hopper’s project challenges the modern stereotypes of beauty by featuring gorgeous women proudly bearing their underarm hair.
‘I like natural beauty on a woman,’ Hopper said.
“I first stopped out of, I guess my “laziness”, and later realising I was just actively allowing myself to be more…
‘I think it can be very beautiful and under the circumstances empowering and sexy. You need an attitude to be a female with hairy armpits nowadays.
‘Anyone who is willing to take c**p from a lot of people for it is to me, an attractive strong confident person. I don’t find waxing or shaving that sexy most of the times.
“It came alongside the realisation that the desire to wear makeup, shave or alter myself was born out of the notion that…
‘From the reading I’ve done about the subject, I learned that women’s societal pressure to shave has to do with beauty brands such as Gillette who needed to extend their razors clientele and created one for women about a century ago.
‘Most people now can’t even stand the look of a hairy female armpit. Now that is brilliant marketing.
“I stopped shaving firstly because I was inspired by the Natural Beauty campaign. I am a firm believer in natural…
‘I don’t want to say that I want women to start growing their armpit hair, I just think that it’s a possibility and people shouldn’t dismiss it. I’d like people to just question the whole thing.’
Hopper started photographing women for his now viral ‘Natural Beauty’ series in 2007.
"I stopped shaving mostly because Ben asked but I was kind of excited to see what I looked like with body hair as I…
When he started the project, he recruited friends, models, actresses, and designers who were ready to grow their armpit hair so as to be photographed for the series.
The project has now gained huge popularity, with women across the globe opting not to shave their body hair and get featured in Hopper’s project.
Hopper has captured photos of women who are based in the UK as well as those visiting the capital. The series was shot in his studio in Hackney Wick, East London.
His project is a protest against the beauty industry, raising questions on why underarm hair – a natural thing – has been stigmatized in the UK as well as abroad.
Even though Hopper’s photo series has received a huge fan-base on social media, the photographer says there are many who judge his work.
‘A lot of people love it. A lot of people hate it,’ Hopper says.
‘I see a lot of arguments online now. Hopefully, everyone can agree at the end, on something – but people love arguing.
‘For this project specifically, I get a lot of people complaining about the models who are too skinny or have makeup or pluck their eyebrows, too young, aren’t real women and so on.
Charlie Barker for "Natural Beauty"#charliebarker
‘I’d like people to understand that my reasoning to choose these specific subjects was exactly because of that; this way the project is much more effective.
‘The contrast is stronger.
JoJo Pearson, photographed & written in July (2017).“I stopped shaving because I have extremely sensitive skin and my…
‘If I asked people, ‘who would you expect to have armpit hair?’ you would never imagine a fashion model or a very beautiful ‘hygienic’ looking female.
‘That’s the stereotype and I’m trying to use it to intrigue a stronger reaction.’
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