A photographer renowned for capturing the natural beauty of women has taken a series of black and white shots of women with unshaved armpits in order to promote body positivity and prove that “hairy is beautiful.
37-year-old Ben Hopper from London captured the amazing pictures in Hackney studio as a part of the project called Natural Beauty.
The majority of the images were taken in the last three years with Hopper doing his best to prove that women don’t have to follow society’s expectations when it comes to hair removal.
“I like natural beauty on a woman. 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,” the 37-year-old said of his project.
“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.
“From the little 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 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. ”
While the majority of Hopper’s pictures are new, the passionate photographer has been working on his ‘Natural Beauty’ series for over a decade.
Back in 2007, Hopper had to recruit models and pay them not to shave for a month in order to get the pictures he wanted. Nowadays, however, more and more women who decided not to follow the ‘rules’ approach him in order to be featured in the project.
“A lot of people love it. A lot of people hate it. I see a lot of arguments online now. Hopefully, everyone can agree at the end, on something – but people love arguing,” Hopper added.
“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.
“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.
“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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