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Introducing Januhairy, the movement which encourages women to grow their body hair for a month

Grow get ‘em.
Jan 9th 2019, 10:08 AM 4,595 1

PUT THE RAZOR down! 

That’s what the Laura Jackson, the woman credited with popularising the Januhairy movement is imploring women to do for the first month of the year. Sure listen, we can’t let people with moustache-growing abilities have all the fun, right?

Januhairy is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: gals are encouraged to abstain from taking part in any kind of hair removal from the 1st to the 31st, in order to find pride in their body hair and raise money for charity.

Laura, a drama student at the University of Exter, started the movement after growing out her hair for a performance.

 ”After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair,” she posted to an Instagram account created for the campaign.

Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it.”

View this post on Instagram

Hi I’m Laura, the gal behind Januhairy! I thought I would write a little about my experiences and how Januhairy came about... I grew out my body hair for a performance as part of my drama degree in May 2018. There had been some parts that were challenging for me, and others that really opened my eyes to the taboo of body hair on a woman. After a few weeks of getting used to it, I started to like my natural hair. I also started to like the lack of uncomfortable episodes of shaving. Though I felt liberated and more confident in myself, some people around me didn’t understand why I didn’t shave/didn’t agree with it. I realised that there is still so much more for us to do to be able to accept one another fully and truly. Then I thought of Januhairy and thought I would try it out. It’s a start at least . . . I have had a lot of support from my friends and family! Even though I had to explain why I was doing it to a lot of them which was surprising, and again, the reason why this is important to do! When I first started growing my body hair my mum asked me “Is it you just being lazy or are you trying to prove a point?” . . . why should we be called lazy if we don’t want to shave? And why do we have to be proving a point? After talking to her about it and helping her understand, she saw how weird it was that she asked those questions. If we do something/see the same things, over and over again it becomes normal. She is now going to join in with Januhairy and grow out her own body hair which is a big challenge for her as well as many women who are getting involved. Of course a good challenge! This isn’t an angry campaign for people who don’t see how normal body hair is, but more an empowering project for everyone to understand more about their views on themselves and others. This picture was taken a few months ago. Now I am joining in with Januhairy, starting the growing process again along with the other wonderful women who have signed up! Progress pictures/descriptions from our gals will be posted throughout the month. Lets get hairy 🌵 #januhairy #bodygossip #bodyhairmovement #happyandhairy #loveyourbody #thenaturalrevolution #natural #hairywomen #womanpowe

A post shared by Januhairy (@janu_hairy) on

“Society seems to be behaving as if the natural hair we grow on our bodies is unattractive and distasteful. We are so used to removing our body hair that we are becoming unfamiliar with our authentic selves,” she wrote.

Body Gossip, the charity at the centre of the movement, empowers people to be the best version of themselves through arts and education. On her crowdfunding site, Jackson has a goal of £1,000 through sponsorships supporting women who grow their body hair. (She’s currently at £719.)

View this post on Instagram

Welcome to Januhairy! The acceptance of body hair on women is unfortunately still a predicament. We are displayed in the media as feeling ‘confident’ when our legs are smooth, eyebrows plucked, armpits waxed etc. Society seems to be behaving as if the natural hair we grow on our bodies is unattractive and distasteful. We are so used to removing our body hair that we are becoming unfamiliar with our authentic selves. Januhairy, is an experiment for women to come together, encourage one another, and be sponsored to grow out our body hair for the month of January. All too raise money for the charity, ‘Body Gossip’! #januhairy #bodyhairmovement #happyandhairy #loveyourbody #thenaturalrevolution #hairywomen #womanpower #selflove #feminine

A post shared by Januhairy (@janu_hairy) on

Movements like this make sense, when you consider the fact that people still talk about Julia Roberts’ 1999 Notting Hill red carpet appearance, as if personal choice is a revolutionary concept.

Let’s hope this isn’t a trend that’s left at the door at the end of the month, and that women will still be encouraged to explore their own bodily autonomy. 

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Fionnuala Jones

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