No Shave November and Mustache March — you’ve heard of them, seen them on social media, and maybe participated in them yourself. If you haven’t heard, they are two months out of the year where men are encouraged to embrace their facial hair and remain untrimmed for that time.
While some women have been known to participate in these events, 2019 was kicked off by a new movement specifically for women: Januhairy, a month where women embrace their body hair, gaining confidence and accepting their bodies as they are.
Laura Jackson, a drama student at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, started the movement by posting an image to Instagram of her sitting on the floor with her arm tucked behind her head to expose her armpit hair. In the caption, Jackson explains that she grew her body hair for a performance in May 2018, and developed feelings of empowerment and confidence.
“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,” Jackson said in the post. “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.”
Following her post, Jackson is encouraging others to join her movement and support a like-minded organization called Body Gossip through crowdfunding. The organization aims to use arts and education to empower everybody to be the best version of themselves.
As Januhairy comes to a close, the crowdfund has received two-thirds of its goal.
Along with the crowdfunding, #Januhairy has taken social media by storm, appearing on BuzzFeed, People Magazine, The Today Show, Vice News and more, inspiring women all around the world to embrace their natural bodies.
The #Januhairy hashtag has more than 5,000 posts on Instagram and is continually being shared through various social media platforms, making it a very successful movement.
There’s no way to tell if the movement will stick for years to come, but there’s one thing that’s for sure: if one student can spark a global movement, so can you.