Mina for 'Natural Beauty' by Ben Hopper (2016)
“I let my armpit hair grow when I realised that I could.
For the most part of my teenage years and young adulthood, it never even once crossed my mind to not shave, if only for the fun of it…
The first woman I saw with armpit hair was my aunt when she was in her late twenties. I couldn’t understand where it came from, but in my head it was just impossible. Impossible because to me, she was one of the most beautiful people on this planet, and she just didn’t give a fuck.
Meanwhile, my sisters and me gave many fucks; despite being half Asian and never having a lot of hair, I remember us shaving just for the sake of it. We wanted to have a sense of belonging to the ‘grown-up’ world – and whatever ‘grown-up’ means anyway…
I feel that so many women are programmed to constantly worry about appearance from a very young age. Maybe it makes sense to a certain degree, but also, very possibly, a large part of it is just a bubble.
It’s like an anxiety injected into young females’ minds.
Enough to not leave space for important things, which just maybe, could define a person, more than appearance ever could.
It makes me so happy to be able to shift my focus away from superimposed ideas. It is completely my choice, once I realised that I have a choice. And that is the beauty - the freedom, and the space in my head that I am reclaiming to myself.
So yes, today it manifests in me letting my armpit hair grow and tomorrow it may be something else - my call.”
– Mina (2016)