Kat Hanula for "Natural Beauty"
“I stopped shaving my armpits about 6 years ago.
One day I just decided to let it grow because I didn’t like all the discomfort that goes with the shaving process.
In the very beginning I had some moments of doubt when going out wearing sleeveless tops in the company of my girlfriends who were always shaved.
When I started travelling and met other female travellers with hairy armpits and pubes I was reassured that this is something normal.
Not shaving was a part of the long process on my journey to self-acceptance and self-love. Now I know that being raw, naked, hairy, with no make up can feel comfortable and I can still be considered as beautiful and lovable.
No one ever commented on my appearance except one time, when 7-year-old boy started laughing at me and said that I look like a ‘dude’. When I said that women also have hair under their arms he was arguing with me that they don’t, because his mom doesn’t have any.
After that I realized that it’s important to create new beauty images, so the younger generations can develop healthy relationship with themselves and they don’t feel insecure or ashamed of the natural state of their bodies.
Having an armpit hair isn’t something out of ordinary, but in our society somehow it’s still something shocking.
To me, it’s not just about the body hair itself, but also about the lifestyle and everyday choices. I avoid commercial cosmetics, chemicals and animal products. I practice yoga, meditation and I am vegan. I wish to inspire other people to take care of themselves and accept themselves the way they are - as an act of self-love. To me it’s a kind of a statement as an artist. Life is not about blindly conforming, but asking questions and finding your own way of doing things.
We all want to look good because we want to be loved, but there is nothing more beautiful and sexy than confidence and courage to accept yourself as you are.”
– Kat Hanula, artist. February 2017 (photographed August 2015).