Danni Spooner for 'Natural Beauty' by Ben Hopper (2019)
"I stopped shaving when I was 16. I was on a trip to Kenya when I made a promise to myself to be more authentic with myself and keep my body hair as I really loved having it. I haven't shaved for a little bit before this trip and I remember swimming in a river discussing gender/body politics with tutors and peers. I was thinking ‘YEAH FUCK THIS’ when having to explain why I wanted my body hair so much and how much I really didn’t care what my partner, family or friends thought of it. The main tutor of the trip, Wendy, gave me an award for being the ‘feminist’ of the group. Although I didn’t really understand what it meant at the time, I was really proud of myself.
Having body hair makes me feel comfortable and sexy. It just feels natural. I’ve never realised how empowering it is until others react positively to it. In many ways, it’s no big deal, but it’s how I see my body existing for me to be happy.
People have avoided being my friend because of my body hair. I’ve been whispered and rumoured about, given dirty looks and told I make others uncomfortable. On the flip side, I’ve had friends tell me that I’ve inspired them to have hairy legs, pubes and armpits– that’s so beautiful!"
– Danni Spooner. Dancer, artist (2019)