Lifestyle & Culture

Let it grow: Get Hairy February Campaign

Sophie Austin investigates why women are throwing out their Veet and Silkymits for the month of February in the name of raising funds for domestic violence against women.

If you’re like me, you might have wondered why society is so obsessed with women’s body hair. And by obsessed, I mean borderline hair-ophobic. In fact, according to the ‘Get Hairy February’ homepage, over 95% of Australian women conform to the weekly routine of plucking, waxing, or shearing off their body hair. While women are given infomercials with ladies shaving hair-free legs, George Clooney is called suave and sexy for sprouting the trimmed shrubbery on his chest.

The thing is, I am just as guilty. I love the feeling of sliding my freshly shaved legs across my bed sheets, or showing my legs to a friend just to say “look! I shaved!” It’s so ingrained in our routines, into our expectations as women, that we don’t stop to question why?

What we may be overlooking can be defined as some casual inequality. And while a little armpit wax is essentially harmless, it does lead to problems larger than we may think.

“Body hair is a really simple double standard in a way that men and women’s bodies are treated in our society, which reflects a deeper inequality, which we experience in all aspects of our lives as women,” campaign founder, Alex Andrews, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I think it’s really important to bring inequality into people’s minds as often as possible because it’s not always something that’s visible, but hair is visible.”

Women letting their hair grow is not just about embracing their natural bodies, or denying the beauty standards of Western society, but also about something so much more. It is a visual representation of the societal bias that women find themselves smack-bang in the middle of on a day to day basis. 

Which is why the ‘Get Hairy February’ campaign aims to raise money for the ‘Full Stop Foundation’ in association with Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia, as well as ‘Empowered Together’. Both organisations fund support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Not only are they fundraising, but they are also starting conversations about violence and assault against women that are long overdue.

The ‘Get Hairy February’ campaign also reminds women to be “free to choose what you [want] to do with your body and how you express yourself without judgement, stigma or fear”. While it may be all about helping the bigger picture, the fight against inequality, it is also about you, your body, and be comfortable with your natural self.

If you’ve ever just had enough of shaving cuts or hot wax, or felt the need to skip your next laser appointment, this campaign may very well be the way to embrace yourself at your most hairiest moments in life.

It’s not too late to join the campaign or to just show your support. If you want more information, visit the webpage for details.

Feature image: Jordyn McGeachin for Get Hairy February

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