I’m excited to share my final picture. I know my face is blurry and the picture is less than perfect, but sometimes the picture I like the most is not the clearest. It’s not so much about the aesthetics as it is about the moment that was captured. At least, that’s what photography is to me. I see lessons, memories, and so much emotion in a picture. An image is proof that everything is so transient. An image, for me, is like a time capsule that helps me revisit the way I was feeling at the moment I took that picture. I’m happy I photographed this present me because I’m currently feeling inspired, beautiful, and accepting of every piece of me. I’m not guaranteed to feel this way tomorrow, so why not celebrate by securing a piece of it in a picture today?
This is me at one of my rawest moments—although, there have been rawer—and the funny thing is that I only feel raw because of my upbringing, societal views, and what is sold to us women. (I guess the second and third could be the same.) My picture will only seem crazy to those who don’t see it as natural or normal, when in reality it’s simply part of human nature. I guess I could see it as me being daring. Actually, I’ve been lazy not daring.
The reason I have hairy armpits is because I’ve been too lazy to pluck my underarms. You know how men do “no shave November”? Well, there are many women out there who join in, and I’m one of them. I don’t technically join in on the movement—I’m not trying to make a statement—I just want to reap the benefits of not having to spend a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes a week to tweeze my underarms. See, I have sensitive enough skin that tweezing is the only form of depilating that will not irritate my skin—I am yet to try laser hair removal.
This picture might be translated as a statement because some find it wrong, ugly, gross, dirty, weird, etc. for a woman to have hair under her arms. I will tell you right now, I am none of that. Okay, maybe I’m a little weird, but not because of my hairy armpits. I’ve been quite happy to have the time to do other things this fall and winter season, in addition to not having to worry about ingrown hairs. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say that my armpits will remain hairy during spring and summer. I like my naked underarms the other half of the year.
My intention—other than to document this for myself—in sharing this picture was to remind my fellow vulnerable and raw women that rocking your body the way that feels healthy and normal is nothing but healthy and normal. People need to accept that everyone’s healthy and normal is different and stop trying to shove theirs down other people’s throat. I’m blessed to have a loving and supportive online village that has shed light on my differences, the same differences that I once saw as downfalls. I am grateful for the space they hold for me as it’s helped me have the confidence to love myself in ways I never have.
I want this image to be a reminder to myself that I am not the norm, and I don’t strive to be either. I don’t want to look like anyone else. I want to look the way that feels best to me (depending on the season). Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but overall, I believe that today I was my loveliest in this picture.
Cheers to loving ourselves for our differences!