Emily Ratajkowski shared an Instagram post showing off her armpit hair in a bold bid to challenge beauty norms, but the supermodel's post has drawn plenty of criticism in the comments section.
“'Give women the opportunity to be whatever they want and as multifaceted as they can be.' I wrote an essay for @harpersbazaarus about the importance of women’s right to choose (how she dresses, what she posts, if she decides to shave or not) no matter what influences have shaped the way she presents herself. Do your thing ladies, whatever it might be," Ratajkowski captioned the controversial post, which had garnered nearly 2 million likes as of Friday.
In her essay for Harper’s Bazaar, EmRata wrote about women having the right to choose how they live their lives, and the issue of young women being vulnerable to "immediate feedback and criticism" in the age of social media.
If I decide to shave my armpits or grow them out, that’s up to me. For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose—a choice based on how they want to feel and their associations with having or not having body hair.
On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy.
And there is no right answer, no choice that makes me more or less of a feminist, or even a “bad feminist,” to borrow from Roxane Gay. As long as the decision is my choice, then it’s the right choice. Ultimately, the identity and sexuality of an individual is up to them and no one else.
However, despite a majority of the comments responding to her hairy underarm photo being positive, many Instagram commenters were far from enthused about EmRata's choice to rock armpit hair, and they weren't shy about sharing their opinions on the 'Gram.
“So to be ‘hyper-feminine’ means to let a bush grow under you arms,” one Harper's Bazaar follower commenter complained. “Sorry but it’s just disgusting to me.”
“Being a feminist doesn't mean leaving your hygiene behind,” another reader wrote, while many simply posted vomiting emojis.
“Now that you got the attention you wanted, please shave, bye,” read another comment.
“There’s a big difference between women’s rights and a clean body,” someone wrote on Ratjakowski’s own page. “Disgusting ... unfollow.”
Meanwhile, other fans came to Ratajkowski’s defense.
“I love how worked up y’all are getting over some hair,” one shot back. “Prudes.”
“To shave or not to shave is a preference and has absolutely nothing to do with hygiene,” wrote another.
“These comments are disgraceful,” added a supporter. “This is exactly why she did this. She doesn’t need to look good for anyone or any man to need validation or to feel good.
"She is not just for your gaze. No woman, however she identifies, needs to keep up appearances to fit a mold [for] someone else finds acceptable.”