The photograph is in black and white, and features a young woman proudly displaying her armpit hair. The woman in question is Maya Felix, and is just one in a whole series of beautiful ladies with armpit hair photographed by Ben Hopper for his 'Natural Beauty' series.
"I am mixed race and have quite fair sensitive skin and thick dark hair. This made shaving a very difficult and often painful process," Maya says in the post. "My underarms were never ‘pretty’ or ‘feminine’. I hated it and was made miserable by it. I remember wearing t-shirts with sleeves when swimming and jumpers on hot days just to cover up my prickly, irritated pits... When I was about 17 and in my first serious relationship with a boy who loved my body a lot more than I did, I decided to try something radical. I decided to stop putting myself through pain, to stop being angry with my body for not being the way I wanted it; I stopped shaving."
Maya says that whilst she has been self-conscious of growing out her armpits and has even found herself apologising for them from time to time, the photography project with Ben Hopper has helped her confidence. "The experience completely changed my feelings towards my armpits and my overall confidence increased massively... After reading the comments on the Facebook post I felt proud to be an example of how beautiful women’s bodies are, no matter what they choose to do with them."
The image was originally posted to Facebook in 2014, but has continued to gain traction since Maya added her story of her tumultuous relationship with her body hair to give context to the image. Many people have expressed their opinion on Maya's story - and, whilst many praise her choice, not all of them are positive. But that doesn't seem to bother Maya too much, who says, "I felt indignant about the nastier comments, and developed an ‘if you don’t like it, I don’t give a shit because it’s not for you, and your opinion on my or any woman’s body is irrelevant’ attitude. I’ve now realised that underarm hair acts as a really great asshole deterrent - just another reason to love and appreciate it."
We hear ya, Maya! To read more about her story, check out the Facebook post above. To check out more of Ben Hopper's 'Natural Beauty' series, click here.
What do you think of Maya's story? Let us know! @sofeminineUK
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