Wonder Woman’s Armpits Controversy

You have to be kidding me.

This is a thing?

In the newest Wonder Woman trailer, released on March 11, at minute 1:48 Wonder Woman lifts her arms, seemingly to flip a car, and oh snap her armpits are reveled. Alert the internet!

People are arguing that it’s a photoshop fail to make her armpits look flawless. Forgetting the fact that human women (like the one who portrays her) do in fact have discoloration in the pits regardless of shaving/not shaving. Sometimes it’s the deodorant you use causes discoloration, the thickness of follicles, tanning/not tanning. I can’t believe I have to explain this…Here, learn more about underarm skin discoloration here. 

People are also arguing that Diana, because she’s an Amazon, shouldn’t have shaven armpits.

Couple of things.

#1 Wonder Woman did not have armpit hair in the comics or the TV show.

#2 She’s a fictional character.

#3 Most human women have armpit hair.

#4 How many amazons do you know?

#5 The choice for women to shave or not shave is feminism. Not all feminist have armpit hair. Not all non-feminist shave.

#6 Strength is not found in armpit hair or their lack of.

1489691553Wonder_Woman_armpit

Did we get to the point that the Wonder Woman trailer is so flawless that one thing the over-thinkers of the internet question is whether or not Diana should have shaved armpits or Photoshopped to have flawless ones?

Being a Wonder Woman fan (I have her image tattooed on my body) I have for some reason had to defend this movie through its series of starts and stops at Warner Brothers, through its casting, through the Batman V Superman disaster, why Michelle MacLaren left the project, and through the film budget debates. It’s my fault, I hang out with a lot of filmmakers.

We’ve had a handful of awesome trailers and the tides have turned and people seemingly having been giving this film a chance instead of just hating on it like they have been doing for decades. But this armpit controversy I didn’t see coming.

I think it’s a good opportunity to actually stop and have a serious conversation about armpit hair.

So when did it become a thing?

From the mental_floss book In the Beginning: The Origins of Everything we get this.

Underarms
American women had no need to shave their underarms before about 1915 ““ after all, who ever saw them? Even the word “underarm” was considered scandalous, what with it being so near certain other interesting body parts. Then came the sleeveless dress. An ad in the fashion mag Harper’s Bazaar decreed that to wear it (and certainly to wear it while participating in “Modern Dancing”), women would need to first see to “the removal of objectionable hair.” They didn’t need much convincing, and by the early ’20s, hairy underarms were so last decade, at least in America.

Perhaps like other women, I tend to shave my armpits when I know I’m going to be in a sleeveless top. I have gone back and forth with the idea of armpit hair being “objectionable hair.” Basically, I shave for other people because when I do shave I get ingrown hairs and discoloration due to deodorant. Shaving it when I’ll be seen in public as to not upset anyone or when I see my husband or daughters catching sight of it and seeing the souring of their face. I don’t generally care if it’s there or not but I respect other people thinking it’s objectionable and it’s just not my hill to die on.

However, I do have a weird reaction when seeing armpit hair on other women and I really don’t know why. I see it men’s armpit frequently enough and it doesn’t jar me, but it does in women and it shouldn’t, it’s just hair.

I’ve had to face this with my teenage daughter. She doesn’t wear sleeveless tops and so I don’t bother her at all about it. Yet when I see it, I do wonder, should I say something? Once I did and the look of humiliation on her face killed me so I don’t bring it up. It’s her body and it’s her hair.

The Wonder Woman controversy (and it’s really not, it’s a talking point) does bring up why women are damned if they participate in a cultural beauty standard (shaving armpits) and damned if they don’t.

What are your thoughts on armpit hair? Leave your comments below.

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6 thoughts on “Wonder Woman’s Armpits Controversy

  1. Kym Flannery says:

    I’m lucky I’m blond, so it’s not really much of an issue for me. I do it when I think I’m going to be in a situation where I might be wearing something sleeveless in black or another dark color that might, gods forbid, make it visible and gross someone out in a particular social setting if I raise my arm to wave or point. Other than that, I rarely bother to remove it.

    Like you, Kate, I am appalled at my own prejudice when I initially am taken aback by seeing an unshaven underarm-I check myself hard when I do that. As you said of your daughter: her body , her hair, her choice.

    Bottom line, shaven or unshaven? Big hairy deal! 😝

    Like

  2. R.J. Sullivan says:

    #7 research suggests ancient Greeks actually removed most of their body hair, which at least leaves the possibility open that the nitpickers picked the wrong nit. Or something. But the argument for accuracy leans toward shaven armpits.

    quote
    “in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Middle Eastern countries, removing body hair was important. In fact these women removed most of their body hair, except for t the eyebrows.”

    Oh, snap!

    http://www.historyundressed.com/2008/03/ladies-have-you-ever-forgotten-to-shave.html

    RJ

    Like

  3. Debbi Sponsler says:

    I try to keep my underarms clean-shaven in deference to those around me – because I am terribly prone to body odor and shaving helps with that. But I remember being teased when I was younger about my leg hair and I hated it, so I find myself “consciously unconscious” of other women’s body hair. (In other words, I have forced myself not to notice.)

    Like

  4. Erik says:

    Sounds like some ugly feminists that don’t shave want someone to accept their nastiness. A woman has the right to shave her damn pits. Men don’t like hairy pits. (Usually). If you don’t shave and can’t get a man, that’s a YOU problem.
    Wonder Woman can shave her pits if she wants to! Get over it, nasty feminists.

    Like

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