A few weeks ago, Madonna created waves by posting a picture of her lengthy armpit hair on Instagram, not as a statement of natural beauty, but rather an awareness stunt for her Art for Freedom global initiative that encourages creative expression.

madonnaBut, the image didn’t go unnoticed by feminists cheering the 55-year old on, or by the “beauty police” who ripped her apart for the fuzz, and for her makeup application. Whatever Madonna’s reason for exposing her pits, without a doubt, armpit hair has become a statement.

The pop star isn’t the only one showing their bushy pits. Images of Sophia Loren from the 1960’s have been making the rounds online, and London photographer Ben Hopper recently released his personal project Natural Beauty, an ongoing series featuring beautiful women proudly showing off their underarm hair.

Ben considers his project to be a type of protest, “For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair, thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made,” he explains.

No matter your preference, it comes down to personal CHOICE, something we can all agree on… at least we hope so. As Adina Menzel may say… “Let it grow, let it grow.”

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Images © 2007-2014 Ben Hopper

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