Armpits4AllTime - my adventures in armpit hair have come to an end...

and here's what what I've learnt...
Squeamish Kate
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and here's what what I've learnt...


And so, as all things must, Armpits4August has come to an end. I hit my target of £150, in fact I very slightly went over my target thanks to a last minute £2.50 donation. So I am proud to be making a substantial donation to the charity Verity, in support of women who suffer from PCOS.

The peculiar daily (or rather, every other day) battle with my usual routine, which appears to have ingrained itself into my muscle memory, of reaching for the razor to quickly rid myself of any hairs on my axillas has finally been broken.

The conscious resistance to grabbing my Gillette razor in the bath and 'doing the old pits' during a bath has been replaced with a curious shampoo and condition programme.

Considering this was a bid to raise money for charity, the comic fund-raiser of growing out my armpit hair has caused me to address a few assumptions I had made concerning body hair on both men and women.

It is no doubt a signifier of the type of people I hang out with (I do live, after all, in Brighton – the only hairy hippy population contender I can think of in the UK is Bristol) that when I not only announced my charitable endeavour, but invited friends to marvel at my stubble my instant feedback was comments upon the lack of growth, or the rarity a naked armpit was.

Here's the perhaps silly thing. Considering a number of my friends identify as gender queer and trans, I still made the assumption that all those who possessed and intended to keep their vulva, shaved their armpit hair. All those in pursuit of or possession of a penis, I thought, did not.

Rather marvellously I have learned your sexuality and gender identity has nothing to do with your body hair choice. A particularly fastidious and straight-laced male friend shaves regularly because he believes it to be hygienic, a married woman shaved when she remembers to because aesthetically she prefers man and women to be without body hair. I have also realised the contempt I hold for stubble. Oh a stubbly boy chin, that's just sweet self neglect. But a woman with stubbly legs or armpits? Look, make a decision, are you going to be hirsute and cute or smooth?

Throughout my own armpit shaving holiday I have shaved my legs and plucked my eyebrows (if you're noticing a massive omission regarding a Special Area that's because I usually omit to tend to it) as usual and only once did I wonder why I was bothering.

The truth is that while I find armpit hair necessary on a man (at least if I were to have a relationship with him) and bohemian on a woman, a hairy leg or unkempt brow does not fit into my own aestheticism. Having said that I must confess that while I enjoy having it - truly - on me, armpit hair does not quite sit right.

Those women whose armpits I have beheld in wonder and admiration have black armpit hair. There is something alluring about black armpit hair. A woman with dense, black armpit hair knows herself; a woman with the pale armpit hair of a moulting gerbil has forgotten to shave her cocking armpits again.

Unfortunately, having hoped against redheaded hope that I would somehow have black armpit hair, I found I fell into the latter category of light brown haired pits. I would have accepted ginger pit hair as a close second to black pit hair but no, beige it is. Worse, I thought I could solve this with some Jolen bleaching crème and £2 blue hair dye. I cannot and I now have a curious case of bleached orange pit and stubbornly brown pit.

This is not to say I haven't enjoyed my hairy armpits. On a whim I e-mailed Radio 4's afternoon programme PM in order to have Nicholas Parsons (National Treasure) to read about my delight in my armpit hair progress. To hear Mr Parsons say aloud over the radio waves: “hairy Christmas” is heart-buggeringly wonderful and amusing.

A Men's Rights Activist tweeted me recently asking for photos of my armpit hair. It's not so much that he is a MRA, or that he has potentially perverted intentions for any images of my armpit hair (a quick google tells me Axilla Festishism is officially A Thing), so much as he didn't say please. Two things in life are free and that's body hair and manners, matey.

In fact, in a sudden rush at the closing of August and in time for my holiday in the Greek Island of Paxos, my armpit hair has grown to such a length as to be visible even with my arms at my sides. It is rather refreshing to witness my beach wookies take precedence over my pale complexion for sun worshippers to nudge each other over as they douse themselves in tanning oils.

Now after a month of nurturing these pit-wigs I am loathe to take a razor to them. It is the 4th of September and as I type this a gentle Greek breeze stirs the tresses 'neath my pits.

I am being poetic, the wind has yet to nudge the glorified stubble of my armpits but still, now that we've known such ups and downs together I am not sure I'm ready to give them up.

Follow Squeamish Kate's adventures in armpit hair on Twitter @SqueamishBikini