Let’s face it: everyone has body hair. No matter how often one tries to shave, pluck, wax, or have it lasered off, it’s an unavoidable fact of life and also a perfectly natural part of our bodies. So why are people — especially women — so worked up about going hairless?
Actress Valeen Montenegro shared the same sentiment recently when she got real about having body hair on social media. How? By sporting seaweed on her armpits while vacationing in Boracay.
Valeen posed hands up with seaweed stuck to her body in a series of photos, using them as a stand-in for her armpit hair.
“Body hair is NORMAL! It’s natural! And we need to talk more about it,” the actress wrote on Instagram.
While Valeen acknowledged that people have the ability to shave, wax or laser off their fuzz, the actress implored her followers to reflect on their so-called imperfections.
“But when other people criticize us for our ‘imperfections,’ let’s all think and understand first: What is perfection anyway?” she asked.
“I know my body is not even close to perfection,” the actress added. “But I love and nourish my body because it allows me to do things that make me happy.”
Valeen said that she no longer feels affected by people pointing out her flaws and wanted to share the same message with others.
Though she doesn’t quite explain why she used seaweed instead of growing out her own body hair, the actress’ message still rings loud and clear. This is considering that Filipino beauty standards and celebrity culture continue to place a premium on certain physical qualities based on Western definitions of beauty.
The global pandemic has presented an opportunity to reconsider these standards. In August, the Belo Beauty brand and its partner agency GIGIL came under fire for airing an ad called the “Pandemic Effect,” depicting a woman growing body hair, wrinkles, and gaining weight while listening to depressing news on TV — which many slammed as a tasteless instance of body shaming.
“I think more girls need to hear it [because] stereotypes should be broken! Let’s not compare ourselves to others and just love OUR OWN bodies,” Valeen emphasized on Instagram.