If there were ever a more divisive subject than female body hair I would probably grow my own, dye it pink and post my arm pits on Instagram.
Funnily enough Miley Cyrus recently did exactly that, but it's Miley so no one batted an eyelid. Girls star Jemima Kirke took her own, natural version mainstream on the red carpet at the CFDA Awards.
Me, however? Sensible (relatively), non-celebrity (unless you count my cat-mad Instagram fans), normal (relatively) me? People would bat their eyelids right out of the park.
It's because it isn't 'normal' for women to grow their body hair and display it publically or otherwise. For centuries we've been concerned with removing it from most places and leave hair-pride to the men.
So the question is, why exactly is that the normal state of affairs and do we want to do something about that? Alexa Chung seems to think so, throwing her own hat in the ring with this social post #freethepit. (Although do note the smooth nature of her own underarms.)
So does student Yasmin Gasinova, who has been sensationally cyber-bullied for posting her hairy legs on her Facebook page. Particularly hirsute from the age of 10, Yasmin maintains that: 'I think it's really unfortunate that society puts pressure on women and makes them feel like they have to remove their body hair to feel normal. The truth is that body hair is normal.'
So what do I think? I think yes, body hair is normal, and it was even useful at one point when women needed it to keep warm because they lived in caves.
We don't need it anymore. We have central heating.
It comes down to freedom of choice. If any woman wants to shave her legs she must be allowed to. Conversely, if she doesn't, she shouldn't fear recrimination. But you'd have to be exceptionally confident to pull it off with the aplomb Yasmin does, and this, I suspect is why it isn't more common place among women. That level of brazen confidence is a rarity. Miley has it. Yasmin has it. I do not. Yes, waxing is painful (although I like the feeling - like aching muscles after a workout, it's for a good cause), shaving is a drag - quite literally - and don't even get me started on upper lip bleaching, but it makes me feel groomed and that is my happy place. It's why I love a fresh manicure and a successful session with my curling tongs.
The pressure to remove hair as soon as it grows now is so immense now that you have to wonder who we're doing it for. I would like to say it's for me. I know my husband couldn't care less if (when) I leave my hair to do its natural thing from the months of September to May. OK, June. Or July when the skirts come out again. But then, I've been removing my hair for so long that it barely grows any more. When I was single I would cancel a date (not the first one, mum) if I couldn't get an appointent with my waxer. I'd need it to make me feel confident and yes, sexy. Presumably Yasmin feels sexy without shaving her legs - and why the hell not? Although she does concede that she will shave if she wants to have a one night stand.
Nowadays my motivation is simply to get optimum joy out of my Preen skirt, rather than have anyone else can appreciate my smooth skin, but I applaud the confidence of chasing equality by whichever means (Yasmin), or simply doing whatever the hell you want (Miley). I'll leave seeing the beauty in hirsutism to those on the braver end of the spectrum. I've got a 2.15pm appointment at STRIP boutique.