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Ladies, Drop Your Razors it's Armpits4August
This summer, hundreds if not thousands of women will be breaking the cycle for the first time, by foregoing the razor in order to raise funds and awareness for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility and with 10% of women estimated to have the disorder, it's the most common hormonal condition to affect women of a child-bearing age,caused by elevated testosterone and often resulting in abnormal hair growth.
Armpits4August is a collective of hirsute, polycystic and body-hair-positive women who are tired of the pressure to pluck and preen to perfection, and are setting the challenge to simply stop one practice on one area, for one month. Like a ladies' version of Movember, but with a decidedly feminist twist, the charitable event presents an obvious but underestimated alternative to hair removal. In the words of a 70s Clapton classic: let it grow.
The campaign invites all women to take a month off from their usual grooming regime, to see how it feels to break the habit of a lifetime in the name of a vital women's health cause. In doing so, the Armpits4August experience raises a couple of curious questions. First, do you feel under pressure to conform to any hair-related beauty standards? Secondly, how does your underarm garden grow? Those who aren't joining the hairy marathon can still sponsor other participants, with all proceeds going to the PCOS charity Verity.
Some of Armpits4August group are already au naturel and are all too familiar with the reigning criticism from the pro-depilation camp that being hairy is inextricably linked with being unhygienic and unattractive. Yet, scientific research identifies a useful job for armpit hair, in pushing sweat and odour-causing bacteria away from the skin. "Bacteria prefer to reside on underarm skin" [rather than underarm hair], states Dr Ansari in a recent cosmetology publication, the Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology.
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