This is why I’m not shaving for the whole of January
Move over, Movember
In a nutshell, "Januhairy" is Movember for girls. The Januhairy Instagram account describes the campaign as "a project for women to challenge social norms and grow out their body hair for the month of January, all to raise money for Body Gossips education program."
We spoke to third year University of Exeter drama student, Laura Jackson, who created the female body positive movement popularly known as "Januhairy".
When asked what Januhairy means to her, Laura said: "It's an experiment for women to come together, encourage one another and be sponsored to grow out our body hair for the month of January". Laura's movement has only been active since early December, but it's had a lot of positive responses from friends, family and women all over the country.
This movement is a driver for change in the way society sees women and seeks to boost the confidence and body image of women across the world by embracing body hair. Laura acknowledges the progress so far, saying: "Body hair is more accepted now on a woman than ever before", but hopes that Januhairy can go further so all women feel that can be "feminine, hygienic and have hairy bodies".
Asked what she would say to those who think female body hair is "gross", an opinion held by many, she said: "The real problem with our world is that we have stopped loving each-other for who we really are, and we have stopped loving ourselves too".
After performing a one women show in May about ideologies of women, Laura was inspired to take her work further. From growing out her body hair for the performance, Laura found she was enjoying embracing the natural hairiness of her body, leading her to create the movement "Januhairy" to boost her positive message.
Laura hopes that this movement will help make women feel comfortable "in whatever state they choose to be", whether they be hairy or not. She wants to give women the confidence to choose for themselves, and challenge the way they are often told they should look.
Laura is raising money through Januhairy for the charity, Body Gossip, which combines arts and education to empower everybody to be the best versions of themselves and, as Laura says, "rock their own brand of gorgeous".