Updated: May 18
“Hairy man,” a few boys teased me at school one day. I remember sneaking to shave my 12-year-old arms after that day. I felt self-conscious and embarrassed because... was I not supposed to have hair on my body?
Fast forward through pubescent confusion– adjusting to a new body altogether– and into the expressive, sex-positive adventures of college.
Brazilian or bikini? Should hair be on our vaginas at all? A landing strip? But a bush? Always unacceptable. Once again, men controlled the narratives around femininity, deemed what’s attractive and shared way too much about what women should or shouldn’t do. A hot mess.
Quietly, I’ve always felt that our body hair was natural. Not only does my body grow hair on its own, but shaving sucks, waxing is painful and lasers are expensive. So I never understood why our natural body hair seemed, well, disgusting to others.
The removal of body hair is an interesting rite of passage for women. One that often includes suffocatingly long showers, small nicks, and scarred skin, only to have to do it again next week. Exhausting.
Women, our bodies, Black women, our bodies. We’re always the topic of the same, basic discussions. This fueled the fire behind the photoshoot Very Hairy, which features a pair of beautiful underwear by Kat Zarra. The undergarments stole my heart at first sight and inspired the concept. Very Hairy appreciates the beauty and liberation of the natural female body hair by creating imagery and showcasing pieces that represent the freedom and flow of our hair.
See more photos from the editorial:
Creative Director: Keema Radway @nykrad
Photographer: Derrick Whiting @dwsnapshot
Model: Kiara Ailene @kiara_ailene
Stylist: Keema Radway @nykrad
Makeup: Tiffany Anne @tiffanyannemua
Stylist Assistant: Aisya Washington @aisyawashington_
Copy Editor: Stephanie Cruz @stephaniecruzpr
SSY Designs @ssy_designs
Kat Zarra @kat_zarra
Simona Rusk @simonaruskshoes
A by Anubha @abyanubha