There are certain beauty rituals that are common in our culture. For women, that includes shaving, waxing or removing (in your preferred method) hair from certain parts of your body.

Women are not hair free, but at times it feels like we’re supposed to appear that way. Many women remove the hair from their legs, their armpits and their bikini area. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s annoying. Often, it seems that it’s necessary.

Is it? Is it necessary to remove all of this body hair? Perhaps it seems that it is necessary simply because that’s what’s commonly accepted in our culture.

Lourdes Leon is Madonna’s daughter. She is also a model, and she’s not afraid to show a little armpit hair. It’s not hurting her modeling career either.

In a new ad campaign for the collaboration between Palace and Calvin Klein, Leon shows off more than the brand’s new clothing and underwear line. She also flashes her armpit hair.

Leon shared pictures and a video from the ad campaign on Instagram.


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A post shared by LOLA (@lourdesleon)


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A post shared by LOLA (@lourdesleon)

Some viewers find visible armpit hair on a woman appalling. Others find it empowering. One person commented, “If anyone is bothered by unshaven armpits, don’t watch it. I’m always amused by the indignant voices of the incels.”

While Leon shared her pictures on Instagram, she is aware that Instagram is often “not real.” In an interview for Interview magazine, she explained that Instagram is “the biggest lie of all time. People create personas on Instagram that are nothing like who they are in person.” Leon is not one of those people. She added that these fake personas are, “the scariest thing to me, because I’m the same everywhere.”

Leon credits being able to grow up with her life out of the public eye as the reason that she has been able to keep her sanity. She explained, “I’ve been judged from a young age, but I think that privacy is the reason why I was able to keep my wits about me and not find myself in a mental asylum.”

The Interview interview was conducted by Madonna’s best friend, Debi Mazar, who praised Leon for not being afraid to show some armpit hair. Mazar said, “I love your armpit hair—you’re following in the footsteps of Sophia Loren and your mom with that. Americans are so afraid of it, but I think it’s beautiful.”

Do you think visible armpit hair on a woman is gross or beautiful? Do you remove your armpit hair? Do you think women with armpit hair will become more common?