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Today is a normal day: woke up with the baby demanding attention, so went to the living room to play with her for a little. Meanwhile, when she’s distracted banging on her piano, I cruise through my facebook feed… Jezebel gets my attention with the bold picture of blue armpits and the title: “Dyeing Your Armpit Hair Is The Next Big In Beauty

Apparently, some teenage girl decided to grow her armpit hair and, in a stroke of fashion geniousness, decided to dye the said hair. I didn’t really read the article but watched a bit of the video where she explains how and why she dyed her arm pits. So now I find myself thinking about armpit hair.The affirmation stays in my head:

“It’s so empowering to grow your armpit hair. It’s so cool to dye it! Just think of it. Who has armpits like this? It’s amazing.”

Well, I agree with that. There’s nothing more empowering than doing whatever you feel like. Especially when it’s something that will probably turn many heads. It’s so delicious to just feel the courage to go against what is socially accepted and just be bold! Say to yourself that you don’t care about what everyone else thinks and go with it! That’s wonderful! But maybe… it’s also a lie. Maybe the need to show it or explain it… it’s a cry for acceptance. But well, let’s forget about fitting or not fitting into the cool group. Does this mean that one way to be/feel powerful is to grow your armpit hair? Maybe. That could be a cool experience… but what about the very first women who decided that they wanted to shave their armpits? I bet that felt really revolutionary at the time! So I googled it, and realize that the whole shaving thing is nothing but a marketing strategy to brainwash women to think that they should do it, so that some companies get a lot of money by selling shaving products. This is totally soul crushing… How far really evil marketing goes just for the sake of making money? I know, probably people do want to shave… but at this stage even if you don’t, you just “have to” in order to not feel an outsider. What can we do preserve ourselves and our identity? Be an outsider? Change how?

I mean, shaving it’s a big thing in the whole grown up woman deal. I still remember when I was old enough to have the choice… I remember the whole dwelling about waxing since it looks and feels so good, but it’s so hurtful. Now I just realized that I was just manipulated to think like that and wonder what my decision would be if there wasn’t a trend behind it. If this trend hadn’t become a dictating attitude that makes women (and men) that don’t shave somewhat disgusting.

I came to the conclusion that the trend is the enemy. One can be happy by doing whatever one feels like doing… but when that is made a trend, suddenly that starts dictating what everyone should do. Worse than that: a trend always labels people in the group with certain characteristics, values… Always building preconceived ideas about people that choose to be in or out. Making people think that it’s ok to judge people based on this. Useless and ignorant. And yet… works every time. In our society we always get the poisonous feeling that no one can be truly successful without having public validation. After all, with the rise of social media as a daily practice, everyone tends to express their opinions in public. Does that make every public statement a cry for validation and acceptance?

I believe there is a difference between expressing yourself and showing off to get attention. The difference is nothing more than just an intention. The first will probably make you feel good about your choices, about who you are to the light of your own actions, make you happy about being you… the second will just make you a slave of your own popularity. It only comes to you to choose what is most important: to share/express yourself or to be accepted/validated by the crowd? Choice is a beautiful thing. To choose is to be free. So if the trend is a villain… the power of choice is your own inbuilt personal super hero.