I took these photographs on a long hot day last summer as part of a project that subsequently didn't happen (I won't name names...) Anyway I didn't ever post them because I for a while held out that it might happen and then it was Winter and it felt terribly unseasonable to post such sunny photographs. I was pretty happy with this set of images; the theme was the biggest insecurity in your body that you've overcome. I wrote a little piece at the time to go alongside it:
I've spent years taming it, struggling to get it under control; my biggest insecurity is my body hair. A small amount of very prominent Italian genes means I'm blessed with quite a lot of it. I've felt impossibly awkward about it since hitting puberty and have spent far too much time obsessing over it. Over the last years I've started to deal with my demons. I've grown my underarm hair for extended periods (I still sometimes cave and shave it all off). Under arm hair has always been the most scary for me. Mine is very dark and fairly noticeable. What made me have a change in heart? Seeing women like Petra Collins, Molly Soda and Miley Cyrus wear theirs with pride and promote a positive attitude towards it. I've started to slowly realise that everyone has it, it's not gross or scary but part of being a woman. Many chose to rid themselves of it completely. I find shaving such a bother, in fact I find it completely tedious, that it's such a relief to no longer feel the pressure to have to ALWAYS do it! I really only ever shave it so others don't stare but recently I've started to care a lot less about that too. I bought this dress last year and a year ago I wouldn't of dreamed of wearing it out without shaving my armpits. Now I'm throwing caution to the wind and doing just that... I appreciate that body hair isn't for everyone but for me relaxing my routine has made me much more comfortable in my body.
A year on not a lot has changed I still feel like it's good to be chiller about these things, sometimes I rid myself and that's fine, other times I can't be bothered and that's fine too. Either way I think nobody should be made to feel gross//uncomfortable//sad about their choices because both are great! It's all about what makes you happy in this life, so embrace your right to choose - we are after all very lucky have that right (which is not afforded to all women out there).
This dress is pretty magnificent I purchased it from a friend and vintage seller in Falmouth, she told me it had been specially made for a dear friend in Mexico in the 1970s. On buying it I wasn't sure if it would fit but it did/does and I couldn't be happier. It's the perfect summer dress, I'm so looking forward to parading around the South of France in it (I'm off there in June- send me tips for St-Paul de Vence!) The embroidery is amazing, very intricate and SO vibrant - my favourite sort. It does have a couple of stains on the top and skirt and I had planned to embroider over these but I actually rather like them, (I always like garments that show their history)...maybe in time I'll cover them up but for now they're safe.
I'm interested in everyone's reactions to this, body hair is always a conversation divider... Whatever your choice I think you are all delightful, thank you for always reading and commenting such lovely things, I always read them all and feel honoured to know so many fab and vivacious women!
1970s embroidered dress - Kitty Gubbins Vintage Flea Market
Gold hooped earrings - Urban Outfitters
Floral headdress - Penny MacBeth
all paintings by me