Courtney Adamo is a mother of four living in London, a co-founder of parenting blog and website Babyccino Kids, and perfectly happy with her body. But recently, she had to fend off bodyshamers determined to make her feel guilty about, wait for it... her arm hair.
Did you even notice it in her Instagram image? Did you care, or have any thoughts at all about a woman having hair on her arms, just like every other human? Perhaps not, but plenty of others did, after Adamo shared the image two weeks ago.
Intending to showcase her new watch from a designer she loves, and offer her followers a generous shopping discount should they want to get in on the timepiece action, Adamo found her post going viral for an entirely unexpected reason.
Explaining how the event unfolded and detailing the hysteria now surrounding her very ordinary looking arms, Adamo writes on her blog:
“Okay ladies, a funny thing happened to me this week. I posted this photo (above) on my Instagram feed to feature a watch brand I like and to talk about the two opposing sides of my personal style, as reflected by my wrists.
“But, the comments and conversation quickly became focused on my arm hair!!! Some people told me ‘it looked gross’, while others suggested I would look more feminine if I removed it. Some were just surprised I would post a photo showing my arm hair (what?!). Of course many people left comments in my defence, equally stunned by the inane discussion.
“And to think, until this week I never ever thought twice about my arm hair. In fact, it never occurred to me that people would shave their arms. Okay, I know Olympic swimmers do, but…! Frankly, I don’t feel insecure at all about my arms. This is how they look.”
While some users suggested Adamo shave her arms, consider laser hair removal or ‘forgo a pic’ where arm hair is visible, others were quick to highlight the ridiculousness of the idea that women should remove their arm hair to ‘look more feminine’.
One follower even recounted her own experience of arm hair shaming, which had taken place the very same day.
Writing in the comments section below Adamo’s photograph, the woman reveals: “Today a random in my office took it upon himself to 'stroke' my arm hairs and say that it was 'furry and fluffy' like the black Cardigan I’m wearing (I'm mixed race with tan skin and dark hair).
“Then only 10mins later I see an article about this photo and people's nasty comments about it... So I was compelled to come here and like this photo and comment… Because in 10mins I've gone from being embarrassed and ashamed to deciding that if you don’t care, then neither should I! Thank you!”
Adamo also shared her thoughts on the whole concept of removing arm hair, continuing her blog post with the below summary:
“Here are my thoughts: Women have hair. Some have more than others. We already spend WAY too much time worrying about these things.
“Do we really need to add another task to our personal grooming regimens? Don’t we already have enough pressure on us to meet society’s arbitrary standards of beauty? Why are we encouraging (or more accurately, pressuring) each other to have more insecurities?
“As a whole, I think we suffer from confidence issues based on our appearance and that has knock-on effects on our ability to achieve success in our careers and happiness in our lives.
“Society puts enough pressure on us to be thin, to be tall, to have big boobs, to not go grey, to show no wrinkles. Do we need to add ‘to be hairless’? Where does this end?”