Beauty

The mixed reaction to the newest Nike model’s armpit hair is pretty worrying

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published

The mixed reaction to model Annahstasia Enuke’s armpit hair proves just how important a decision it was for Nike to use her in their newest campaign. 

Earlier this year, Serena Williams turned Nike’s marketing into a mission statement against the sexism and racism she’s faced as a female sports champion. Now, it looks like the sports brand is taking another powerful stance with its advertising - this time, it’s all about body hair. 

Music artist and model Annahstasia Enuke cuts a striking pose in the latest ad, which was aptly captioned “Big mood” on the Nike Instagram post on Thursday (26 April). In fact, the shot is so strong that it caused a huge stir on social media within hours of being uploaded.  

But it’s not because Nigerian-American Enuke looks so damn cool and confident while rocking a sports bra. Instead, people are focusing on her armpit hair in the photo - and, sadly, it’s not all positive. Many described the photo as “disgusting” soon after the post went live, while others hailed it as “beautiful”.

“It’s an active human body,” one person wrote. “Let her be. It’s nature, what’s the problem? Your hair opinions. Having body hair isn’t a problem, it’s sad your standards are that high for people who don’t even know you exist.” 

You may also like

Adele on body hair: “I'll have no man telling me to shave my legs”

“It’s not about if you personally shave or not. It’s about accepting everyone whether they do something cosmetic or not,” added another Instagram user. “It’s a deeper picture than ‘she should shave’. It’s the exact point Nike made by putting it up. I’m sure their PR people are looking at all of these comments and proving the very point they wanted to make… that society is unaccepting of differences/preferences/lifestyles.”

And one person quite rightly pointed out: “Some of y’all armpits aren’t even shaved right now, so hush.” 

Although Nike’s decision to join the pro-body hair movement can only be a very good thing, this mixed response that the ad has already received highlights how far society still has to go when it comes to accepting natural body hair. 

It sounds so simple, right?! And yet here we are. But along with fellow female figures such as Rihanna and Janelle Monáe, Enuke is helping to break the taboo around body hair. She has since spoken out about the advertisement, writing in an Instagram comment: “Props to the amazing @nikewomen team for not editing out my body hair.”

Topics

Share this article

Author

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

Recommended by Hollie Richardson

Beauty

Nearly a quarter of women “don't shave their armpits”

Long hair, don't care

Posted by
Anna Brech
Published
Beauty

Me, my hair, and I: Five women on their relationship with their body hair

To shave or not to shave?

Posted by
Stylist Beauty Team
Published
Life

Fitness blogger shares empowering message after a year without shaving

Morgan Mikenas says not shaving her body hair has changed her mentality for the better.

Posted by
Stylist Team
Published
Beauty

“Why best friends should have a body hair pact to tell it like it is”

A sign of true intimacy - or a step too far?

Posted by
Paulette Perhach
Published
People

Stacey Solomon shatters stereotypes around body hair with intimate photos

“How can something completely natural and normal on my body be disgusting?”

Posted by
Sarah Biddlecombe
Published