Founder Alex Andrews
Founder Alex Andrews Get Hairy February

Women let it grow for a cause

LADIES, put down that razor and let your hair grow for a worthy cause!

It's time to Get Hairy in February and organisers are anticipating a healthy new crop of furry legs and armpits from the nation's women.

For those unaware of the controversial fundraiser, the campaign aims to empower women to challenge expectations of Western standards of beauty while raising money to help eliminate violence against women.

Since the start of 2018, eight women have been killed in Australia according to Counting Dead Women Australia researchers of Destroy The Joint which keeps an annual tally of women killed in Australia as a result of violence.

In 2017, a total of 49 women were killed.

While body hair and violence against women hardly seem linked, campaign founder Alex Andrews said she soon experienced the unseen gendered challenges still faced by women upon going razor-free.

"At first, I was challenged by others and by my own internalised standards of beauty," she said.

"It revealed the often-unseen differences in how society treats women compared to men, and it gave me the opportunity to discuss and support important issues like gendered violence."

According to the Get Hairy February website, over 95% of Australian women conform to the notion of smooth, hair-free skin and have done so since a 1915 advertising campaign deemed hair on women's legs and underarms as 'ugly' and 'embarrassing'.

Today, girls as young as 10 remove their hair to avoid the 'embarrassment' of their natural bodies.

This beauty standard, the website goes on to state, "affects our appreciation of all bodies, particularly our own. When we stop shaving, other expectations about how a woman should look and act also unravel."

Last year more than 400 women took part, raising over $40,000 or the Full Stop Foundation. This year, Empowered Together, an organisation that teaches high school students about consent, will be the recipient of funds raised.

For more information, please visit the Get Hairy in February website.

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