Is not shaving your armpit hair really as big a deal as the Internet appears to think it is? From a cursory glance through the comments posted on a picture of Madonna and daughter Lourdes - both of whom famously go au naturel - one would think there are few things more offensive than a woman with hairy underarms. The woman, in this case, is Lourdes, 21, the sight of whom has thrown Instagram into a frenzy of shuddering and retching. Responses to Madonna's post range from a relatively mild "Ewwwww" to a dismissive "They didn't finish photo shopping this" to a derisive "...similar to male gorilla."
But why the extreme horror? Her body, her choice - and should we even have to flag this in 2017, oh sorry, 2018? As a couple of the saner comments point out: "maybe she just doesn't feel like altering her body's natural state to fit soceity's expectations?"
A later post from Madonna made it clear that the Internet's opinion matters very little:
Madonna, now 59, has lived a blockbuster life on her own terms and isn't going to stop now. But not everyone is as spunky as she. Just weeks ago, supermodel Gigi Hadid's scruffy pits showed up in a feature for LOVE magazine. Her right to go unshaven was vigorously defended - until the apparently hairy underarms were explained away by 'sources' to TMZ as jacket fuzz. Whatever.
The Internet often seems to fixate on armpits, hairy or otherwise. Priyanka Chopra's Maxim cover in 2016 was scrutinised closely for evidence of photoshopping her unnaturally smooth underarms.
Priyanka addressed Pitgate in trademark style.
Months later, the actress' uncovered knees while meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin was greeted with horror online and invoked a similar response from her.Comments
So here's a new year resolution for the Internet - let's make it a woke 2018 and get over our fear of body parts and body hair.