Women who choose not to shave their armpits are featured in a stunning black and white photo series celebrating ‘beautiful’ body hair
- Ben Hopper, 37, from London, captured pictures of dozens of ‘hairy’ women
- His project entitled ‘Natural Beauty’ champions the natural look on women
- Believes women don’t need to conform to society’s expectations of hair removal
A photographer has captured a series of beautiful pictures of women showing off their underarm hair in a bid to show that ‘hairy is beautiful’.
Photographer, Ben Hopper, 37, from London, captured dozens of ‘hairy’ women in his Hackney studio for his project entitled Natural Beauty.
And these striking images – most of them taken between 2016 and 2018 – prove that women don’t need to conform to society’s expectations of hair removal to be attractive.
Hopper’s project champions the natural look on women and challenges the modern-day ideals of beauty by showcasing a series of gorgeous women proudly bearing armpit hair.
He said: ‘I like natural beauty on a woman. I think it can be very beautiful and under the circumstances empowering and sexy. You need an attitude to be a female with hairy armpits nowadays.’
Jess Waldman poses for photographer Ben Hopper’s Natural Beauty project in October 2018, showcasing women with unshaven armpits
Kyotoca posed for Hooper in June 2017 – the project has been done over numerous years with different women
Photographer, Ben Hopper, 37, from London, captured dozens of ‘hairy’ women in his Hackney studio. Pictured – Charlie Barker poses for him
‘Anyone who is willing to take c**p from a lot of people for it is to me, an attractive strong confident person. I don’t find waxing or shaving that sexy most of the times.
‘From the little reading I’ve done about the subject, I learned that women’s societal pressure to shave has to do with beauty brands such as Gillette who needed to extend their razors clientele and created one for women about a century ago.
‘Most people now can’t even stand the look of a hairy female armpit. Now that is brilliant marketing.
‘I don’t want to say that I want women to start growing their armpit hair, I just think that it’s a possibility and people shouldn’t dismiss it. I’d like people to just question the whole thing.’
Maya Felix poses for the photos in June 2014. Ben Hooper says that women don’t need to conform to society’s expectations of hair removal to be attractive
Hooper says that he doesn’t want all women to start growing their armpit hair, he just thinks that it’s a possibility and people shouldn’t dismiss it
Hege Eriksdatter Ãstefjellsâ, a circus artist, poses for photographer Ben Hopper’s Natural Beauty project, showcasing women with unshaven armpits, pictured June 2017
Although these featured images are some of the most recent images from the project, Hopper has been photographing women for his viral ‘Natural Beauty’ series since 2007.
When he started ‘Natural Beauty’, Hopper recruited models, actresses, designers and friends who were willing to grow out their body hair for a few weeks to a matter of months and be photographed.
But in recent years as the series has gained huge popularity online, more and more women -who already opt not to shave their underarms – have approached Hopper directly to be featured in the project.
Charlot Conway posed for the photos series in May last year – the picture shows her natural armpit hair
In recent years as the series has gained huge popularity online, more and more women -who already opt not to shave their underarms – have approached Hopper directly to be featured in the project. Pictured Laura ‘MushKa Mizu’ poses for Hopper in April 2018
Samantha Louise Patchett took part in the project in SEptember last year – she is one of the 45 women who have posed for him
Hopper has photographed all 45 of his subjects in ‘Natural Beauty’ from his studio in Hackney Wick, East London. His subjects have been a combination of women who are based in Britain as well as women visiting the capital.
Hopper considers his project to be a form of protest against the beauty industry as he questions why armpit hair – a natural state has become a statement.
Body hair on women has been stigmatised in the UK and abroad. So by creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit in his photos, Hopper aims to create a discussion.
JoJo Pearson in July 2017 – Hopper considers his project to be a form of protest against the beauty industry as he questions why armpit hair – a natural state has become a statement
Jessica Hargreaves posed for the photographer in October last year and shows of her natural hair
‘Natural Beauty’ has attracted a huge fanbase on social media, but Hopper says that many people are also quick to judge his work.
He explains: ‘A lot of people love it. A lot of people hate it. I see a lot of arguments online now. Hopefully, everyone can agree at the end, on something – but people love arguing.
‘For this project specifically, I get a lot of people complaining about the models who are too skinny or have makeup or pluck their eyebrows, too young, aren’t real women and so on.
Alex Wellburn posed in May 2017 for photographer Ben Hopper – showcasing her hair armpits
A woman named Sienna posed for Hopper in these beautiful pictures that he took last August
Anne-Florence Neveu poses for photographer Ben Hopper’s Natural Beauty project, showcasing women with unshaven armpits, pictured May 2017
‘I’d like people to understand that my reasoning to choose these specific subjects was exactly because of that; this way the project is much more effective. The contrast is stronger.
‘If I asked people, ‘who would you expect to have armpit hair?’ you would never imagine a fashion model or a very beautiful ‘hygienic’ looking female.
‘That’s the stereotype and I’m trying to use it to intrigue a stronger reaction.’
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