20 Women Who Prove That Underarm Hair Is the Ultimate Show of Confidence

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Fresh off the return of the full bush, there is yet another triumph for team no-nicks-and-cuts: Grown-out underarm hair. According to a recent study, nearly one in four women under the age of 25 have stopped shaving their underarms. And after lockdown, it's likely that this number has only gone up, with many embracing a more lived-in look. But this long overdue shift in society's standards of female beauty wouldn't have been possible without the women who bucked convention in the first place.

During the golden age of Old Hollywood, Sophia Loren redefined bombshell beauty by displaying bushels of armpit hair in curve-hugging halter dresses, while Grace Jones's underarm fuzz was a cool complement to her gender-bending style in the ‘70s and '80s. Equally radical were two of the latter decade's biggest rule breakers, Madonna and Lisa Bonet, who each tossed the razor with bad girl aplomb.

Of course we'd be remiss not to mention America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts, who greeted the crowd at the Notting Hill premiere—and sent shock waves through the industry—with unapologetic thickets of underarm growth in 1999. Or Lola Kirke, who took the 2017 Golden Globes red carpet with visible, sweetheart-neckline-adjacent body hair. And when actress and social-justice activist Amandla Stenberg sported underarm fluff at the European premiere of The Hate U Give, it was yet another powerful norm-questioning moment. Here, a look back at all the renegades who might just inspire you to go au naturale with your underarm hair.

Sophia Loren, 1955

Posing

Sophia Loren, 1955
Photo: Getty Images
Grace Jones, Year Unknown

Grace Jones

Grace Jones, Year Unknown
Photo: Getty Images
Julia Roberts, 1999

Notting Hill World Charity Premiere

Julia Roberts, 1999
Photo: Getty Images
Lisa Bonet, 1990

Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet, 1990
Photo: Getty Images
Madonna, 1984

Madonna In New York

Madonna, 1984
Photo: Getty Images
Drew Barrymore, 2005

Olympus Fashion Week Fall 2005 - Marc Jacobs - Front Row and Backstage

Drew Barrymore, 2005
Photo: Getty Images
Britney Spears, 2003

31st Annual American Music Awards - Arrivals

Britney Spears, 2003
Photo: Getty Images
Ani Di Franco, 2000

Photo of Ani Di Franco

Ani Di Franco, 2000
Photo: Getty Images
Penelope Cruz, Brujas, 1996
Penelope Cruz, Brujas, 1996
Photo: Courtesy of Canal + España
Juliette Lewis, 2002

"Enough" New York City Premiere

Juliette Lewis, 2002
Photo: Getty Images
Kelsey Lu, 2016
Kelsey Lu, 2016
Photo: Courtesy of True Panther Sounds
Lady Gaga, 2011

22nd Annual MuchMusic Video Awards - Show

Lady Gaga, 2011
Photo: Getty Images
Gaby Hoffman, 2014

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals

Gaby Hoffman, 2014
Photo: Getty Images
Ryn Weaver, 2015

South By Southwest Music Festival - Day 3

Ryn Weaver, 2015
Photo: Getty Images
Miley Cyrus, 2015

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Miley Cyrus, 2015
Photo: Getty Images
Lola Kirke, 2017

74th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

Lola Kirke, 2017
Photo: Getty Images
Amandla Stenberg, 2018

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Amandla Stenberg, 2018
Photo: Getty Images
Emma Corrin, 2020

Emma Corrin, 2020

Emma Corrin, 2020
Photo: Courtesy of Emma Corrin/@emmalouisecorrin
Ashley Graham, 2021
Ashley Graham, 2021
Photo: Courtesy of Flamingo
Julia Michaels, 2021

63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards – Arrivals

Julia Michaels, 2021
Photo: Getty Images
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Originally Appeared on Vogue