Martinez, 24, took to her social media on Friday to share a couple of photos from an event with fellow alums from the ABC franchise, Corinne Olympios and Kendall Long, where she wrote about overcoming a big insecurity.
“I went to a red carpet event without shaving my legs!!” she captioned the slideshow, which featured a photo of Martinez rocking visibly hairy legs. “This may sound really dumb, but it was a big deal for me. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I feel (almost) totally comfortable like this.”
The mother-of-one explained that her body hair is something she grew up “HATING” after being teased for it and even sneaking her mom’s razor to start shaving at nine years old. But after becoming pregnant, she decided to overcome the panic that struck her every time she nearly went somewhere without shaving.
“It’s not about ‘not believing in shaving,’ it’s about believing I AM BEAUTIFUL, ATTRACTIVE AND ‘FEMININE’ NO MATTER WHRE I HAVE HAIR ON MY BODY,” she wrote. “It’s about showing girls you don’t have to listen when society tells you your natural features are ugly or gross.”
The post received thousands of reactions, including those in praise of Martinez for “pioneering for us not as brave.”
“What’s natural should never be looked at as ugly, and you’re such a great example of embracing all of you!” one person wrote. Another commented, “Learning how to be comfortable with yourself is hard — you’re doing awesome.”
However, the post also received backlash from people who called the unshaven look “gross.” One man, who goes by John James on Instagram, went so far as to make an entire Instagram story criticizing Martinez’s message. Martinez later posted it to her own story.
“I’m just confused cause it seems like nowadays a girl can do anything and call it self-love or women empowerment. So where do we draw the line of just going, ‘Ok this is kind of weird’?” James said in the video. “I would never date a chick or could not be attracted to a chick who had armpit hair more than me and more leg hair than me.”
James also posted a poll where he suggested that Martinez showed off her leg hair just to get attention.
In response, Martinez pointed to the end of her original caption, which read, “Remember, if someone has a problem with the way you look, that’s an issue with THEIR mentality, not YOUR body.”
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