Starting a hashtag was something I didn’t really think people would ever get on board with, I mean, who wants to be part of something created by a nobody (ahh self doubt) but you know what I mean. I don’t have 2oo thousand followers, and at the time I had only a mere 6000 odd. But put the power of the internet, people who share your creative vision and women sticking up for women together and sprinkle on some flower petals and you’ve got yourself a pretty amazing tag.
Botanical body hair was born during my time taking part in Bloom & Grow, you may have seen me write about it here. The task that week was to come with something ‘unexpected’ So think, petals in your coffee cup or flowers exploding from an open book. I tried and tried to think of something good, I put petals in my wine glass, I stuck peonies in my fire place and finally, I decided one morning whilst trying to work out what top to wear, as I hadn’t done the required ‘skimming’ that I would make a beard of flowers. I found it mildly, nay, i found it hilariously annoying that I was being dictated by my body hair. I’ve been brought up in a society and country that finds female body hair to be disgusting, unhygienic and something that ‘hippies do’ Why though? Who says?
I find it funny that as females we are told to get rid of it in order to be attractive, the same as we’re told to get rid of our grey hair or stretch marks or cellulite. Why doesn’t the same go for men? We can have very clean, hairy armpits, Tiger stripes and dimply thighs if we damn well please and STILL be absolutely beautiful.
Anyway, this leads me on to my post. One of my followers found it so funny (as that’s all it was doing at that point, poking fun at the stigma) that she decided to join in, a few “this is amazing” comments later and we decided we needed a hashtag. #botanicalbodyhair was born. Yes I have given birth and I have graduated university but seriously this is one of the things I am most of proud of. I created a topic for discussion, one that matters, one that resonates with SO.MANY.WOMEN for so many reasons.
I’ve had stories from men as well as women, of cancer battles, heritage hair issues, pesky post partum regrowth, bullying, pressure to shave too young and they’re all opening up to me and this tag. The simple use of flower petals and leaves has allowed us to poke a little fun at these things that control us.
I’ve compiled a few quotes as well as the pictures from some of the women who have taken part in the tag. I asked them what it meant to them, and here is what they said.
Dara, of @dara.andtherosebuds says, “The botanical body hair movement spoke to me on a number of levels. The photos first struck me with their humour and quirky beauty, but once I looked into the meaning behind the tag, I was drawn to take part because it opened my eyes to pressures I didn’t even know I felt. It brought out an awareness and sense of togetherness as women that I was suddenly so grateful to have.
It has been a surprising and true pleasure to take part – it has the ability to draw out deep levels of creativity and vulnerability all at once, resulting in an incredible sense of unity among women.”
Julieta Benito @Julietabenito says “It has been rarely so easy for me to get inspired than after the moment I saw that first picture of you with the beard and the bath towel…there was the beauty of the image itself but also the fun it had and then the fantastic hashtag that gave a sense to it… Images just started popping into my head! I guess because body hair is REALLY an issue in a woman´s life and it was just wonderful to see a comic yet beautiful take on the subject.”
Danni @Chachipower says
“Since creating The Chachi Power Project in January I have become acutely aware of the pressures put on everyone by society to present themselves in a certain way to feel ‘good enough’.
Too many women have internalised this misogyny that we have to present ourselves in the opposite way to what nature intended. Hairless, smooth, perfect. It’s bullcrap.
We have hair, we have bumps and lumps, we have spots and scars and stretch marks and every single one of those things society calls ‘flaws’ is the exact opposite of a flaw. These marks and twists and turns your bodies show are natural and beautiful and every one of them tells your wonderful life story. Each ‘flaw’ should be celebrated for bringing you to this magical bit of existence called ‘right now’. Take a moment and thank your body for bringing you through that rocky thing called life and helping you get here.
Sarirah Hamid @Prettynotinc says
“#botanicalbodyhair is that balance between extending your creativity on Instagram and sharing something relatable and very real. Body hair is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you like or dislike its presence on yourself is your choice to make. Personally, this project is more than a hashtag and has helped me step outside of my photographic comfort zone.”
Kasia Kiliszek @kkiliszek Says…
“I’m turning 30 in November but only recently have I started to discover my identity as a woman. I always thought I don’t get on well with women but since moving to the UK, my perspective changed. I’ve met many wonderful and inspiring women who helped me to understand my own femininity.
In my spare time my friend Natalia and I are working on a project called This Is Womb, where we try to combine feminism with storytelling. This is how I stumbled across the #BotanicalBodyHair on Instagram.
I think, there’s nothing more powerful and beautiful than a community of women, coming together and manifesting in something they truly believe in. For me this is exactly what #BotanicalBodyHair reflects”
And finally, my sister from another mister, Patricia, who came up with this wonderful project with me (and who i can’t thank enough for her continued inspiration) @unfounddoor says,
As you know, I saw your first post and it immediately inspired me (that same morning:) – honest, funny *and* a gorgeous photo, addressing something that we *all* as women deal with
(or make an active decision not to). For me, the tag has been so liberating – as well as creatively inspiring – to show something about myself that our society considers ugly or gross and to make it ‘beautiful’. I think there’s a value in thinking about why we feel the way we do about things like body hair, wherever we come out personally on the decision to keep or remove it, and to poke fun at some of the ridiculous standards we are held to. the most incredible thing for me about it all
has been the response, and to read the words that women have written about their body hair journey – to know that we’re not alone (the most incredible thing about IG of course;). It’s also bloody funny!”
And there you have it, I would love it you would check all of these lovely women out, as give their accounts some of your time! Thanks for reading and i hope to see more Floral beards on many more bodies!!