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

Julia Roberts, Lisa Bonet, and more stars who have bucked female beauty standards and embraced their underarm hair.

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

Photo: Getty Images

Grace Jones, Year Unknown

Photo: Getty Images

Julia Roberts, 1999

Photo: Getty Images

Lisa Bonet, 1990

Photo: Getty Images

Madonna, 1984

Photo: Getty Images

Drew Barrymore, 2005

Photo: Getty Images

Britney Spears, 2003

Photo: Getty Images

Ani Di Franco, 2000

Photo: Getty Images

Penelope Cruz, Brujas, 1996

Photo: Courtesy of Canal + España

Juliette Lewis, 2002

Photo: Getty Images

Kelsey Lu, 2016

Photo: Courtesy of True Panther Sounds

Lady Gaga, 2011

Photo: Getty Images

Gaby Hoffman, 2014

Photo: Getty Images

Ryn Weaver, 2015

Photo: Getty Images

Miley Cyrus, 2015

Photo: Getty Images

Lola Kirke, 2017

Photo: Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg, 2018

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

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Lauren Valenti