Having a bit of body hair is no big deal. Hell, having a lot of body hair is no big deal.
But unfortunately, that’s not the viewpoint of some people as Swedish model Arvida Byström sadly found out.
After showing off her unshaven legs in a recent Adidas advert, the 26-year-old was shocked to see abusive comments sent her way on social media. Posting a photo on Instagram, Arvida said she had even been sent rape threats via direct message.
“My photo from the @adidasoriginals superstar campaign got a lot of nasty comments last week. Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair,” she wrote on a post.
“Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not posses [sic] all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person. Also thanks for all the love, got a lot of that too.”
Fortunately, the photographer-slash-model, who was described by Adidas as someone who “questions femininity and gender standards using so-called ‘girly’ aesthetics”, is being supported by her 196,000 followers.
“I think you are beautiful. Everyone’s natural form is beautiful, whether it’s hairy, smooth, lumpy, bumpy, whatever. People need to grow up and stop living in an airbrushed dystopia. Keep up being bold and outspoken, it’s needed and appreciated,” commented one fan.
This is literally the thing I needed to see most right now so thank you. I’m recovering from foot surgery, it is literally impossible to do any kind of hair removal on my legs and I feel so disgusting because of it,” said another person. “Which I know is terrible and stupid and anti-feminist and internalised misogyny etc. etc. which makes me feel even worse about feeling so bad. This photo has made me feel a little bit less bad about myself today and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
“Hairy isn’t scary, Unfortunately, porn sites paint a different picture which is then seen as the norm by both boys and girls,” noted one anonymous figure.
“Your body, your choice. End of story,” stated yet another commenter.
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