“I am mixed race and have quite fair sensitive skin and thick dark hair. This made shaving a very difficult and often...Posted by Ben Hopper on Friday, June 20, 2014
Meet Maya Felix, model and proud armpit hair ambassador. She might just encourage you to skip your next pit wax. As part of a "Natural Beauty" project by photographer Ben Hopper, a collection of images of females who don't follow society's expectations when it comes to hair standards, Maya's black and white snap is one that has truly struck a chord online. The photograph, originally posted back in June 2014, recently gained further momentum after Maya put words to the visual, and at 60K reactions, you may be tempted to join her in this "freeing and empowering" cessation of nonessential grooming. On speaking about the photo's success, Maya added, "I am honoured to be part of this series and I continue to be overwhelmed and taken aback by the response it's had over the last three years".
This isn't to say the post has gone unnoticed by trolls. Amongst the empowerment and positivity it's inspired, the campaign has been met with criticism from those a little more conventional and close-minded. The model went on to add, "Friends often ask how I deal with the negative reactions but I hardly pay them any mind. These nasty comments are fuelled by the discomfort and anger that people feel when they see someone not conforming to the standards expected of women. The comments I live for are from people saying that they feel inspired or moved by the image and want to appreciate their natural bodies more too. Just last week, a man sent the image to his two younger sisters who were self conscious and struggling to accept themselves in the hopes of empowering them."
Read in full about Maya's experience with her "assh*le deterrent" and why she's learned to love it and appreciate it above.