The model debuted her seemingly new body hair for an essay in Harper's Bazaar.

By Christopher Luu
Aug 08, 2019 @ 8:15 pm

In her latest editorial for Harper's Bazaar, Emily Ratajkowski is peak Emily Ratajkowski. There's plenty of skin on display and the shot is beautiful, but there's one thing that stands out: her armpit hair. Naturally, the sudden appearance of underarm hair caused an uproar online, especially since Ratajkowski spoke about feminism in her feature — but more than a few people were distracted from the message, instead deep-diving into conspiracies to figure out whether or not the hair is fake.

"If I decide to shave my armpits or grow them out, that's up to me," Ratajkowski said in Bazaar. "For me, body hair is another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose — a choice based on how they want to feel and their associations with having or not having body hair."

"On any given day, I tend to like to shave, but sometimes letting my body hair grow out is what makes me feel sexy," she added. "And there is no right answer, no choice that makes me more or less of a feminist, or even a 'bad feminist,' to borrow from Roxane Gay."

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

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The Cut even wrote about the underarm conspiracy, saying that it's likely and very possible that the hair was real at the time of the shoot, but that it's gone by now. Recent photos of Ratajkowski show her clean-shaven. Twitter users also jumped on the idea of faux body hair, which is definitely a thing.

Believe it or not, this isn't the first time Ratajkowski's armpits have made headlines. A few years ago, she talked about feminism and brought up the issue of armpit hair. She explained that just because certain things, like body hair, bras, and makeup, are associated with gender inequality doesn't mean that she has to reject everything. She can, she says, be a feminist and please herself, too.

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"We're existing in a patriarchal society, yes, and the standards of beauty are a response to that," she told WWD in 2016. "That doesn't mean I need to act outside of it, I can act within it to make a point. For example, I wear makeup but that doesn't mean I'm not a feminist. I may wear makeup that enhances my features [and] that plays into the standard of beauty that has been set up by a patriarchal society but I'm living within it. I'm not wearing the makeup to please men, I'm wearing it to please myself. I also am not growing out my armpit hair in protest of patriarchy. I wear a bra. Those are things that I don't feel I need to reject to make a statement about my sexuality."

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