the hairy truth
â€žShameless accounts of the female experienceâ€œ
Artwork by Melissa Kitty @melissakittyj
SHE. Our purpose is to provide a platform for sharing shameless accounts of the female experience. Unapologetically. It grows at its own will, simple and natural. Yet we are made to feel dirty and undesirable for having it. When exactly did body hair become shameful? And who dictates how we are to be groomed to fit an image of what is beautiful and socially acceptable? We all grow in our own unique ways. And it is time we let go, and let it grow. Welcome to The Hairy Truth.
Table of contents
She Knows She Tells
Team SHE. Creative Director Aimée Ramos
Editor-in-Chief Tara Dartnell
Head of Design Alina Neukirch
Printer Park Communications
Social Website shemagazine.co.uk
Stack Magma magCulture Athenaeum – Nieuwscentrum (AMS) Reading Room (Milan)
Photos Ziggy Ama Aimée Ramos
Models Alia Wasfi Palesa Dlamini Hannah Langston Lynne Jefferies
Oh, you didnÂ´t shave?
Is that a problem? No, just do you.
01 Hair begins growing from a root in the bottom of the follicle. This root is made up of protein cells, fed from the blood in our scalps blood vessels, creating cells that make the hair grow. As it grows, hair gets pushed through the skin via an oil gland along the way. Once surfaced, our hair is no longer alive.
Did You Know?
Your hair can be curly or straight dependent on your follicles.
02/ Oval-shaped follicles produce curly hair, and round follicles produce straight.
04/ Those with darker hair show prominent levels of eumelanin, whereas those with light have more pheomelanin.
02/ It is not unusual for women to grow hair in random places… A few hairs around your nipples? Don’t sweat it!
03/ Melanin, which comes in two forms, is responsible for the colour of our hair.
Humans have the same number of hair follicles as apes, except our body hair is quite translucent in comparison.
03 Money Talks
01/ A source of insulation: keeping us warm and cooling when sweat evaporates.
02/ Pubic hair – much like eyelashes and nostril hair acts as a barrier, protecting against potential bacteria entering our body.
03/ Armpit hair can protect from chaffing!
SHE. 06 / Facts
On average women will spend roughly £23,000 DEPILATION on waxing in the course the removal of hair from of her lifetime, whereas the skin surface. the cost of shaving averages £6,500 and eight EPILATION weeks of her life spent the removal of hair from removing the hair. the root.
Hair is a modified type of skin growing naturally all over bodies - with the exception of our palms, soles and lips. Whether translucent and thin, or dark and thick, there is no right or wrong!
These statistics are staggering, given the same report states that 49% of women hate the idea of hair removal!
03/ Plus hair removal can leave us susceptible to cuts and abrasions, which can lead to ingrown hairs and infections. And there is no health benefit to removing body hair.
05 Let´s Talk About Sex, Baby Western culture has been toying with the removal of pubic hair for aesthetic reasons since the 80s. With fashion holding the reins on what is deemed appetising. But there are reasons to consider embracing a 70s bush:
As we age we may start to grey, some earlier than others, with genetics largely in play.
Pubic hair releases pheromones, which are chemicals that we emit to attract potential partners. These pheromones are strongest in the hairiest of places!
02/ Greying occurs when our body stops producing melanin – the pigment responsible for giving both skin and hair colour.
02/ There are tiny nerves at the ends of your pubic hair, allowing you to feel increased sensations – meaning your pubes can give you better orgasms. Plus, they also aid against friction.
03/ Greying is not restricted to the hair on our heads, and there is nothing we can really do to avoid it.
More & Less A lot about the hair we harbour simply comes down to genetics, balding being no exception. Although it is not common for women to suffer from balding – unless they suffer from a medical condition such as Alopecia [Turn to page 20 for more] they are susceptible to hair thinning. On the other side, women who suffer from medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can experience the side effect of hirsutism, which causes excess body hair to grow. This is caused by the overproduction or action of androgens hormones.
08 Hair, There, Everywhere The removal of body hair has been practised in most cultures, for religious, medical and aesthetic reasons. Dating back to the Neolithic era! There are many cultural beliefs surrounding hair, following both ends of the spectrum on whether you should or should not remove it.
Ultimately, it is your body and your hair. Wear it how you like it, it’s all about you babe.
On the plus side, as you start to grey your hair will also thin, meaning hair removal will slowly become less of an issue.
01/ Within Muslim culture it is believed removal of pubic and underarm hair as a hygiene measure, can also be religiously beneficial.
02/ Sikhs on the other hand, are not to remove any hair at all [for more on this turn to page 24]
03/ Women around the globe commonly remove their body hair to conform to social standards of beauty. With the perception that smooth skin signifies youth, beauty and hygiene. 07 / Facts SHE.
Wax, Pluck, Epil, Shave, Thread, Chemicals, Cream, Laser, Toes, Nipples, Pits, Genitals, Brows, Moustache, Ears, Knuckles, Arms, Legs, Snail Trail.
Photo by Lynne Jefferies @wereallinthegutters
STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES STORIES 11 / Stories SHE.
Body Hair, Don‘t care By Hollie Nwofor As I enjoy the warmest summer in my lifetime, I have also been enjoying awkward tan lines, boob sweat and realising I’m a lot hairier than I thought. The transition from leggings and oversized jumpers to summer dresses hasn’t been as smooth as I’d anticipated. My cute summer dresses don’t work as well when my legs resemble those of a ferret. On average, women spend £23,000 on waxing and £6,500 on shaving in their lifetime, not to mention the time it takes to remove all this hair. From shaving to threading, removal cream to waxing, I’ve tried many ways to remove hair from many places.
And I’m still not satisfied after all this time. Wishing I had the confidence to go au natural, but I don’t. I started shaving my underarms and legs around 10-11-years-old. At first it was a bit of a cool thing, shaving meant you were going through puberty, and more mature than your classmates. The novelty eventually wore off and it became a chore, and naturally I became lazy. Wearing knee-length shorts? You can bet your bottom dollar that whilst my lower leg would be as smooth as a baby’s bottom, my thighs would remain in their hairy natural state.
By age 16 I plucked up the courage to get my first wax. I was going on a family holiday and didn’t want to worry about shaving my legs and bikini line every day. It took a while to be brave enough to wax anywhere else - and yes, by anywhere else I mean Hollywood. Shortly after that holiday I invested in an epilator, apparently it’s the best hair removal method to maintain a tan - another summertime obsession of mine. Which despite the pain seemed to save me the money I would’ve spent on waxing. Spending £30 every time I want my legs out was never going to work. My life changed when I met my current wax lady who has made my life much easier. She’s a lot cheaper, quicker and can also fit me in last minute. Other than the generic hassle that is shaving, having darker, thicker hair doesn’t help. Ingrown hairs are a real thing and I never feel smooth for long, as it’s easy to see when the hair starts to grow back. It’s also frustrating that my hair returns quick, so even if I do go through the effort of removing hair, it can only be enjoyed for a couple days, tops! The plus side is that my efforts in waxing are starting to pay off. Although my leg is still pretty dark, it is a lot finer and softer. And consistently epilating my underarms has meant that it gets pretty long before I notice - getting on a packed tube in summer is definitely one way to notice. In an ideal world I’d have it removed permanently. Leg hair? Gone! Armpit hair? Poof! Bikini line? Get out of here! I was never particularly bothered about my hairy arms until a boy made a comment about it in sixth form, but fortunately they go blonde in the
sun so they can stay. Although I’d say I’m pretty open to body hair, I remember freaking out when a (male) friend pulled a hair from my chin at a party. It’s also quite awkward when your eyebrow lady asks if you want your upper lip done. Whilst I wait for a boss scientist to create the potion that makes unwanted body hair drop off never to return, I guess my best bet is laser treatment. However, that isn’t a simple, sleek solution. I’m usually all about the melanin but you have to be careful about the type of laser used as the melanin can cause the skin to burn during the treatment. It’s also very expensive and requires maintenance. What’s a girl to do? Women with body hair are often associated with a lack of hygiene, following a trend or your good old man-hating lesbian. Meaning, some women shave simply because they feel like they’re supposed to. Body hair shouldn’t be gross, it’s natural. Growing your body hair should just be associated with being human. Then again, women can’t do anything without the unwarranted criticism from the male gaze. I have a friend who once had a guy touch her leg whilst queuing for a club, when she questioned what he was doing, he replied “Sorry, I was just checking you shaved. Now I can move on you.” I kid you not… Society dislikes female body hair so much that so far they had managed to avoid showing it in adverts. That was until Billie, a US razor company, broke taboos with their new ad. Showing body hair in all its glory, women are seen shaving from legs to toes, even blow drying pits. Aiming to push back on the traditional stereotypes of women, Billie hopes
that the new campaign would “help normalise body hair and change the one-dimensional way in which women are portrayed.” There does seem to be a hair-archy when it comes to the body hair of women. Although most women agree that they should have the freedom to grow and remove hair as they wish, ironically, those that have decided to rock the natural look also face criticism from other women. It seems that as long as hair is out of sight we don’t mind; having a bush is generally acceptable, but eww underarm hair. Facial hair is a no-go and we all pretend not to have those few hairs on our big toe. I do sometimes feel like a hypocrite as there have been several times when I overheated because I had hairy legs and so put jeans on. Modelling carnival costumes also requires a virtually hairless body so I can often be found frantically removing hair the day before (or morning of).
All in all, it’s about the body you feel most comfortable in and doing things because you want to and not because you feel you have to. Going against the grain is always a brave decision and I salute all the women that rock their body hair and just don’t care!
At times I had observed Mum using a razor, but that seemed dangerous for a novice like me. Later I saw her use a cream which she would wipe off and, like magic, that hair would be on the tissue.
My mum always scrubbed the house on Saturdays. One Saturday, it was eerily quiet. Then, an only child, I was playing around the house by myself.
T.D We have all been there, right? Out of time, desperate for a result. I’ve been there more than once! For some reason thinking it will be different this time, the horror of my past experience slipped away, or perhaps my memory has straight up blocked it. But here I am, hopelessly hopeful, razor in hand. Lather the soap, get yourself nice and wet, deep breathe in… I shave my arsehole. The memory of the next level red and itchy rash that (always) follows, suddenly runs sharp through my mind. WHAT have you done?! Never mind can’t stop now, commit to it, idiot. The results are silky smooth; my regret disappears, suppressed again - for at least four to five days.
My great grandmother’s cast iron shears in hand; I had hacked into my hair. “Aimée! What did you do!?!” “Mum! I want to look like Tina Turner!” My mother’s mic drop look turned into the biggest chuckle, “Time to go to the hairdressers.” D.R As it’s a spot that can get quite hot and sweaty, I thought one day whilst at my parent’s to attempt to wax my bum. Being a dude, this was a new experience to me. Everything seemed to be going fine, until I removed the wax strip, which had come off far too easily. Shock kicked in as I realised, shit! ALL the wax is still on my arse, stuck strong and thick. So there I was in my parent’s only bathroom, slowly I spent the next hours peeling and plucking with tweezers. With my mum banging on the door wondering what on earth I could be doing in the bathroom that long. Eventually I came out, wax free, never to be bothered by the hair on my bum again.
of the Taboo
For the next week, I walked around like an orangutan, arms away from my body. Lesson learnt, always do a trial patch for allergic reactions before applying anything new!
So, one day, I went into her dresser and liberally applied the cream. I knew I should wait a few minutes, but as time went by, my pits started to sizzle. Panicked, I wiped the cream off with tissue paper, but by now my underarms were screaming.
Mums always have this six sense! Turning off the Hoover, mum started shouting my name in an emphasised Hispanic way, running up the stairs of our house on Seymour Street. Finding the door locked to her room, she rattled the handle, screaming in concern. I opened the door and mum looked down in horror, seeing the mountain of Taino Indian locks that had once gone to my ass.
Artwork by Venus Libido @venuslibido
Excerpts from article: Does ‘greyism’ exist? By Becky Burgum Full article available: www.beckyburgum.com
– ism Women and men have completely different experiences when it comes to ageing. After all, it is commonly assumed that men get better with age, whereas women’s looks spiral downward after their twenties! Women experience a scrutiny and objectification that men have simply never had to deal with, and the act of turning grey is yet another obstacle. Society is inherently ageist, and growing old is one of the only taboos left in the Western world, along with menstruation. We live in a culture where beauty and youth often trumps experience. The anti-aging product market is set to be worth $191.7 billion by the end of 2019, and a woman dying her hair is considered standard, if not expected. There are countless pill supplements for banishing greys, all of them as likely to work as ‘Flat Stomach Tea’ I’m sure, but in 2016, scientists found the gene which could lead to the prevention of grey hair altogether. A study lead by Dr Kaustubh Adhikari of UCL Cell & Developmental, analysed a population of 6,000+ people with varied ancestry across Latin
America to identify new genes associated with hair colour, greying, density and shape. Speaking to Dr Adhikari, he explained, “Hair greying is caused when melanin, the naturally occurring pigment produced in our hair follicles, stops being produced.” Identifying the IRF4 gene gives scientists a new target that will possibly find ways to prevent grey hair altogether. However far in the future this may be, the potential to banish grey hair from the world altogether is a little startling. We would be removing a stage of life that has been a part of the human race since we came into existence, one of the only features that connects all humans, a common ground in our last stage. Turning grey is seen as a huge life-changing event; as if it will make you think differently, act differently, perhaps sign up to Tuesday night bingo. It is recorded as long ago as 300BC, women were using flower pollen to achieve lighter hair and many ladies in the Middle Ages applied a cooked green lizard with apples and vinegar to create darker locks. In this period, going grey meant a woman becoming vulnerable to claims that she was a witch. The ‘witches’ hair, along with their knowledge, was seen as threatening and would be immediately shaved off upon entering prison before being killed. Much later, grey hair became
fashionable in 18th century French courts, where elaborate wigs were powdered with starch to give a grey appearance, but shaming began once more with the invention of the first commercial hair dye in 1901. By the fifties hair colour products were available for the home and while male stars such as Clark Gable were considered distinguished with grey hair, women were targeted brutally in advertisements for hair dye. The association of grey hair with grandmas is one older women are trying to avoid, but 2015 saw ‘#grannyhair’ go viral as grey hair became a popular choice for young women. Perhaps it was the last shocking colour to try after how mainstream brightly coloured hair has become in recent years, due to brands like Bleach London. At first glance, this could be seen as a positive step towards fully embracing grey hair, but in reality naturally grey hair was still being covered, while the dyed grey hair was being requested. The trending hashtags such as “#grannychic” only furthered the idea that grey hair is only suitable for grandmas and it is clear, grey has become intrinsically associated with being old. However, Gary Davison, a 49-year-old partner at audit firm Ernst & Young, is adamant this is not the case and that grey hair does not hold women back in the workplace. “While it isn’t commonplace
go grey to see women with grey hair in the office, as most do dye it, it certainly isn’t strange,” Gary says. “It’s not detrimental at all, it adds wisdom and a degree of intellectual capability. Seriously, look at Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. She has grey hair, and she looks like someone who knows what she’s talking about because of it.” In 2014 Forbes ranked Lagarde the fifth most powerful woman in the world, so one would hope that she does, and that the reason for this is high level of intellect, not the colour of her hair…
Hair colour and appearance is a minefield for women to be taken seriously while at work, whatever the field. And it currently seems more likely that dying one’s hair is a relatively necessary component to remaining respected and relevant in the corporate workplace. While the creative industries may be more accepting, it is still either a bold fashion statement, or total surrender, to finally ‘go grey.‘
Gabriela Chojnacki Phone chimes Mild surprise My face cracks up into a smile. Fuck yes. Perhaps butterflies Closely followed by A closet dive. Selfies promptly sent to a best friend of any sorts Seeking second opinions. Shower. To smell good. To be sleek, To look twelve again. Armpits – no big deal. Legs, yeah, not terrible. Not anyone’s fave either. Leaving the star of the show for last. Le plat de résistance. The vagina. And all the maze of hair-growing skin flaps it involves. The very moment every woman pretends to be Cirque du Soleil’s finest contortionist. I mean one would not dare leave a few stray strands of frizzy hair down there…
Note from the Author I do not remember when exactly I learnt that I had to shave. Society’s pressure was inflicted on me when I realised that my armpits were not as sleek as they used to be, hence (supposedly) it would be shameful to flaunt them in public. I was fourteen. Sex was not on my mind. I strived for good grades and learning as many Pink Floyd songs by heart as I could. I did not think I was attractive, and as the other kids explored relationships amongst each other, I decided it was not for me. I digress.
As most of us do, I did happen to eventually meet a boy that wanted to see me naked and vice versa. He was slightly older than myself – a whole five years – as a teen that was a massive deal. And even if I had never discussed anything alluding to sex with my parents, or never had been a porn enthusiast, or never really even talked about it with friends,
The problem is young girls being conditioned to hairlessness as an only option. Associating body hair with homosexuality. Stumbling about posts on the Internet about men complaining about a hairy vagina. If you are lucky enough to be nose-deep in one, you should not be complaining about my body’s natural way to protect itself.
I knew that there was no other option than to shave all of my pubes off.
I am tired of feeling less sexy with stubble down there. I am tired of having to run a sharp blade by my very sensitive bits in order to please someone else.
Now, hear me out, I am not condoning that practice, as to this day I do feel sexier when I am not hairy below my eyelashes.
RIGHT, LET ME FINISH MY POEM…
If you want to leave a fringe
Do it. Want to bleach it?
Artwork by Gabriela Choj, Gabchoj.com, @thunderc_nt
Your vagina, your rules, woman. Show it to whomever you want. Style it however you want.
You are beautiful, With or without hair. (Can the 80s please come back into fashion and do all of our bushes a favour?)
Functioning with Alopecia: K.T, 35, London Alopecia Areata is a common cause of hair loss that can occur at any age. Usually causing small, coin-sized, patches of baldness on the scalp – although hair elsewhere such as eyebrows, beards, body and limbs can be affected. Hair is lost as it is affected by inflammation, to which the cause is unknown. It is thought, however, that the immune system may be attacking the hair growth. When did you start to notice the symptoms of Alopecia Areata? When I first moved to London from Finland at 19, I noticed a small bald patch had developed. At first I thought it was caused by stress from the move and nothing severe. Then, as I started to develop more small patches, I thought I was dying! Did you then seek medical treatment? Yes! I ran to the doctor and he said that there was nothing to worry about, that it was caused by stress and that the patches will most likely grow back. The hair did not grow back…
When was the turning point when you become fully comfortable with your hair situation? I had given up on the medical treatments, it was painful, and I had become quite depressed. I was in my early adulthood thinking that I was going to be chronically unemployed, alone with ten cats! One day I just woke up and decided that my hair was not all of who I am and I wasn’t going to let this condition run or ruin my life. Instead I gradually accepted my situation. My life is not about the quality of my hair. You decided to wear wigs?
Has this condition affected your body hair? The only thing really affected was my eyelashes; they have all fallen out and I now wear fake lashes. I do have less leg hair though! Other than that I have almost all my typical body hair. You now have a life partner and daughter. What was his opinion when you first met? Are you concerned that this condition will be passed to your daughter? I was open to my partner when we first started dating. He just laughed and said that was not the reason why he was with me. I have thought about it affecting my daughter, but it is highly unlikely that it will.
s, I have always Ye What did you do next? a nd been a girly girl I attempted two medical treatto keep that What would you say to other peoments. I first tried the most com-I wanted mon approach, which is a cream ance. I use to ple affected by Alopecia Areata? that is used in conjunction with appear light therapy. That did not work ented for my It is okay to feel scared and a bit m li p m o c e b for yourself at first, but don’t for me. Then I started getting ste, sorry ir a h g n lo n let it defeat you! It is not the end roid injections into my scalp. This ia v a Scandin of the world. There are commutreatment did not produce any nd got nities online where results, it was just really painful so I we nt out a you can find and I HATE needles! answers and support. I am happy and living a full life, you can too. myself a really good wig. SHE. 20 / She Talks
Interview with the Waxer Aesthetician: Jamie Crist, 34, USA You’ve been in the industry for several years; I imagine you have seen some interesting body hair in your time. Does anything shock you? I’ve been waxing for almost five years, and yes I have seen and heard some interesting things. Each person is unique with different amounts and locations of hair, but nothing has really shocked me. Part of my job is seeing parts of people that are hidden to most. When a client enters my wax room my goal first and foremost is to ease their mind and make them feel comfortable. A lot of clients – especially for their first bikini wax – tend to be very self-conscious; I let them know there is no need. I have been doing this a long time, there’s nothing I haven’t seen. Do you get male clientele? Are they as self-conscious? My clientele is mostly female. The amount of male clients however, has definitely increased over the years. I think men are starting to feel more comfortable with self-care. Men definitely seem less self-conscious about their bodies than female clients, yet more nervous about being at a wax studio for a service. What is the age range? There is a wide range. I have clients as young as 11 for lip and eyebrow services, and clients in their 60s that get bikini waxes regularly. The youngest bikini wax I have done is 16 – which required parental consent.
What are the typical reasons clients go hairless? A lot of regulars come in strictly every four weeks and see it as a necessity; these clients usually started out shaving and switched to waxing because of the skin care benefits (waxing instead of shaving is a lot better for the skin, causing less irritation and ingrown hairs, with more comfortable and lasting results.) Other clients only wax before vacation, and some because their partner wants them to. In that case I tell them they should only get waxed for themselves, if it makes them feel more confident. What are your personal views on body hair? I believe that if removing body hair makes the person feel more confident or comfortable, that person should definitely do it. And if keeping body hair creates that confidence, there is no reason society or anyone else should make them feel like they need to remove it. Any tips for pre and post wax preparation and care? Anyone looking to start waxing should first find a clean and reputable place to get it done. There is definitely a skill to waxing and having an experienced waxer helps you have a better experience. Pre-wax let your hair grow for at least two weeks, and exfoliate one to two days before to help the hair release from the skin easier – for smoother results. Another important part is aftercare; a good ingrown hair prevention serum or skin soothing serum helps your wax last even longer. Waxing does hurt, but can be well worth the pain if hair removal is important to you. 21 / She Talks SHE.
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I exhale and sink to the bottom, see how long I can stay. Reading his lips as he points to his speedo strapped crotch.
The razor tickles, white snow scraped away to reveal pale plain skin underneath. I jump, my mum scolds. She is holding the razor, and doesn’t want to cut me. I soon take over, religiously shaving every second day. Red bumps replace hair and I decide this is better. I dry shave my armpits everyday. I shave my toes, fingers, and belly, only stopped from scalping my arms by my mother.
I started swimming at a competitive level age seven. Growing up with wet hair and wrinkled fingers, training three to four times a week for eight years. That’s a lot of formative years spent in a swimsuit. A late bloomer, built like a 12-year-old boy; tall, lanky and thanks to my father’s genetics – covered in hair.
From the fluff on my cheeks to the coarse wire lining my swimsuit, I have spent my whole life hating my hairy body. The easiest target, it shone bright like an Achilles heel, inviting other kids to knock me down. I wasn’t just hairy; I was weird and dramatic. I still am all three, but my relationship with my fur has shifted. The air leaves my lungs and my face tingles. I burst through the surface. Nothing stains worse than childhood trauma I’ll never forget it. IG: @wereallinthegutters Twitter: @Lynne_Jefferies
Why do I have a moustache, Mum? Why do they make fun of me? What’s wrong with me? H
It’s still vivid. I see him standing there, backlit from the fluorescent strip lights.
I couldn’t change but my environment did, eventually. Suddenly I realised, better late than never. Hair is natural and I shouldn’t be ashamed of my fur, easier said than done. But repeated in front of the mirror until it stuck. Reinforced by my man who heals with kisses whispered under covers. Finalised by my mid-20s I-just-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. Now I dye my pits pink, my own personal fuck you to the boy from the swimming pool.
Growing up I was made to believe that body hair on a woman was unattractive, unhygienic and that it didn’t belong on me. From a young age I began waxing or using hair removal creams to rid myself of the thick black hair that grew across my skin. I would shave the hair off of my face just so I could feel ‘smooth’ and ‘clean’ – the way that they described it in the media. I felt pressured to stamp out the stereotype of South Asian women being hairy, which followed by feeling anxious about the way I looked. This amplified when I began my actor training, where the struggle of being accepted in a white-dominated industry was prominent. Tired of repetitively removing my hair, I eventually made the decision to laser my legs, underarms and upper lip as I felt that this was where my hair was most visible. At the time of this decision, I also discovered the path of Sikhi and embarked on a journey of reconnecting with my soul and most importantly, the Divine, whom Sikhs believe resides within every soul and every thing, including hair.
The permanent removal of my Kes [hair] was a definite juxtaposition to everything that I now live by, but I have come to realise that it was something that I had to go through in order to be who I am today. Sikhs are forbidden to remove or alter any hair on our bodies, as we believe that it is a gift from the Divine. By allowing Kes to grow freely, it is true acceptance of the way that God has created us, which applies to both Sikh men and women. But the reason for keeping our Kes goes further than this. When we meditate, the hairs on our body vibrate and allow us to connect with God. The Sikh identity was established in 1699 when the Tenth Guru declared that when Sikhs are baptised with Amrit [holy water], they must keep a turban and never remove their hair. This amongst many reasons for keeping Kes was to ensure that if anyone was ever in trouble, they could rely on a Sikh to defend them in a time of need by the easily identifiable Roop [form] amongst millions of other people. When I reflect on my journey into Sikhi, I laugh thinking that I was so desperate to once rid myself of my most feminine, spiritual and beautiful body trait.
Many Sikh women fought for their identity and even risked their lives to ensure they never let go of their faith.
Even with ‘permanent’ hair removal, my Kes has grown back; which reminds me that my body is constantly celebrating the way that God has created me.
Growth by As nature lives in the command of The Creator, we also must not interfere by changing our natural form. The pressures we have nowadays are ever building, but one thing I know for sure is that if I wasn’t meant to have hair on my body, it definitely wouldn’t be growing there in the first place.
We knew what we wanted for our second issue feature story, an easy choice. However, as easy an idea the quest itself proved rather difficultâ€Ś
By Aimée Ramos and Tara Dartnell The adult entertainment industry has been painting an image of what is deemed sexually appealing for decades. And we as consumers have been eating it up like a sweet piece of apple pie. Enjoying all types of people in all types of fantasies, yet somehow it is a rarity to discover a full bush – unkempt in all it´s glory! Even the men are essentially hair free, a bald bird ripe in our faces. Yes folks, that shit is hot, or perhaps not. How do we really know when the options are limited? And if there is hair, this is considered a fetish? Because natural is naughty? (Is that not the point?!) Pubephilia is a real thing – pubic hair fetishism: When a person becomes sexually aroused by pubic hair, both visually and to touch. Is it not just a sign of maturity? Does it not add a little mystique? We began our search for a female adult entertainment industry star eyes bright, taking faith in the concept of people wanting to get behind the cause and shed light on the situation. Call outs
via Instagram, Facebook, all the socials and connections; friends of friends offering (dead-end) leads, even an email or two from industry stars themselves. Of course nothing comes for free, and the ‘reasonable’ fees to pay for the truths were way above our funds. What can I say; we are a team of three ladies, living in London, just trying to make rent. So here we are, in a position of defeat. Reality fast settling in, that we can’t always break the taboo, people won’t always want to talk, and we can’t change that. But, we can talk. We can talk A LOT. The adult entertainment industry arguably came to life in 1969 with the ‘Blue Movie’ courtesy of Andy Warhol. Although between France and the USA, illicit porn had been alive since the 1920s. A thriving industry, that has caught the eye of all kinds of people, varied ages, sexes – sexual orientations – and cultures. Taboo it may be to some, unapologetic to others. Something for everyone, yet also portraying a certain image of what is aesthetically pleasing when it comes to coitus, relations, body slapping, intercourse or just plain fucking. Of course body hair hasn’t just been neglected within the pornography industry, not even leg hairs get shown in advertising for razors! Which is just plain ridiculous, how do you demonstrate a product that removes hair without having any hair to remove? And what incentive does that leave us as consumers to purchase this product? Even my housemate whom owns her own lingerie company has to conform. This is someone that is running her own
business, but pubes spilling out the sides just doesn’t sell lingerie. It’s a goddamn epidemic! Hair, no matter where on your body, seems to be subconsciously a source of power for people, especially those that identify as women. Interestingly enough, hairless is theoretically not biologically sexy. But clean-shaven has evolutionary factors that make it sexy to your chosen partner. What a conundrum! The strong aromas that are produced down there and in your underarms are a source of arousal, that gives your partner biological information about yourself. A woman can biologically bond with her mate(s) through the person’s natural scent. Your hair traps in the pheromones and prevents debris from getting into places that you’d rather not have it in. But the conversation gets layered, as evolutionarily hair was associated with attracting parasites in primitive times. We are not here to point the finger and say that the adult industries are solely the source of pubic trends, but we must be frank that the adult industries is a source of sexual education in Western society, and a standardised poll on desirability. When you do not feel comfortable speaking with others about your own sexual curiosities, what do you do? You start surfing the net. Surprisingly enough, at time of publication, there has not been systematic research on pornography consumption and the perception of pubic hair with the opposite sex that has been conducted.
27 / Feature SHE.
Some researchers have not found the correlation between watching Internet porn and an increased interest in pubic hair removal. But it is said that (seemly) promiscuous individuals prefer less body hair. As most know from looking at their parents’ secret stash that full pubic hair removal did not become popularised in pornography until the 1990s. But it is interesting to note that in Classical European art as in the depictions in the Sistine Chapel, that pubic hair was usually omitted as it was seen as unclean and unholy, but life did not imitate art during these periods. In 1987, seven Brazilian sisters opened the J. Sisters salon in Midtown Manhattan and started offering Brazilian waxes as an homage to the thong swimwear that Brazilian women popularised.
In the 90s with the advent of home Internet and small video cameras, came the dawn of Internet porn and an increased interest in close-up shots of the goods in action. Of course being entrepreneurs, the adult actors took note and delivered what their audience were requesting. It really wasn’t until the infamous Sex and the City episode where Carrie Bradshaw took it all off that full pubic waxing became almost the norm amongst young women and celebs. Surveys that have been conducted state that full pubic hair removal in adult women is more prevalent
SHE. 28 / Feature
within young, white, heterosexual women and Asian women. Furthermore, Black women are the lowest population served by full bush waxing as it is suspected that because their hair is coarser that pubic hair removal is more painful. I personally like to be natural out front – yet maintained like the beautiful garden it is, and go completely hairless in my backside. I just like the way it feels. If my chosen partner does not like it, then we will need to discuss that and it is not an automatic. It has been said that the adult industries are really driven by the female entertainers, but we wonder how much of that is true…? It is something to ponder and a complex one at that. Another concept that fascinates me about our idealised search for a female adult entertainer is, what is part of the hustle and what is an opportunity to honestly voice your experience to others who do not have the luxury to be in that person’s shoes. Are you the master or servant? And whatever role you’ve consensually chosen, it is okay. Tell us about it. As the adult industries at the heart is a business, how much of the decision is up to the entertainer to remove their pubic hair? Does it come from the audience and or clients, and is it predominately driven by the male gaze? Yes, all types of women watch porn, go to sex shops, and frequent dance halls for enjoyment and stress release! Are women really driving the trend? As it is said that sex for both participants when the female has all of her pubic hair removed feels heightened, as the female genitalia is softer to the touch and more sensitive.
We at SHE. are all about the hustle, and completely understand that in all aspects. Who are we to ask someone to contribute his or her hard-earned experience to us lot, when there is no physical reward?
So here we are. We may have come out empty handed in our search for an adult entertainment star, but we have definitely come out on top with fruitful knowledge in regards to pornography and the pubic hair journey. I for one definitely did not expect that enjoying pubic hair would be regarded as a fetish, rather than a norm. But here we are, 2018, just trying to make natural normal again.
Artwork by Hello the Mushroom @hellothemushroom
I grew up with two brothers; this does something to a girl. Never quite the princess, although often treated as such, I was the definition of a tomboy.
I didn’t start shaving my legs until I was in tenth grade. The honest truth was that I hadn’t even thought it was a thing. Who cares? It’s growing on its own will, surely it can stay there – it’s natural, who am I to shave it off! Even after enduring taunts off the boys in high school, I remained unfussed by the fuzz on my legs. Well, I guess that was until I was more wary of the opposite sex on a tingly level.
Leg hair was the first thing I removed, often found dry shaving as the result of being an inexperienced teen. I didn’t realise underarm hair was another undesirable trait until I had a group of friends over for a pool party. Michael (the dick) pointed out my pits to everyone, laughing and saying “gross.” I promptly jumped out of the pool and ran inside to use mum‘s electric shaver. The rash that followed was way less appetising than the hair to begin with. 110%. One of the earliest hairy moments I remember was in seventh grade. We had school camp and I caught Jess P. shaving her arms. I later asked a friend what was wrong with her. In all seriousness, it is just hair, it’s normal – no? At that point in time I wasn’t removing any hair from my body whatsoever. I was perplexed and fascinated by the scene.
Once made aware of body hair not being a desirable trait, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid wearing shorts or going to the pool. I never felt sexy to begin with, I had bad teeth (pre-braces) and now I was all too aware of the hair that was sprouting vastly across my body. It made hanging out with boys in bands really hard work. Finding out that we, as women, are expected to shave our legs, underarms, and arms… I was left wondering where does it end?
I had a hell of a time shaving, endless cuts made worse by the painful rash that was guaranteed to follow. I honestly couldn’t even shave under my arms, it hurt SO bad. I mostly ended up not shaving or doing any form of hair removal until I left high school, much to the laughs and disgust from the boys (and girls!) over the years. I experimented with electric shavers, razors, creams, waxing, and finally I found the trusty epilator – not as scary as it seemed.
31 / She Knows SHE.
For those unaware, an epilator is essentially several electric tweezers, rotating at a speed to efficiently pluck out your body hair from the root. What a terrifying concept, right? I cringe as I type. Why the fuck, do we do this to ourselves?
When it came to waxing the only place I could stand was my pubes, so I got straight into Brazilians right before my 19th birthday – and coincidently the first time I had sex. The strangest thing, I remember going for my first wax and taking my trousers and panties off before spread eagling for a woman in her 60s to take away my everything (yep, ALL of me) and there I was, pretending like it was normal. This had become normal?
SHE. 32 / She Knows
Take my everything! Smooth as a baby’s bum! I did it loyally from age 18 through at least 23, from there as I aged I started to not care as much, I’d rather spend the money elsewhere (and yeah, that shit is not only painful, but also expensive!) Actually, the more I thought about it, the more I realised how creepy the whole idea is. We are women, removing all of our hair, resulting in us looking like little girls… What.The.Fuck. And this is supposed to be sexy?
Again, as the years have progressed I guess I have become more comfortable in my own skin – and the coat it grows – as my body hair doesn’t bother me anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like silky legs every once in a while. I like the way it feels when I touch them. But I personally find something endlessly sexy about a woman that rocks underarm hair, it just comes which such a confidence that is empowering to witness and even more so to embrace.
One hair issue that does still grind me is greying. I remember the first three I found on my head, which I promptly plucked and pretended never existed. I was in my mid-twenties at the time, so it was a sensitive moment. Now in my thirties I can see them in there, multiplying quietly beneath the layers of thick coverage. I’m not exactly bothered, but I am hopeful they will remain hidden a little while longer. Or at least not appear downstairs. Or at least I will choose to ignore any grey hair down there. That is just plain rude.
Ultimately when it comes to hair care, rug removal, dye jobs, etc. the only question you need to ask yourself is ‘who is this for?’ men, women, lovers, friends or yourself. If you answer anything other than the last, you need to reevaluate your thinking. It is your body, your choice; simple. As for me I was always the ‘cute’ girl, still to this day I don’t see myself as sexy – just awkward in an endearing way. That said I feel a hell of a lot closer to sexy when I’m rocking a 70s bush. Yeah I may occasionally trim and keep the sides fresh, but only if I feel like it. After all, it’s my pussy – it’s my power.
Photo by Ziggy Ama @ziggyama
Hair Havoc, by Anna Davies When I was a young girl, I was proud of my silky ebony hair which I could style any way I wanted. Then one day, when I was eight years old, I discovered a bald spot, the size of a one-pound coin, on my scalp. Before long, that patch became bigger and multiplied, the dots connecting into a crown of baldness. I was devastated. In an effort to cheer me up, Mum took me to Clarissa’s Beauty Salon to see if she could style my hair in such a way that the bald spot wouldn’t be so obvious. Big mistake. All the gossipmonger, eavesdropping, snoops came out their hair dryers to gawk at the sideshow oddity, offering remedies which my mother seriously considered. “Rub some coconut oil on her scalp and she’ll be cured in no time,” one genius suggested. For a week I wore that stinking coconut oil slathered on my scalp, but all I got was greasy hair. Finally, Mum took me to a clinic where several baffled doctors probed my scalp like maternal chimps picking insects off their young. After several visits, they decided to try steroid injections, which thankfully worked, and my hair slowly grew back. But it didn’t end there. At twenty-one, the dreaded hair loss returned, and if it was embarrassing at age eight, it was devastating at twenty-one. I had to wear kerchiefs or ugly tur-
bans to school until I could get to a clinic for scalp injections. Strangely, that was the last time I experienced this calamity. I later learned that I had had Alopecia Areata, a condition where the body’s immune system goes awry and attacks healthy hair follicles. Some authorities suggest that this is sometimes triggered by viral infection, hormonal changes, emotional/physical stress, or is passed on genetically. Others are of the opinion that there are no answers to what causes the immune system to confuse its purpose. Hair loss, thinning and problems with growth can also occur when its growth cycle is disrupted. This can be triggered by metabolic imbalances, illness, poor nutrition or certain medications. Stringent dieting can cause hair to fall out or thin. Likewise, a condition called hypothyroidism, a deficiency of thyroid hormones prevalent among older women, can result in hair loss or stunted hair growth. These symptoms should always be addressed by your healthcare provider to determine cause and proper treatment.
Fascinating how hair can create havoc for the unsuspecting, especially during puberty. All of a sudden, one day, there are wads of Brillo growing in your pits and crotch, and leg hair begins to sprout like wild alfalfa tendrils. What we don’t know during those formative years is that genes passed on by your parents and differing levels of hormones called androgens in both males and
females determine hair type, sparseness or density, and distribution. It’s a causality of your parentage, sometimes not a very likable one. There’s an interesting history behind our fixation on hair and its properties.
The early movement against body hair on women was first introduced in Darwin’s 1871 book, Descent of Man, whose evolutionary theory included racial differences in body hair type and growth. Scientists took it a step further, publicising that anything short of a clearly defined difference in hair growth between men and women was pathologically deviant. To prove this theory, a study done in 1873 on 273 insane white women revealed that they had more facial hair and their hair growth was thicker and stiffer than sane women. No one who became aware of this scientific revelation looked at women’s hair the same way. When shorter hemlines became fashionable in the 1920s and ‘30s, women took radical measures to remove hair from exposed limbs. They used pumice stones, sandpaper, shoemaker’s wax, or radiation, all of which carried risks of infection or scarring. Koremlu, a cream made from rat poison, permanently disabled or killed thousands of women. Finally, during WWII, a shortage of thick stockings to cover hairy legs
induced women to use Gillette’s masterful invention for men – the razor. By 1964, 98% of women were routinely shaving their legs.
There was a time when most mothers did not share particulars about our changing bodies and what to do with the odd hair growth. It wasnt until my early twenties when, while in a heated romp with my new boyfriend, I was made aware of the then unfashionable neglect of my undercarriage.
waxing or plucking can also cause ingrown pubic hairs, where the shortened hair grows back into the skin instead of out to the surface. Small, round painful or itchy bumps develop, which may spontaneously resolve or become pus-filled when infection sets in.
Laser treatments can cause burns, blistering, and scarring. Waxing is painful and unsanitary. Bleaching can cause irritation and discolor your skin. Hair removal creams can burn the skin or cause allergic reactions. These products are generally unregulated, as most cosmetics tend to be.
His discomfort with my overgrown bush was quite apparent and it made me feel small and unattractive.
As I later learned from my gynecologist, shaving your pubes can make you susceptible to infection as the hair protects the vagina from dirt and bacteria. Those occasional nicks and abrasions from shaving are a perfect host for opportunistic germs. Shaving,
Photo by Brandon Brown
Not long after, I was shaving every other day from armpit to ankle, stepping out of the shower like a glossy seal. I wasn’t really sure if I was removing it correctly, so I just followed my instinct, with the resulting bumps, ingrowns, and razor burn. Unfortunately, my beloved wasn’t very impressed with my basement remodel, and we broke up a few months later.
In the span of less than a century, the unnatural state of hairlessness has become the standard for many women and for a variety of reasons. But there’s also a legion of women who believe that it’s liberating to go au naturel with their body hair.
When you’re constantly plucking something on your body, it’s easy to become obsessive about how ugly it is, even if it’s not. When it comes right down to it, it’s a matter of opinion, mainly yours.
Scentitive by A i m é e R a m o s Physical education class is an adolescent‘s training ground for all things, coughs, physical… I was mostly alone as I was the weirdo, chubby kid who was too shy and awkward to be sporty. But when you do not speak much, you become hypersensitive to your surroundings. When two girls in the locker room start to speak about shaving their legs, you run to the closest mirror and check to see if any hair is sprouting!
Until that one day when the other girls stop taking notice of themselves and all looked at me after a military-style jog around the school in the Florida heat. ‘Darn, you smell!!!’ a girl mocked at me as the sweat wrapped around all the curves of my chubby frame. I was mortified. I started to notice that all the girls began to bring colourful sticks of Teen Spirit deodorant with them to P.E. Of course I had to follow suit, but we couldn’t afford such luxury. My mum swiftly said, ‘That was crap!’ and that if I was
going to spend money it was going to be on something more sensible like a blanketed generic unisex brand of antiperspirant. To make matters worse, my underarms were not the only things on my body that started to smell. My feet started to follow suit, the horror! What’s a girl gonna do!?! So I ran straight to the library. I read that ancient Egyptians (total nerd, I know!) use to shave all of their body hair, especially in the underarm region as this prevented body odour. Cool. I did not know the true reasoning behind this, but if the ancient Egyptians did it than so could I! I later discovered that sweat actually does not smell. Body odour is produced once sweat interacts with the bacteria that lives on our skin. Apocrine sweat glands are the main producers of sweat on the body, which is found on the scalp, under the arms, areola and nipples of the breast, and in the groin area. Foot
smell is produced from bacteria and sweat mixing with no outlet for release when constricted in footwear and non ventilating socks. East Asians, bless you all as you do not have to worry about any of this crap! Thank the ABCC11 gene! Hair gives bacteria more space to latch onto and grow, which inturns creates an environment for increased body odour. But body odour is not our enemy! Body odour is the biological way we find our mates, for all sexes. I have had several friends of all genders mentioned how much they liked the natural scents of their partners. And it was said that taking birth control and antidepressants can fuck with a woman’s natural sense of this though.
At the end of the day, it is your body and your choice. Shave or not to shave, deodorise, not to deodorise. Just make it an educated one.
37 / She Tells SHE.
The Nappy as a Bucket for – Love By Kira Matthews Early mornings are harder on you than they are for the rest of us, you’ve never found getting up easy. The Saturday morning shift starts at 5:30am and we were both here on time. A small square box sits on the wall as it counts minutes, hours and days. It blinks a neon green as I slide my ID pass across it. I tap-in yours once I’ve tapped-in mine, with the private knowledge that you won’t appear in your blue polyester uniform until much later. You are grateful for this act, but not quite thankful. I have worked here for eight months and fallen into the rhythm of things. Chicken wings sell well during the breakfast rush and I’m careful to prepare enough to reach the morning quota. Three trays of wings, nuggets and nine oily cheese puffs sit cooking, turning a fictional yellow in the deli’s industrial oven. Its window becomes dark and shiny with grease, the thick fatty smell rises to fill the windowless kitchen and I am careful not to choke. The store hasn’t opened for customers yet, but along the corridors the shuffle of footsteps and conversation belongs to the dance of night shift workers, zipping up rucksacks and throwing them on their broad backs, clocking out their ID cards and saying goodbye in Arabic and French. A cough echoes down the hallway, making its way past
the shuffling feet until it pushes on the deli kitchen door, swinging it wide open to let in the fluorescent white light of the hallway. You enter. I turn to face you, but in truth I knew it was you before my eyes witnessed it. I reach, jetting towards you as my foot slides across a greased tile – I slip, I miss, scolded with silence. I have always preferred the sound of clashing pots to the soft breeze of the wind but I am not equal to the depth of your silent rage. Shame tells me to retreat, clutching my palm into my breast; a few wings that had sat on the side fall to the floor, splashing sauce on the cupboard doors. What is it that binds your blackness to mine if it is not your hunger for flesh and my need to be torn apart, swallowed and eaten? Last week I sat on my bed as I told you the tale of shaving my fanny clean with a cheap razor I had found at the bottom of a neglected drawer. Under the running stream of the shower the black knots swam and curled around the plughole. The razor's metal teeth bit at a fatty lip, I groaned as the scarlet stained the bubbly foam at my feet. It looked new and now very different so I tried to visualise something familiar and felt the tickle of your full lips, kissing me here, nibbling. But instead, you spat and scorned. You told me that
„You were not hungry, – but I was still ripe.“ my shaved pussy now reminds you of your little sister's genitals. Yuck. You hung up the phone in disgust. You were not hungry, but I was still ripe.
Artwork by Cat Finnie @catfinnieillustration
Roger walks into the kitchen and you are both happy to see each other. Being the same manager that sat you down and handed you a second disciplinary warning, he has come to praise you on the sharp improvement in your timekeeping, and in the same breath he asks about the wellbeing of your little sister. Her mum has never been a part of the story that I know about your life, but I do know that you often end up looking after darling Evie because your dad works late. She did the best thing yesterday - you begin. But before we hear the magical thing she did with her Lego you gag and stutter as the love rushes off your tongue like a flood on the tiles, too fast, too sickly sweet. You’re facing Roger but you’re telling us both about how you drown in her eyes that are wet, red with youth, how you wipe her soggy bottom, how you pick her up when she falls. You are teaching me a lesson on the way your love flows. How darling Evie drowns in it and how I stand on the tiles of the Tesco deli kitchen too hot and too dry.
Homemade Deodorant +Dry Shampoo Recipe DEO D O R A N T
The medical community has not proven the correlation between the small amount of aluminum and parabens that are in commercial deodorants and breast cancer, but who wants that shit on our bodies anyway!?!
7-10 drops Tea Tree Oil: Antibacterial and antifungal; fights bacteria and fungus to keep you from smelling.
Why not reduce the amount of chemicals that are going directly onto your skin, and have a go at making your own deodorant.
Lemongrass Thyme Lavender Rosemary Geranium Lemon
DRY S H A M POO
Commercial dry shampoos sometimes contain chemicals such as isobutane, butane and propane. Sorry, but I do not want to blow up like a torch!
1 Glass container with lid for storage - why not recycle an old jam jar.
I N GRE DIE NTS
For light hair - 4 tablespoons (30 grams) of arrowroot powder or cornflour.
N O T E
Tea Tree oil is used in this recipe and may cause skin irritations. We highly recommend that you do a test patch before use, to ensure this recipe works for you.
I N GRE DIE NTS
4 Tablespoons (30 grams) Coconut oil: Antibacterial, to help fight odour. 2 Tablespoons (15 grams) Bicarbonate of soda: Acts as an antiperspirant.
D I REC TIO N S
2 Tablespoons (15 grams) Arrowroot powder: Acts as an antiperspirant. 1 Â˝ tablespoons - Beeswax: Acts as an antiperspirant, helps bind ingredients and gives solid texture. 1 Tablespoon - Cocoa Butter: Acts as a binder and skin softener. SHE. 40 / Relax
Once the mixture thickens up a bit, slowly pour the mixture into a clean glass container with lid. Place the container in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set completely.
Alternative antibacterial essential oils:
01/ Melt coconut oil and beeswax in a small saucepan on low heat. 02/ Grate beeswax if it is in solid form. 03/ Add cocoa butter and mix it in until melted. Do not overcook. 04/ As soon as cocoa butter is melted, sprinkle in the bicarbonate of soda and arrowroot powder and mix well. 05/ Mix in tea tree oil and any other essential oil. 06/ Whisk ingredients until smooth. 07/ Remove the saucepan from the hob. Wait a few minutes while the mixture cools and sets a little, but do not let it solidify.
For dark hair - 2 tablespoons (15 grams) of arrowroot/cornflour and 2 tablespoons (15 grams) of cocoa powder. 5 drops of the essential oil of your choice. 1 old makeup brush to apply, or reuse a salt and pepper shaker.
D I REC TIO N S
01/ Put the drops of essential oil into the arrowroot powder or cornflour and mix with a spoon. 02/ Store the mix in a small jar or salt and pepper shaker. 03/ Apply with an old makeup brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair.
Created by Starline - Freepik.com
Cat Finnie is a freelance illustrator living in East London, UK. She enjoys creating colourful digital illustrations and often brings in an element of the surreal since she is drawn to things that have a dreamlike quality. Her influences include René Magritte, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Jorge Luis Borges, Hayao Miyazaki, Tove Jansson, Angela Carter, Haruki Murakami, Gabriel García Márquez and Ursula Le Guin. When she‘s not drawing, Cat likes to spend time in the London galleries, run in the parks and along the canals, and travel whenever possible. She can usually be found at her desk with headphones on, playing new music or a podcast series. @catfinnieillustration
SHE. 42 / Talent
KITTY Melissa Kitty Jarram is an artist living in SE London. After graduating from the illustration course at Kingston University, she went straight into freelancing and has worked on video projects as well as graphic designs and illustrations for clients such as eco designer Emily Readett-Bayley and music projects with Slugabed, Ed Scissor and Libra Libra. Recently she has become a part-time corrosion engineer to relieve the pressure of making money out of art, in order to be able to focus on developing her work further in a direction that expresses her interest in sexual politics, nature, history, and the ego. When she’s not somewhere around the world collecting magnetic data on high pressure oil and gas pipelines, you can find her in her Dalston studio or roller skating around London, breaking bones. @melissakittyj
LANGSTON Hannah is an artist and illustrator from Hertfordshire UK, based in London. Her art is quite diverse; working best on wood, alongside other natural materials. Although her illustrations can be modern, it is usually quite quirky with tongue-in-cheek humour. Often black and white, colouring/comic book style, with a lot of intricate details. Hannah finds inspiration from everything around her, from her crazy room jam packed with treasures collected over the years - to skate magazines, London street art, and anything that catches her eye. Mainly incorporating her love for nature, combining it throughout her work. From drawings of animals or plants, to creating on wood or stones. Hannah creates both bright and colourful, to natural tones that warm the soul. @hlangstonart
A R T I S T S
B I O GRAPHY
LOPEZ Mireia Lopez is a design director who stepped into the field of illustration as a creative gateway. Curious of everything visual, at the moment she is exploring the representation of the female body and sexuality with the most simplicity of shapes and lines. @mirrreia
Venus is a female illustrator based in the South of England. She spent several years working within a variety of different art industries around London before realising she had a burning desire and hidden talent for drawing. The general aesthetic of her work reflects a personal irritation and bitterness that has stemmed from experiences of misogyny, patriarchy and a constant fight for equal rights for women in the workplace. Venus also touches on her experiences of mental health. She portrays her thoughts and experiences through her drawings, sometimes touching on issues that are taboo, or not ‘socially acceptable’ to talk about.
HELLO THE MUSHROOM Hello the Mushroom is a London-based artist whose work can be found on the streets and in galleries. Her work is mostly based on collage and other reworked found imagery. It takes a humorous approach to sexuality, body image and beauty standards as well as reflecting her recovery from a life-threatening form of cancer. Her work often features skulls representing the transience of life while challenging us to reevaluate our life‘s purpose and priorities. @hellothemushroom
@venuslibido 43 / Talent SHE.
Artwork by Hannah Langston @hlangstonart
THANK YOU Alex, Alia, Ziggy Ama, Brandon Brown, Becky Burgum, Gabriela Chojnacki, Jamie Crist, Anna Davies, Palesa Dlamini, D.R, Cat Finnie, Freddie, Lynne Jefferies, Eshmit Kaur, Melissa Kitty, K.T, Hannah Langston, Venus Libido, Mireia Lopez, Kira Matthews, Hello the Mushroom, Hollie Nwofor, Noemi and ABQ, Park Communications, Taylor Torr, Hollie and the team at Treatwell, Jule Waibel, Womenâ€™s Environmental Network (WEN).
Anything below my shoulders, I am not bothered. My neck, however, is a never-ending issue. The hair on my neck sends me mad. It makes me self-conscious and paranoid that someone could see it. Iâ€™ve only ever removed hair for myself, although one time this Kiwi girl commented on it. She was the only one, and it made me feel insecure. When I go to the barbers they cut it with the razor â€“ but I donâ€™t go often. I would definitely consider laser, just remove the problem, forever.
Artwork by Melissa Kitty @melissakittyj
Our purpose is to provide a platform for sharing shameless accounts of the female experience. Unapologetically. It grows at its own will,...
Published on Oct 15, 2019
Our purpose is to provide a platform for sharing shameless accounts of the female experience. Unapologetically. It grows at its own will,...