Science

Skeptics' Circle, and armpit hair.

Holy mackeral, over on Autism Street they’ve managed to perform an amazing feat of conjuring, contacting Harry Houdini from beyond the grave to deliver the 49th Skeptics’ Circle! Even more amazing is that the world’s greatest ex-living escape artist is himself channeling the still-alive David Letterman! Insanity! The current crop of bloggy goodness is listed pub-med-style and includes yours truly (talking about our dear, dear friend Sylvia Browne) and a lot of really high quality stuff. I’m still working through it all, and probably will be until the next issue.

As if all that weren’t enough to keep you busy, check out this hard-hitting news story from Reuters concerning the prevalence of hairy armpits in Hollywood. I know what you’re thinking — about time, Reuters!

The article is about the Hollywood Reporter’s breakfast gala to mark their annual list of powerful women in the industry. One keynote speaker remarked that she was so busy she had only just got around to shaving her two-week armpit growth. Another speaker followed that up by quipping that she still had two-week armpit growth. So the amount of time to make those remarks would take a total of, what, ten seconds? Out of what surely must have been a two-hour or more event meant to honor women in positions of power in the industry? So of course it’s obvious that the headline about this event should read, “Some Hollywood women say too busy to shave armpits.”

Kudos for the star reporting, Reuters!

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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8 Comments

  1. Yeah…that headline certainly was a bit off the mark, considering the event.

    Is it supposed to be a big deal because NOT shaving is a violation of "traditional" norms of feminine beauty, the very norm that female actors are "traditionally" meant to uphold? Or is it meant to be almost a dismissive, patronizing thing… "Oh, those wacky powerful women don't even think that shaving is more important than their careers! How silly!" Even if it's just a joking, lighthearted thing, it doesn't make much sense for them to pull that lighthearted moment out of context and prop it up as the headline/main focus of the piece!

    At the same time, I for one have to say "Who the heck cares?" when it comes to women and armpit hair. So Maria Bello and Maggie Gyllenhaal are too busy to shave…so what? I've always wondered when exactly that particular behavior became the norm, and why. I mean, surely whatever a woman does or does not feel like doing in that regard should be considered more important than what she is EXPECTED to be doing?

  2. Only four paragraphs out of ten mention the "hairy armpits" thing. I feel cheated by that story's headline. The story goes on to mention lots of other women and not even the slightest mention of their armpit status. This is modern journalism?!?

  3. Shouldn't there be a publication where we can get all of our crevasse-related follicular news in one place? Sure, the most interesting such news comes out of Hollywood, but when was the last time you saw really in-depth reporting on knee-pit hair, or between-toe hair?

    There is room in the world for a dedicated monthly, if not weekly, periodical.

    But, alas, the anti-hirsute media strikes again.

  4. I suppose it would be similar to Bill Gates speaking at a big software conference and mentioning that he's been too busy to recharge his palm pilot. Or check his email.

  5. Hey folks, I tried to apply to the skepchick forums, but I can't seem to log in (I think I still need to be approved) – are there any moderators on here that can help?

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