Nike post shows woman with underarm hair; internet still reeling

Body hair advocates, others step up to support model

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group
Getty Images

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nigerian-American singer Annahstasia slung her arm over her head and said, “snap the picture” -- probably.

That’s what we’ll assume, considering her power pose!

Annahstasia is modeling a black Nike sports bra, and she looks confident, strong and assertive. Nike posted the photo on its @nikewomen account last week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Big mood @annahstasia.

A post shared by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

 

But words like “confident” aren’t exactly the kind of comments you’ll find if you scroll through the Instagram post -- well, at least not right away. You’ll probably stumble across the vomit emojis first. It seems as though people are shocked by a woman’s capacity to grow, or show, some body hair.

“No thanks,” one commenter wrote, which garnered more than 400 positive reactions.

Another said, “Horrible PR move. Less than 1% of your female target market doesn’t shave.”

“She needs a shave,” another commenter said.

And those are some examples that don’t use profanity.

Others applauded Nike’s decision to use the photo.

“This photo is beautiful on so many different levels,” one person wrote.

“It’s an active human body,” another responded. “Let her be. It’s nature. What’s the problem?”

Added another commenter, “Thank you, Nike, for your support of being natural.”

At last check, the post had racked up more than 8,000 comments. There isn’t much gray area: People either love the post or seem to hate it.

The comments have transformed into a conversation about beauty standards.

Let it be known that Annahstasia and Nike aren’t exactly the first people to come out strong in 2019, showing some underarm hair.

Paris Jackson and “Bachelor” star Bekah Martinez are among those in the public eye who’ve been open, showing off their own body hair. Sure, they’re not exactly A-listers, but they’ve cultivated a following, and they’re expanding the conversation.

Admittedly, it’s not every day that you see a model shown off on a major brand’s social media page, proudly displaying her underarm hair with no further explanation.

But on the other hand, it’s really not very much. It’s just natural, right?

Graham Media Group 2019