NEW YORK — COVID-19 has been the pits. For women, however, the pandemic is causing many to rethink how they take care of their actual pits. A new survey finds one in three women are shaving their underarms less over the last year at home. Moreover, many of them plan to keep that trend going post-pandemic.
The poll of 2,000 women between 18 and 65 years-old notes that eight in 10 feel pressure to have the “perfect armpit.” That underarm perfection includes no hair, no marks, and an even skin tone. Of course, both men and women know how hard this can be. The survey finds the biggest armpit issues are worries over hair (39%), sweat (39%), and stinky odor (37%).
Peer (pit) pressure
The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Dove, also finds young girls start removing their armpit hair at age 14. One in three say they feel societal pressure to do so, while over half (51%) say they started shaving because their friends were already doing it.
Along with impacting their body image, three in 10 confess to feeling self-conscious about physically moving their arms around due to underarm concerns. One in four actually change their outfits if they have concerns about their armpit’s look or smell.
“No one should ever judge a woman for the appearance of her underarms. What each women chooses to do with hers, should be down to personal choice,” Dove spokesperson and global vice president Augusto Garzón says in a statement.
Pandemic beauty shift for women and their armpits?
Among the many pitfalls during the pandemic has been the drop-off in social contact most people have had since 2020. However, going virtual has apparently been a big relief for many women getting a break from their rigorous grooming routines.
The poll finds 27 percent of women in the United Kingdom say they feel “care-free” about their underarm appearance during COVID. Of the 31 percent of women who have cut back on shaving during the pandemic, 13 percent add they plan to keep it going once the crisis fully passes.
Seven in 10 women note coming into contact with fewer people over the last year is the biggest reason for their new attitude about their armpits. One in four women are pledging to care less about their armpit imperfections moving forward.
However, nearly half of the women who plan to go back to regularly shaving their armpits (45%) admit they’re too self-conscious to go au naturel under their arms.