Her Body

Goodbye Judgement, Hello Underarms

Society promotes an underarm that is smooth, hairless, and sweat free, among other unrealistic traits. One in two women* believe that “women need to care for their underarms in order to be attractive”, according to global research from Dove.

Women are constantly taking steps to care for or improve the appearance of their underarms to live up to an ideal which differs from the reality of their own underarms. In reality, women’s underarms are not like the beauty ‘ideal’.

They are not hair-free, smooth, and sweat-free. This internalised ‘ideal’ makes women associate negative connotations about their underarms and has a knock-on effect on their overall confidence.

These feelings towards underarms represent the broader pressure women face about their appearance, perpetuating the cycle of judgement which adds to underarm inhibitions.  

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There is a direct correlation between underarm confidence and women’s overall confidence in themselves, further highlighting the extent of the impact.

Low confidence and underarm worries hold women back from fully participating in life. These inhibitions punctuate different aspects of their lives: emotionally, physically, intimately, at work, socialising and exercising. All of which inhibits them from expressing themselves, being in the moment, and from taking on opportunities.

Dove’s research found that women’s underarm appearance could make them feel self-conscious (72%), embarrassed (68%), not well groomed (64%) and unattractive (62%). 

To tackle these issues and free women from underarm worries, Dove launched the #ArmsUp campaign aimed at liberating Irish women from any underarm inhibitions, helping them be beautifully unselfconscious and able to freely participate in life.

Dove wants to change the age-old narrative and ultimately take the judgment out of underarms, empowering women to embrace and care for theirs, however they look or style them. All underarms deserve the best, through products that deliver superior care.

When women are not worrying about their underarms, 90% claimed that they could focus on things that are important to them and are not held back from life. To launch the campaign Paralympian Ellen Keane to shed light on her own journey of underarm acceptance to encourage Irish women to raise their arms up with confidence. 

Speaking about the #ArmsUp campaign, Paralympian Ellen Keane said: “I spent so many years of my life feeling ashamed & embarrassed that I was different because of my disability.”

“I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, so I hid my arm & my body.”

“Embarrassing underarms were the cherry on top in my world of self-loathing. But then I started to love my arm, my body & even my sweaty underarms. I realised there is so much power in being able to love your body & owning your imperfections.”

“Being different is my superpower. I’m excited to be working on the Dove #ArmsUp campaign to show that it’s time to banish our underarm insecurities and empower women to feel confident when raising their arms. Their deodorants are made to care for all underarms, which is important as no one underarm is the same”. 

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.

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