The first month of the year has quickly become the go-to period for media-friendly lifestyle movements, complete with quirky rehashes of the winter month’s name.
First there was Dry January – a commitment to not drinking alcohol for a month. Then there was Veganuary; a month of following a plant-based diet. And more recently came Tri-January, the commitment to a multi-sport event within the first 31 days of the year.
Now, however, we have Januhairy: a campaign encouraging women to not shave their body hair for a month.
Why are woman being encouraged to take part in Januhairy?
The campaign was launched by Exeter University student Laura Jackson, who decried the stigma surrounding women who don’t shave their body hair in a post on the campaign’s official Facebook page.
She wrote: “The acceptance of body hair on women is unfortunately still a predicament. We are displayed in the media as feeling ‘confident’ when our legs are smooth, eyebrows plucked, armpits waxed etc.
“Society seems to be behaving as if the natural hair we grow on our bodies is unattractive and distasteful. We are so used to removing our body hair that we are becoming unfamiliar with our authentic selves.”
To counter this, Jackson is encouraging women of all ages to refrain from shaving body hair for a month and raise money for charity in the process.
She says that “Januhairy, is a chance to challenge yourself; seek discomfort yet discover the comfort in it.”
Soooo……quite a bit of reaction to women letting their body hair grow out #januhairy You realise how little you see women with hairy legs like this one: See this Instagram photo by @janu_hairy https://t.co/qHkdQgU2Sk
— Nuala McGovern (@BBCNuala) January 4, 2019
Jackson describes the movement as an experiment for women to come together, encourage one another, and be sponsored to grow their body hair for the month of January.
Money raised will go to Body Gossip, whose mission statement describes them as “a charity that combines Arts and Education to empower everybody to be the best version of themselves and rock their own brand of gorgeous”.
How do I get involved?
Women from across Europe and the United States have already signed up to take part in Januhairy.
Those wanting to take part are encouraged to reach out to the official campaign page and lend their name to the movement.
The official page also encourages those who already grow their body hair out to shave their hair off at the start of the month and regrow it throughout Januhairy.
Those wanting to donate to the cause can do so at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bodygossip
A version of this article originally appeared on iNews