Why I’m giving up shaving my armpits for two months

I have always shaved my armpits. I’m not sure why - maybe the societal pressure to be hair free or maybe I just liked the feeling of freshly shaved armpits. Either way - I’ve never had the wish or need to not shave. Picking up my razor has almost become second nature to me - the moment I step in the shower I reach for it - just like I reach for the shampoo or my toothbrush. I would never ever have dreamed of giving up shaving, especially not in summer when it is the season of short sleeved tops and bikinis.

But now I have pledged to give up shaving my armpits for two months. Why? Well to raise money for millions of girls worldwide that are affected by poverty, violence and sexism. Because I am a girl is a campaign organised by Plan, a global children’s charity. It fights for girls rights and aims to help the poorest and most vulnerable girls succeed and have successful futures. Because I am a girl wants girls to have an education, live a life free from the threat of violence and be respected and valued members of the community.

I have always been interested in women’s rights, both in the UK and around the world. However, I am aware that I am one of the lucky few that are able to get an education and live in an environment that is by and large respectful, regardless of my gender. I have rights - the power to earn my own money and marry who I want to marry. This is a luxury that many women and young girls live without. This cause is close to my heart, and so, when I finished my degree after three years of hard work, I decided to try and raise some money for this amazing charity.

It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do to raise money. After a massive knee injury last year, running, walking and cycling were out of the question. I didn’t fancy sitting in a bath of baked beans, and doing a cake sale didn’t seem to cut it. And then I saw a YouTube video by foolishoats. She was doing something called ‘The Pit Stop’, where she planned to stop shaving her armpits for two months in order to raise money. Immediately, I was inspired - what was more appropriate for raising money for young women who may not have access to proper menstrual healthcare or sexual education than to stop shaving my armpits?

Needless to say, the reaction to my charity fundraising by my family and friends has been somewhat mixed. I’ve got plenty of ‘urgh’s’ and ‘whys’ but at the end of the day, I am not doing this for peer approval - I am doing it to raise money for the millions of amazing girls that don’t have the same opportunities as me - girls that don’t have the liberty to raise money by not shaving hair that naturally grows on our bodies.

If you would like to sponsor me you can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/Laura-Noakes/