© Varsha Gill 2019

The #pitproject

As someone who learned from a young age that beauty meant hairlessness, I was shocked to meet women in my early adult years who did not shave their body hair. Due to feeling comfortable, and accepted in the university environment where we studied, I quickly adopted the same practice. At a dinner in the spring of 2019, I was discussing how this shift had enabled me to develop greater self-acceptance and understand that for me, beauty meant loving myself in a state of naturalness. A friend of mine who grew up being told that body hair is beautiful (and seeing this modeled by the women around her) shared that despite this different messaging, she had suffered from the same feelings of insecurity about her body as me, nonetheless. A longer conversation led us to believe (and hope) that the ability to develop self-love and acceptance at a young age comes from seeing representations of all types of bodies with all states are hairiness - be it fully-shaven, fully-grown, or something in between. Born was the #pitproject, a movement to visually depict the way women choose to maintain their body hair, in all states. It is my hope that other women can indulge in these images to see, and be reminded that there is no one right way to look, and that loving yourself as you want to be, is true beauty.