Hairy Girl

"We'll use my braided underarm hair rope to swing across!"

In Western culture, the majority of women tend to shave their body hair (e.g. leg and underarm hair, sometimes pubic hair as well) for cosmetic reasons. Various media reflect this in fiction, as almost all female characters have smooth, hairless skin in the aforementioned regions. Typically, women who choose not to shave are criticized for it, since it's considered a social taboo, though sometimes it's seen as a sign of ruggedness or naturalness. Thus, in scripted storytelling the depiction of a Hairy Girl is generally for one of the following reasons:

  • Negatively, to portray the character in a weird or disgusting light for comedic effect.
  • Neutrally/Positively, to distinguish the character as rebellious, rugged, or natural.

In Real Life, girls who choose not to shave their body hair are generally associated with some form of counter-culture. In television, some reasons a woman may choose to abstain from shaving or waxing include sticking it to the man, expressing her womanhood, or simply being lazy. Sometimes, though, the Hairy Girl is not a taboo in the context of the work's setting (perhaps due to its region or time period). This trope occurs most commonly with throwaway Granola Girl characters whom writers portray as female hippies and feminists, but these are frequently just Played for Laughs as it's generally seen as unattractive in Western society. Another common comedic use of the trope is for characters to mention French girls and the unshaven stereotype of them which exists in fiction much more than in Real Life. If the trope isn't rubbing your face in it, odds are that it's a means to simply distinguish her from other female characters as a rebel of some sort.

Compare the New-Age Retro Hippie and Granola Girl. Warts and All is another related trope, especially when it's not meant to be funny. Also compare Bald Women, with girls who lack hair on their head where they're expected to have it.

Contrast Perma Shave, which is often the complete inversion of this trope, especially in a situation where the women would find shaving impossible.

Not to be confused with Girls with Moustaches, which focuses on the unnatural phenomenon of women possessing properly-styled facial hair, rather than that "unsightly" fuzz on their top lip.


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  • Boost Mobile features a commercial where a Biker Babe has comedically long armpit hair hitting her tandem rider in the face behind her. She asks, "You think that's wrong? Hidden cell phone fees are wrong."

     Anime and Manga 
  • Genshiken. Rika Yoshitake insults a male character's skimpy facial hair, telling him, "I have more armpit hair than that!".

     Comic Books 
  • Persepolis. Marjane's roommate, Lucia, has hairy armpits. They aren't very noticeable in the comic, but in the animated film they comically blow in the wind from her hairdryer.
    • Marjane herself is fairly hairy, but it's treated a sign of her lack of self-esteem. After she becomes determined to take charge of her life following her failed suicide attempt, a montage ensues of Marjane working to make herself look nice again, including plucking out all her body hair in a comically painful manner.
  • In Wanted, one of the ways Wesley Gibson knows that his relationship with his girlfriend is falling apart is because she's not bothering to shave her legs anymore.
  • In Runaways, it's implied that Karolina stopped shaving her legs for a while after Xavin left her.

  • In The Dictator, the eponymous main character and unlikely love interest, Zoey, somehow manage a particularly funny fake out during their "sex scene" swapping oral sex for The Dictator Aladeen instead licking her hairy armpits.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire does some zigzagging with this trope. Daniel, dressed in drag as Mrs. Doubtfire, boards a bus with his stockings falling down. The bus driver begins flirting with "her" and upon noticing some legs that are considerably hairy, the driver admits that he likes women that way.
  • Home Alone. Discussed.
    Buzz: Is it true that French babes don't shave their pits?
    Rod: (Pause) Some don't.
    Buzz: But they got nude beaches.
    Rod: Not in the winter.
  • Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games is mentioned as not shaving her legs, though it's more of a downplayed example given that it comes up only for the sake of a Painful Body Waxing scene.
  • Without A Paddle: While lost in the woods, the protagonists stumble upon some Granola Girls who have taken to living in a tree to prevent it from being cut down. Their joy at seeing the first women after several days of cold, starvation, and hugging each other to stay warm quickly diminishes when they notice the girls' hairy legs (both because they didn't have access to shaving supplies and because they consciously decided to go back to nature).
  • In the Swedish film version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace has several topless or nude scenes, showing that either she doesn't shave her underarms in real life, or she did it for the role. Most likely the former, as she's Swedish.

  • In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie mentions seeing his English teacher's hippie girlfriend who "even had hair under her arms!" Charlie seems delighted by the fact she fit the Granola Girl stereotype.
  • Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games". Her prep team is somewhat horrified that she never shaves her legs, armpits or plucks her eyebrows. Given the difficulties of life(and lack of fashion) in District 12, one can presume that the women have more important things to worry about than some unneeded grooming. This was mostly left out of the film version, outside of the short, aforementioned Painful Body Waxing scene because they couldn't let an attractive lead female appear in a big movie with body hair now could they.

     Live Action TV 
  • Saturday Night Live. Gilda Radner's character "Candy Slice," a parody of Patti Smith note , has furry armpits, and at one point grabs someone else's comb and uses it on her pits.
  • On NCIS, Tony starts hitting on a female park ranger who's aiding in an investigation, but gets an unwanted glimpse of her unshaven armpits. He's immediately turned off by the sight, and makes up a clumsy sob story about being a recent widower to derail her interest.
  • An episode of Popular had a girl put on fake underarm hair as the boy she was interested in was rumored to like Granola Girl types. (It didn't work, but not because of the hair.)
  • Though not in context, some of the footage from the survival-themed Discovery series Naked And Afraid contains female survivalists who haven't shaved in weeks, for obvious reasons.
  • A non-contextual (but historically accurate!) example in the Deadwood episode "A Lie Agreed Upon"; Alma Garrett reveals hair under her arms during a sex scene.
  • In one of the Cynthia Worthington skits in The Amanda Show, Cynthia declares that she hasn't shaved in days and lifts her skirt to reveal a hairy legs, which she then uses a weed whacker on. This drives away everyone in the room, leaving Cynthia to comment, "How rude!" before she uses the weed whacker on one of her hairy armpits.
  • In the sketch show Smack The Pony, during one skit Doon MacKichan is seen in the communal changing room at a swimming pool, mentioning to her friend that she hasn't had a bikini wax in a while. She turns around, revealing a whole forest of hair climbing out of her bikini.
  • In the third episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon notes, "Leslie Winkle recently started shaving her legs. Now, given that winter is coming, one can only assume that she's signalling sexual availability."
  • Asian/British stand up comic Shazia Mirza explored society's attitude to hairy women in a documentary ''Fuck Off! I'm A Hairy Woman!'' by not shaving her bodily hair for several months and then deliberately going into situations where this would be immediately obvious, such as swimming pools and wearing summer clothing. She also challenges lads' mags editors about their prejudices. note 

  • Singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer has said that while she will occasionally shave her legs and underarms, she usually doesn't, her view being that it's natural and there's no real reason to shave. Hell, one of her songs, Map of Tasmania, was written entirely about pubic hair.
  • Singer Patti Smith was militant enough on this issue for the front cover of her Easter album to show Patti in a tight sleeveless t-shirt, flaunting hairy pits.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Referenced in a Bloom County comic when someone says that feminists don't shave their legs. The next panel has a woman saying, "Stereotypes. The language of hate." Her legs are very shaggy.
  • Tina's Groove: Monica, Tina's not-too-bright co-worker, has hairy legs, which are described by the other workers in a mix of awe and horror. In one strip Monica was overheard shaving for a date by yelling "Timber!" repeatedly behind a restroom door.


     Tabletop Games 
  • Garbage Pail Kids: Fitting the parody theme of the card series, the character Armpit Brit resembles a cutesy Cabbage Patch girl, just with hair locks flowing from her underarms.

     Video Games 

     Western Animation 
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: When the show pulls its own Night at the Museum episode 'So In Louvre Are We Two', Mona Lisa exhibits some leg hair when inviting The Thinker to take a dip in A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. (It makes sense in context.)
    Come on big guy, let's you and me get naturale and jump right in.
  • The South Park episode "The Magic Bush" in which a video of Craig's mom and her "magic bush" goes viral. Interestingly enough it portrays her in a somewhat sympathetic light, having her tell off everyone that it's natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • The Simpsons
    • After having her leg broken in one episode, Marge has her cast finally removed and discovers that her leg could use a waxing, much to Dr. Hibert's alarm.
    • Marge's sisters Patty and Selma often employ this trope to comedic effect.
      • One specific example comes from the Flaming Moe episode. During the slideshow of their vacation, they lament not being able to find a way to plug their electric razor into any of the European wall outlets before showing photographic evidence of this.
    • A second example occurs in Lisa's spelling-bee dream where she is tempted with a free ride to the Seven Sisters college of her choice. The Vassar College representative says Lisa can "Non-conform, like me!" while raising her arms showing visibly hairy armpits.
    • Played with, when Homer becomes a hippie, he encourages Marge to let her leg hair grow on the grounds that it's more natural. "Come on, I want to see those legs all furry and gross!" She doesn't agree.
  • King of the Hill. After Hank and friends' campsite is overrun by hippies in one episode, they witness a classic hippie lady sporting hairy armpits as she dances through the river where they're fishing.
  • The Fairly OddParents. After Timmy's wish for his parents to stop caring so much, his mother gets the opportunity to save him by swinging across traffic using her "braided underarm hair rope!"
  • Recess. Miss Grotke, who is clearly something of a New-Age Retro Hippie teacher, is often seen with rather heavy stubble on her legs.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In one episode Tina has to come to grips with the fact she now has hairy legs, being a teenager. Though at first she struggles with what to do about it, at the end of the episode she accepts her new 'little hair friends' and decides to keep it.
    • In the episode 'Itty Bitty Ditty Committee' Linda develops a rash which makes her unable to shave her armpits for the duration of the episode. Surprisingly enough, like Tina mentioned above, by the end of the episode she admits she kind of likes it and decides to not shave after her rash goes away.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: A mismatched couple, including a European-looking woman with hairy legs, is seen walking a baby stroller in the background of a city scene in the episode where Octus tries to figure out why all humans have become frozen in time.
  • American Dad!: Inverted, when Hayley defies her father by working as a pole dancer, her father shaves her head to make her unattractive. Undaunted, she carries on dancing but wears a wig. Unfortunately the wig falls off during an active routine and exposes her bald head, to audience disgust.
    Hey, that's the only place you want them to have hair!


     Web Original 
  • Bravest Warriors: In the episode "Gas-Powered Stick", Chris peeps on Beth in her bedroom shaving her armpit hair. He then proceeds to sing a song about it before being interrupted by Plum.
  • Weirdly adorable Japanese YouTuber Cotorich has hairy armpits, possibly part of her artsy-fartsy image, to the chagrin of many of her fans. [1]
  • The French woman who is le tired in End Of Ze World.
  • Laci Green takes a more natural approach to body hair as part of her 'body positive' ethos.

     Real Life 
  • There's definitely some Truth in Television here due to the fact despite being uncommon in Western civilization, there are still plenty of women in real life who choose not to shave. Some abstain as a social commentary on double standards, some do so since it makes them feel more natural about their own bodies, and some even don't shave simply because it's too much work. This is, after all, the whole basis of this trope.
  • A fair share of female celebrities have been seen once in a while choosing to sport some armpit fur in public. Julia Roberts, Madonna, Britney Spears, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, and others have all been spotted doing so. The Paparazzi ensure that it usually doesn't end favorably for them.
  • Many older films originating from Italy, France, and the Czech Republic before the 1980s featured actresses with unshaven armpits, as it wasn't yet fashionably mainstream in Europe.
  • No one is quite certain exactly why Western women began shaving their legs and underarms, though it is known that it's only been happening on a wide scale since the early 1900's. Theories range all the way from changing fashions, to the "Bathing Beauty" short films by Mack Sennett, who, upon seeing the first cut of his first effort, allegedly told an assistant: "That looks like hell. Have 'em shave."