Grimes Is Firing Back at an Unusual Form of Body Shaming

March 14th 2016

Lucy Tiven

Grimes is known for bravely showing her body hair in photo shoots, so it came as a surprise to many of her fans when she appeared shaved in recent photoshoots. Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, opened up about feminism and why she started shaving in an interview with Teen Vogue.

Grimes Hairless

The singer described her decision to shave as an act of rebellion.

"I just started shaving for the first time this year," she told interviewer Stella McCartney. "I am rebelling against my previous body hair, because now people get mad when I shave my legs. So I’m like, “I have the right to shave my legs.” I think people policing my body either way is bizarre."

The big, hairy, backlash

Boucher explained that she didn't initially intend to make a statement with her body hair. But she still faced angry fans and a stigma in the music and fashion industries.

"There is still an intense vibe in society about body hair," the singer said. "No one I’ve ever dated has mentioned it. I didn’t even think it was weird until I started doing fashion and people would be putting concealer over my legs."

Grimes Hairless

Other fans have said they were empowered by her proudly hairy aesthetic.

Still, Boucher has maintained that her choice to grow her hair out was a personal one, not an attempt to make a feminist statement.

When asked about feminism, Boucher expressed concern about how the conversation is shaped in mainstream pop culture. "The thrust of feminism is equal pay and ending domestic abuse. It’s really about human rights," she said. "Though I do think women in the public eye get constantly asked about feminism to the point where it ends up becoming a little bit reductive."

The body hair stigma

As ATTN: has previously reported, women in the public sphere often face pressure to shave their body hair or are shamed for not doing so. Stars like Miley Cyrus and Jemima Kirke have proudly shown off their armpit hair on social media and the red carpet.

Miley Hairy Armpits

Cyrus faced a barrage of criticism and body-shaming for her unshaved pits on Twitter:

Fans of Cyrus and Grimes have also spoken out, praising their willingness to bravely show off their body hair.

Other women have echoed Boucher's concerns about defining and defending feminism based on hair and other physical attributes alone.

The singer explained her relationship to her public image to McCartney, explaining that she used fashion to express her identity and be honest about her appearance.

"I see fashion as a positive thing," she said. "I see it as a way to enhance the project, or as a whole other aspect that I can play with and use to my advantage. Though I make sure that I look like trash about 20% of the time so no one’s ever saying, “That’s what she looks like without makeup.” It’s like, “Everyone knows.”"

[h/t Dazed]