The newest trend in beauty is armpit hair?!? We're not buying it

The newest trend in beauty is armpit hair?!? We're not buying it
Jemima Kirke arrives at the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall in New York on June 1 with unshaven pits. (Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)

Is it going to be a hairy summer?

That's what some observers of style are predicting. Or promoting.

"Miley Cyrus and Jemima Kirke are making hairy underarms mainstream," a Daily Mail headline proclaimed.

"Armpit hair a growing trend for women," said CNN.

New York Magazine's the Cut blog posted a guide to growing out armpit hair -- based on the assumption that a lot of women want to do this.

And even the New York Times wrote about an armpit hair growing contest sponsored by a women's rights advocate in China.

So again, is it going to be a hairy summer? Here in the U.S., I mean -- where women have been shaving since at least 1915 when Gillette introduced the first women's razor, Milady Decollete.

I'm not buying it.

Growing out body hair as a political statement is nothing new. Remember feminist protests in the 1960s? Armpit hair and burning bras went hand-in-hand. But neither hairiness nor braless-ness really caught on in the mainstream.

And what's unusual about a pop star like Cyrus  -- who posted an Instagram picture of herself with hairy pits -- or an artist/actress (emphasis on artist) like Kirke -- who went unshaven to this year's CFDA Awards -- doing something designed to get attention?

It doesn't mean everyone is going to follow their lead. In fact a report from NPD group last year showed a 22% growth in sales of women's shaving and hair removal devices in a 12-month period --  the biggest increase in sales in a several years. Hair removal salon European Wax Center reportedly added more than 120 franchise locations in 2014, according to Cosmetics Design. Presumably at least some of that shaving and waxing involves the pits.

Throughout history whether to remove or maintain hair on various body parts has been a matter of custom and culture for women -- and for men.

Certainly seeing celebrities adopting a particular style frees the rest of us to consider breaking cultural norms. But I'm betting that most women will decide whether to grow out armpit hair based on what their peers do and what feels most comfortable to them individually.

Meanwhile, Cyrus eschewed the stilettos at Tuesday night's amfAR Inspiration gala, instead accessorizing her ruby-red Moschino gown with Doc Martens.

That may be a trend worth starting!