January is the time for change and a student from Kineton is inspiring women across the globe to not shave and embrace their body hair this month.
Laura Jackson was inspired to start ‘Januhairy’ after feeling uncomfortable in public when she grew her hair for a role in her drama degree at Exeter University last year.
The 21-year-old third-year student said she has had a lot of positive feedback from women all over the world who wanted to challenge themselves and society’s stigmas by ditching the razor for 31 days.
“Januhairy is an opportunity for women to come together and support one another and feel happy and supportive as a group of people from the stereotypes and challenging norms,” she told the Banbury Guardian.
“It can be difficult to do it as one person so sometimes you need to challenge yourself. It’s had a great response and a lot of people who didn’t want to do it but wanted to challenge themselves have been in touch, which is fantastic.”
Laura, who studied at Kineton High School and Stratford-upon-Avon College, said she felt like hiding her hair when she grew it last year and her family thought she was just doing it to make a point.
“It all started when I grew my body hair last year for a performance as part of my drama degree which I chose to do,” she said.
“But I just felt uncomfortable in public and I wanted to hide away from people but after a while I started to embrace it and love it.
“I had to explain it to my family and friends as they thought it was strange and that I was trying to make a stand and be provocative, but I wasn’t.”
Laura wants to inspire women to love their hair all over their bodies and change people’s opinions, which is also why she is using the campaign to raise money for charity Body Gossip.
“Body Gossip focuses on going into school and changing young minds on their bodies for the better and it’s fantastic and it’s what Januhairy is all about - embracing the natural you,” she said.
Laura said she has been amazed by the reaction to her campaign with interest from national media outlets and women from the US to Russia getting involved.