A revolution of my pits

Nothing that occurs naturally should be seen as disgusting.

Of all the things I have made a conscious effort to change in my life, the evolution (or more accurately revolution) of my armpits has been the most profound.

When I first decided I needed to do something about my environmental impact and the application of chemicals to my body — conventional deodorant was the first thing to go.

Various sources (including the Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The National Cancer Institute) have reported on the possible dangers of deodorant use, but I can neither confirm nor deny their findings.

Obviously, science is not my strong suit, but “go natural where you can” has kind of become my general philosophy and giving up conventional deodorant was an easy way for me to accomplish that.

So, in case you were wondering, I have gone nearly a year without using conventional deodorant. However, it wasn’t a straightforward transition. I use a combination of baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil. The first batch I made had too much baking soda and really irritated my underarms (however, I was still shaving then…we’ll get to that in a minute). I liked a lot of things about it, though.

First of all, I am a pretty sweaty human being, and I noticed I seemed not to sweat as much. I have read (but again, science) that conventional deodorant clogs sweat glands resulting in your body trying to produce more sweat, and mine is a common experience among people who have transitioned.

I also liked the lack of a scent. I am not into perfumes or overpowering smells of any kind, so that was always a drawback of conventional deodorant for me.

The second time around I reduced the amount of baking soda and found a ratio of baking soda to cornstarch that worked for my sensitive skin, and I added tea tree oil. I initially added the tea tree oil because of it’s anti-bacterial properties in the hopes I would be able to make larger batches of deodorant that would last longer, but I found I did enjoy the subtle scent just a couple of drops added.

So about the shaving…I don’t. This was the other radial undertaking of my armpits. It’s like I had always known shaving was just an advertising ploy, but it took me way longer to figure out that I didn’t have to do it just because it was expected of me.

I always hated it and always knew it was stupid, but for some reason it never occurred to me to just stop, and once it did, my life was changed.

I gave up worrying what other people think because they don’t have to live my life. If my underarms bother them that much, they don’t have to be part of my life either.

I only wish people would understand and accept that they are valid choices. So far comments have ranged from the misconception that I was being cheap and didn’t want to buy deodorant (not true, but the cost efficiency is a perk) and hairy armpits are “disgusting.” Why, though? Why is something that occurs naturally on my body disgusting? People who feel that way may need to reevaluate no matter their stance on shaving. You can shave and not think people who don’t are disgusting. Nothing that occurs naturally should be seen as disgusting.

All in all, I am proud of my radical, hairy, natural pits because they have become a visible outward symbol of the conscious lifestyle changes I have made for my own happiness.

Jocelyn Gibson can be contacted at [email protected].