Search icon


27th Mar 2021

68% of women are embarrassed by their underarm appearance

“Growing up in Ireland, society never told us that being different was something to celebrate.”

68% of women are embarrassed by their underarm appearance, new research has found.

A global study conducted by Dove has shown that half of women around the world believe they need to care for their underarm area in order to be attractive.

Over 70% of women reported feeling self conscious of their underarm appearance, while over half said they felt “not well groomed” if they hadn’t shaved or waxed recently.

This new research details a strict beauty ideal still in place regarding body hair for women across the globe, with the majority of women reporting they feel they have to take steps to “improve” what their underarm area looks like.

In response to this, Dove has launched a new #ArmsUp campaign, in a bid to prove that no woman has the so-called “ideal” armpit, and that women should be free to look and groom themselves however they want to.

90% of women surveyed said that if they weren’t concerned about what their underarm looked like, they would feel more liberated in showing it off.

“I spent so many years of my life feeling ashamed and embarrassed that I was different because of my disability,” said Paralympian Ellen Keane.

“I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, so I hid my arm and my body. Embarrassing underarms were the cherry on top in my world of self-loathing. But then I started to love my arm, my body and even my sweaty underarms.

“I realised there is so much power in being able to love your body and owning your imperfections. Being different is my superpower. I’m excited to be working on the Dove #ArmsUp campaign to show that it’s time to banish our underarm insecurities and empower women to feel confident when raising their arms.”

Irish singer Erica Cody, who is also supporting the campaign, added: “Growing up in Ireland, society never told us that being different was something to celebrate. But things are changing, and conversations are happening about the importance of normalising diversity with our bodies, skin, hair, and our underarms.

“As a singer I always have my underarms out on stage and have sometimes felt self-conscious about their appearance, but now I’m going to fully embrace them when I get back on stage and hopefully inspire other women to become unapologetic about theirs and able to freely participate in life. Dove embraces all underarms, no matter what they look like – and so should we.”