• Sweden edition
 
Swedish woman's hairy armpit hurrah goes viral

Swedish woman's hairy armpit hurrah goes viral

Published: 13 Mar 2012 12:41 GMT+01:00

The incident took place shortly after Swedish singer Loreen had been announced as the artist who would represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest finals later this spring.

Seconds later, cameras from Sveriges Television (SVT) swept over the audience and showed fans' arm waving jubilance, panning past one female fan whose clearly visible underarm hair appeared momentarily on live TV and in the living rooms of an estimated 4.1 million Swedish television viewers.

One avid Facebook user in Sweden managed to take a screenshot of the woman, which he posted online – an image which then spread like wildfire across the site.

Within hours, thousands of people had “liked” the image, and hundreds had shared the image on their own Facebook pages, with an overwhelming number of crass and bullying comments attached.

Daily Aftonbladet even ran a story “Sweden’s most famous unshaved armpit” which sparked people’s interest even further, and prompted Lina Ehrin to come forward as the armpit’s owner.

Ehrin, a 32-year-old librarian from Ludvika, central Sweden, has shot from oblivion to nationwide fame overnight - and can’t understand why.

“This is absurd, very absurd,” she told The Local.

“I mean, there are wars going on in the world, yet crazy people are sitting here commenting on this.”

However, the bullying has not succeeded in fazing Ehrin, who claims she is too old to be affected by people who sit at home and write comments.

“Everything is so fast on the internet, people don’t think they can hurt people but then can. I’m fine, but I’m also glad I’m older, if I were 15 I would be really hurt right now,” she said.

“I can’t believe a little bit of hair on a woman is such a big thing, especially not after it was International Women’s Day last week,” she said.

One of Sweden’s most prominent bloggers, Hanna Fridén, a self-described feminist, took issue with the reaction of the Swedish public.

“Most people aim to bully. With words like that she is disgusting. Retarded. Should be ashamed. That she was embarrassing. Some aimed to defend her, but the majority bullied," wrote Fridén on her blog.

“It's disgusting when people write these things, just because she’s going against the standard appearance. She has chosen not to shave under her arms and people are incredibly provoked by it.”

“The fact that the image includes her face makes it even worse. She has not chosen this. It’s extremely problematic and bullying.”

Since the online storm, the original posting and all its comments have been removed from the internet.

Meanwhile, a pro-hair group continues to soar in popularity, with armpit-hair enthusiasts having started their own Facebook event to stand up for non-shaving and share images of themselves proudly showing their own hirsute pits.

In the description of the group, “Ta håret tillbaka!” ('Reclaim the hair), administrators have expressed the positive body image goal of the group.

“We decide ourselves how our bodies look. Fight against net-hate and net-bullying. Love conquers hate,” they write.

The online event organized by the hair-happy Facebookers has already attracted 6,000 people, with many more thousands invited.

When told of this, Ehrin chuckles.

“Well, that’s nice to hear. Maybe we can turn it into a positive thing. Maybe this will get people in Sweden to think,” she told The Local.

“It’s 2012 for goodness sake”.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:23 March 13, 2012 by Flappytango
"The incident took place.." haha
13:49 March 13, 2012 by petpet
That´s simply showing that the an important part of the population in Sweden are as as mediocre as in any other country, guided by the philosophy : *if you re not like me you re an enemy*. There is lots of room for improvement.
14:16 March 13, 2012 by glenquagmaire
Problems of sweden!!!
14:57 March 13, 2012 by millionmileman
When I went plane-spotting as a youth this is how we identified the Air France Planes under their wings. But never with SAS!
15:06 March 13, 2012 by foxpur
@petpet

Sadly the battle cry of many wars, racism, and just about any other discriminations....
15:16 March 13, 2012 by Tanskalainen
I'm surprised it wasn't braided.
15:25 March 13, 2012 by Tamm O'Shanter
...or plaited
15:29 March 13, 2012 by oldonpalouse
Equating her armpit with Women's International Day says it all.

The Civilized World we live in.
15:34 March 13, 2012 by Svensksmith
Looks like the gal I had to dance with in gym class.
15:52 March 13, 2012 by Steggles
Big deal!

One of Sweden's most loved idols,'Agnetha'..... always had hairy armpits!
16:49 March 13, 2012 by gpafledthis
That DAMN SVT just gave the Finns ANOTHER good laugh !! Next week the norwegians might respond ?? Go to it swedes !! Make us SMUG !!

An American- AN AMERICAN (thank Odin)
17:00 March 13, 2012 by HYBRED
Glad to see it. I think a woman with hairy armpits is very sexy.
17:06 March 13, 2012 by DAVID T
hairy armpits = hairy bush
18:30 March 13, 2012 by Svensksmith
hairy bush = Willy Nelson
19:09 March 13, 2012 by Tanskalainen
@HYBRED You're supposed to stick it a little lower.
19:50 March 13, 2012 by libertarianism
The "problem" of women's underarm hair in the West is often traced back to 1915 when sleeveless and sheer-sleeved dresses were popular for US and UK women of status. An ad in "Harper's" featuring a bare-pitted lass told readers it was necessary for women to remove objectionable hair. Razors were soon marketed specifically to women, with adverts claiming underarm hair was unhygienic and unfeminine.… The legacy of advertising: convince people there's something wrong with them so you can sell them the solution.
20:44 March 13, 2012 by wbs
Interesting that Friden condemns the internet bullying of this woman by calling it "retarded". So it's not okay to mock women with hairy pits but okay to use a derogatory term for mentally handicapped? Good to know.
00:53 March 14, 2012 by diegoveggie
most men shave everyday, so who cares? hairy armpits are gross anyways
06:56 March 14, 2012 by Decedo
eww....dirty hippys
09:13 March 14, 2012 by J Jack
Better a smiling hippy than a boring PC woman with a shaved cave.
12:07 March 15, 2012 by psnack
After Sweden becomes a moslem country, she will wear a burqa and can have armpit hair, missing teeth and multiple chins, and no one will care.
15:31 March 16, 2012 by jomamas
The real problem is this:

'They are trying to bully. They say it is ugly'.

NO. MOST PEOPLE FIND IT GROSS. THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO BULLY YOU.

THEY JUST FIND IT GROSS.

I find it gross. I don't hate women. Reasonable people can grasp that there is no contradiction in that statement.

In the new 'PETA-like' feminism - people have lost their minds.
19:18 March 16, 2012 by tadchem
body hair = testosterone = libido

We evolved from primates. Deal with it.
19:53 March 16, 2012 by Playethic
Baffling that underarm hair grows naturally on both men and women, and women must pretend it is not there, must remove it, else be considered 'gross', yet the same natural feature on men is not?
02:09 March 18, 2012 by Exolon
I have to wonder about the people who react so strongly to armpit hair, or even bush, both of which are natural in adult women.

It seems a lot of people have an obsession with pre-pubescent women, who do not have hair in these areas. Closet paedophiles, perhaps?
01:59 March 19, 2012 by Liandra Dahl
Under arm hair is beautiful. I particularly love the http://hairypitsclub.tumblr.com/ blog of women celebrating their under arm hair.
10:57 March 20, 2012 by stevo1
hey ladies, do what you want, but when you cant attract a guy or keep one, you'll know the answer, it wasn't him, it was your stinky, embarrassing armpit hair.

The Feminists will deny this as a valid reason, but in actual fact, it is the truth, so make sure you take ownership fully while growing your armpit hair!
17:59 March 25, 2012 by Adam_H
It is gross and you need to remove it.

Deal with it, feminists.
19:11 March 29, 2012 by Sulizhen
Even though I wax almost every inch of my body (it's my choice; being dark-haired comes with a price), I can't see the problem. So what if she has a hairy armpit? I can't believe that people had made such a fuss out of this...
Today's headlines
Row over line-up at Sweden's biggest festival
Robbie Williams will headline Sweden's biggest music festival in 2015. Photo: TT

Row over line-up at Sweden's biggest festival

This week Robbie Williams was announced as the headline act at Bråvalla - one of the largest music events in Scandinavia. But the British star has proved a controversial choice for the three day festival in southern Sweden's Norrköpping, which takes place in June 2015. READ  

Swedish shoppers embrace 'Black Friday'
The Swedish Trade Federation said that three times as many companies in Sweden were staging Black Friday deals in 2014 compared to last year. Photo: AP/The Canadian Press/Justin Tang

Swedish shoppers embrace 'Black Friday'

More companies in Sweden are rolling out the imported American shopping phenomenon known as 'Black Friday' by slashing prices for post-Thanksgiving purchases. READ  

Skanska quits South America over corruption
File Photo: Gorm Kallestad/TT

Skanska quits South America over corruption

Swedish engineering giant Skanska has decided to pull out of the South American market after being dragged into a corruption scandal involving the Brazilian oil major Petrobras. READ  

Jobs and immigration cost Moderates election
Former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt exits the stage after the 2014 election loss. Photo: TT

Jobs and immigration cost Moderates election

Sweden's Moderate Party slumped at the polls on election day as it lost the jobs, welfare and immigration debate, according to the party's post election analysis. READ  

Swedes cook up win at culinary world cup
Chefs at work:Shutterstock

Swedes cook up win at culinary world cup

Sweden claimed two gold and two silver medals at the culinary world cup in Luxembourg this week, which features over 100 teams from around the world competing for gastronomic greatness. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish potato and fish gratin
Traditional Swedish potato and fish casserole. Photo: Magnus Lundquist/Flickr

How to make Swedish potato and fish gratin

Feeling the need for some comfort food during the cold weather? The dish Swedes call Janssons frestelse is popular during the winter and is often found on the Christmas smorgasbord. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local... READ  

More rats creep into Sweden's cities
Rats like these are common in Stockholm. Photo: TT

More rats creep into Sweden's cities

Sweden is experiencing a rapid increase in its rat population according to the country's biggest pest control company, which says that the growing trend for outdoor food stalls is partly to blame. READ  

What's On in Sweden
What's On: November 27th - December 4th
A Christmas market in Skåne. Photo: Visit Skåne

What's On: November 27th - December 4th

Northern Sweden's Umeå is fighting the encroaching darkness with a bright pop festival, horses are trotting into town in Stockholm, Gothenburg is celebrating French culture and winter markets are popping up everywhere this week. READ  

'Tinder for jobs' app in discrimination row
Selfiejobs has launched in Stockholm. Photo: Selfiejobs

'Tinder for jobs' app in discrimination row

A smartphone app designed to match young job seekers with potential employers has gained more than ten thousand likes since it launched in Stockholm a week ago. The company is already planning to target other capitals, despite criticism that it promotes discrimination. READ  

'Wild west' taxi drivers face tough new rules
Taxis at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport. Photo: Claudio Brescani/TT

'Wild west' taxi drivers face tough new rules

Stockholm taxis have a reputation for being among the most expensive in the world, but new regulations designed to make costs more transparent have been agreed on by Stockholm's Traffic Committee. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's biggest music festival, Bråvalla
Lifestyle
Five magical Swedish winter markets
Sponsored Article
SIS: the thinking behind globalised learning
Lifestyle
Top ten Swedish Christmas presents
Lifestyle
VIDEO: How to stay stylish in Sweden in November
Blog updates

28 November

Editor’s blog, November 28th (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers and warm wishes to the rest of you lucky subscribers. We..." READ »

 

25 November

Sexual Violence: It’s Still Time To Act (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"In 2013, a World Health Organisation report found that 35% of all women in the world..." READ »

 
 
 
Imagebank Sweden
Society
Decorating your home for Swedish Christmas
Gallery
People-watching: November 26th
Sponsored Article
How to get your own office anywhere in the world
National
'I'm a Swedish 'expat' in my home country'
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Family life in Stockholm
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's 2015 Eurovision hopefuls
Gallery
Property of the week: Rosengården
National
'Racist' Black Pete party scrapped in Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Christmas gifts through the years
Lifestyle
'I'm spreading Japan's 'cute' culture in Sweden'
National
Ebola: Sweden's leading expert speaks
National
Why this Swedish rabbi is facing death threats
National
Fears up to 300 Swedes fighting with Isis
Lifestyle
How to make Swedish mulled wine
Gallery
People-watching: November 22nd - 23rd
Society
What's on in Sweden: November 20th to 27th
National
How to boost your career in Skåne, Sweden's south
Lifestyle
How an Umeå museum is rewriting Swedish history
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Lifestyle
Five unique backpacker hostels in Stockholm
National
Bones show off Sweden's history
National
What new word are Swedes voting on?
National
Why African Swedes are angry about Santa's helper
National
Pine, tar, and tinder: flavours from the north
Gallery
Selfies, solidarity and Hillary Clinton: Stefan Löfven on tour
Gallery
People-watching: November 19th
Society
Why are international professionals leaving Sweden?
Business & Money
Meet the Swedes who made suits for The Hunger Games
Technology
'I'm among the first Swedes with a microchip'
National
What is Sweden doing about bird flu?
Gallery
Property of the week: Eriksberg
National
Vecka45: Sweden's most innovative week
Gallery
In Pictures: The clubs and loves of Sweden's Sven-Göran Eriksson
Society
What's On in Sweden: November 13th to 20th
Gallery
People-watching: November 16th
National
Driving (expats) home for Christmas?
Lifestyle
Make your own Swedish pea soup
Politics
"Totally unacceptable": Defence Minister on Stockholm submarine
Society
The A-Ö guide to making life in Sweden easier
National
How a Swedish party inspired a masterpiece
National
Seen the new Ace of Base yet?
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

837
jobs available
Swedish Down Town
Consulting & Productions

We are an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish authorities, Swedish language practice, and general communications.
Call 0731 004 781 or visit:
swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business. If you want to stop, we can help.
Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
aa-europe.org/sweden
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Counselling and Psychotherapy in English
Sometimes living in another culture can cause stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness. Talking to a professional psychotherapist/counsellor might help you. I am a UKCP Reg. psychotherapist. My practice is in Södermalm, Stockholm.
Contact me to discuss your options