• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Swedish woman's hairy armpit hurrah goes viral

Oliver Gee · 13 Mar 2012, 12:41

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.

Story continues below…

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
Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape'
Tech star Tayyab Shabab, who is being threatened with deportation. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish politicians are keen to talk up the country's startups – but their migration rules threaten to strangle them, argues The Local's managing editor James Savage.

Startup heavyweights back tech ace told to leave Sweden
Spotify founder Daniel Ek is one of the big tech names backing Tayyab Shabab (right). Photo: Ingvar Karmhed/SvD/TT & personal

Major names in the tech community have rallied behind a developer who was told he must leave Sweden within a month due to an admin error made by his former employer.

Why Sweden could deport hundreds of refugee children
A home for lone refugee children in Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Several hundred lone refugee children could now be sent home from Sweden due to a change in how the rule on exceptional circumstances is applied when making asylum decisions.

Rare and horny ox spotted looking for ladies in Sweden
The ox in question. Photo: Pia Jäderberg

Unfortunately he isn't likely to be successful.

Russian bombers spook Sweden-bound flight
A Russian Tupolev bomber not related to the story. Photo: STR/TT

A flight bound for Stockholm from Reykjavik got a nasty surprise last week when its pilot spotted two Russian bombers from his window.

One dead after Malmö drive-by shooting
Police cars outside the hospital where some of the people shot were taken. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

UPDATED: One of the four men injured in a drive-by shooting in Malmö has died, police confirmed on Monday.

In pictures
How a Swedish hotel reunited this bear with his best friend
The bear having a croissant for breakfast. Photo: Kristoffer Kinnunen/Hotel Avalon

A Gothenburg hotel's attempt to track down the owner of this lost teddy bear turned into something much bigger.

World Cup of Hockey
Europe sends Sweden home from World Cup
Tomas Tatar scores a winning goal against Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist. Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Sweden was kicked out of the World Cup of Hockey after losing to Team Europe in overtime.

Poetry can 'save Arab world' says Nobel Prize hopeful
The Gothenburg Book Fair. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Speaking at the Gothenburg Book Fair, Syrian poet and possible Nobel Prize contender Adonis said that religious fanaticism is 'destroying the heart of the Arab world', but sees salvation in poetry.

My Swedish Career
'As long as you hook Swedes on the first try, they'll be back'
Kerryn Beattie (left) and Craig Donovan (right), founders of the Nordic Kiwi Brewers. Photo: Nordic Kiwi Brewers

The Local speaks to a Kiwi expat who took on the tricky world of microbreweries in Stockholm and won.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,963
jobs available