Madonna's daughter Lourdes Leon sparked a debate on social media after showing off her armpit hair in a family photo on Instagram.

Madonna, 59, posted the picture of her 21-year old daughter on New Year's Day with the caption:

We are Ready For You 2018!

The post led to mixed reactions from Madonna's followers.

One user said it was "disgusting" while another said: "Why hairy pits??? Gross!"

Another user, ms_cammarata said:

Come on Madonna, no shock factor needed anymore, you’ve been there done that. MAKE HER SHAVE ITS GROSS !!

While nanafromparis said:

It's natural, Get over it.

There was also quite a debate on Twitter:

Others turned to GIFs:

Other women who famously showed off their armpits include Hollywood Actress Julia Roberts - who rose her arms to wave at crowds on the red carpet for film Notting Hill in 1999.

Madonna shared a photo on Instagram in 2014, also showing her armpit hair, she said in the post:

Long hair don't care.

Lady Gaga took it a step further in her Much Music Video Awards performance of 2011 - she had blue extensions made for her armpits - the same colour of her hair during that show.

And in a 11 December Instagram post by The Love Magazine - a video showed Gigi Hadid's dark stubble under her armpits.

The 'free from' trend

Research about armpit hair has been published by analysts Mintel - which showed a decline in young women who shaved hair from their legs and underarms.

In 2013, 95 per cent of women aged 16-24 said they shaved their hair from their underarms. This had dropped to just 77 per cent in 2016.

And industry figures showed a decline in sale of shaving and hair removal products with a 5 per cent fall between 2015 and 2016.

Roshida Khanom, associate director of beauty and personal car at Mintel said that women are:

...pushing back against societal expectations of what women should look like.

Jasmien Andersson, a Women's Rights journalist told indy100 that the resurgence of body hair among women is "going to make waves in 2018."

She said:

It's quite a generational divide.

The mainstream depictions of femininity in post-20's generation entail a woman who would 'die' before having an unshaven armpit.

But that's not simply the case for young women anymore.

Andersson, who has written for The Guardian, The Independent and PinkNews added that feminism has become "mainstream and it's helping women like Lourdes celebrate their body, with hair or otherwise."


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