Jada Mackenzie Travis is from North Carolina and she says that the state is extremely opinionated. She plays into that by speaking out against people who judge her for not shaving her armpit hair.
Her TikTok video went viral with over 4.6 million people watching her explain why she doesn’t shave.
“I wanna talk about my armpit hair today. And I’m going to send this video to every single person that constantly talks about it. I have not shaved my armpits in three years, and that’s a long time, and I’m ready to talk about WHY,” she said.
“Allow me to show you the demonstration of what I have drawn this morning. This is us. We are on a floating rock, OK?! This is us on a floatin’ rock, and we literally just go like this with all the other floatin’ rocks all year round. And I live in the South, and it’s a very interesting place. It’s a place where people don’t always have their teeth, but they really value razors apparently.”
“And I’ll go an hour into the city, and nobody looks at me. ‘I’ll take my drink, my order, my table.’ Nobody looks at me,” she explains, raising her hand to show off her unshaved armpits.
“But if I go to Love Valley — that’s cowboy county — and go to the Dollar General there, and I lift up my arm to pay, it’s like the whole place is like, ‘Oh my god!!!!’ And y’all don’t even have teeth. Why are you worried about using a razor? No offense — if you don’t have teeth, that’s OK. But you shouldn’t be crappy about somebody’s armpit hair.”
“And the next thing. The last thing on my list as to why I have armpit hair. Why would I want to shave a part of my body that bends like this, and then the hair is going to grow back like three hours later, and it’s going to be hot and sweaty? Like scratch, scratch, scratch — you are creatin’ sandpaper.”
“If you wanna shave your armpits, I don’t give a crap. But I don’t wanna shave mine. I shaved mine for like 10 years straight. Every. Single. Day. And it just don’t matter. We’re on a floatin’ rock. So, floating rock — nothing matters — do what you want. Have your armpit hair — I don’t care.”
“I think the key to being happy is to just do whatever the heck you want and not let anybody get in your way, anytime, ever. Do what makes you happy,” she finished.
BuzzFeed reached out to Jada, who decided to stop shaving back in 2019. She said to them, “I started to think, Wow, I really don’t enjoy shaving my armpits. I grew up dancing and singing while working with companies all through high school, so I never had the chance to stop shaving. I was supposed to be stage ready at all times. During this time, I was really trying to get to know myself and figure out what I enjoyed. But, without everyone else’s opinion weighing me down, I began to feel free.”
“I made that TikTok one morning out of the pure desire to let all my feelings out. Instead of getting offended by the people that have given me ill will, I decided to make a joke out of it. Laughter is the best medicine, and so is authenticity. When I take time to pursue my authentic self, regardless of other people’s opinions, I become free. I give myself wings — no longer waiting for permission from everyone else. Also, a part of me thought maybe someone else needs to hear this as a form of encouragement,” she elaborated.
“I’ve received so much LOVE — and so much hate all at one time. I think people can forget that behind the glass of an iPhone, we are all real people. I’ve joked with the ‘haters,’ but I respect their opinion. If I didn’t respect everyone, then I wouldn’t be allowing true acceptance of authenticity, would I? Oh, how far we would go as a collective if we would just let everyone fly! Everyone needs to start with loving themselves, loving others, and learning that they hold the key to set themselves free.”
“My mindset is all about giving people the power and freedom to be authentic to themselves. I’m not here to say one way is right, one way is wrong. Shave if you want to, and don’t shave if you don’t want to! But this is so much bigger than just body hair — it’s freedom of expression. Take off the burden of other people’s opinions so that you can flourish in every way that you can! Reach your dreams, wear what you want, and speak your truth whatever that may be. Everyone is so unique and precious in their own way.”
“I believe society has had a hold on women for too long. Now is the time to stand together. Society disregards women when they don’t fit a certain mold that has been created by the ‘conscious collective.’ This has been a heartbreaking shame for generations — oh, what the world has lost by smothering the female power. The healers, creators, artists, and so much more. Standing together as women makes us stronger. We must protect and believe in one another, speak kindly, and stand up for what we believe in,” she concluded.