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A photo of baby Leonardo DiCaprio got people talking about women’s armpit hair

A Leonardo DiCaprio family photo was circulated on Facebook. Many people’s reaction wasn’t, oh what a cute baby Leo, but: look at his mother’s armpit hair.

Who would have thought that we would be talking about female armpit hair in relation to Leonardo DiCaprio. Sadly, this conversation is really happening. The Facebook page History in Pictures posted a photograph taken in 1976 to pay tribute to the great actor and climate advocate, who recently won the Oscar for Best Actor, which shows him as a baby with his mother Irmelin Indenbirken and father George DiCaprio. The couple later divorced, but the photograph shows happy parents proudly holding their very blonde, very cute son Leonardo. The image generated a storm of comments about a theoretically peripheral aspect of it: Indenbirken’s unshaven armpits.

Baby Leonardo DiCaprio with his mom and dad, 1976.Follow us for more awesome history >> History In Pictures

Posted by History In Pictures on Tuesday, 1 March 2016

 

Many expressed their disgust with comments such as “beast of a pit” and “that’s gross, end of discussion”. Some pointed out that the shot was taken in the 1970s and that the DiCaprios were hippies, therefore it was only normal that women didn’t shave at the time. Others were outraged at the fact that, a whole forty years afterwards, people still think women should be subjected to non-natural aesthetic standards based on their gender. Some joked: “I guess some of these guys didn’t know women grew hair on their armpits,” and, “his dad didn’t even shave his beard for the photo”. Others stuck to a serious tone: “When i saw this, I thought ‘Wow, that little toddler just got an Oscar. His parents must be extremely proud!’ Not ‘His mom didn’t shave her pits during a time where women didn’t shave their pits'”.

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Leonardo DiCaprio with his mother Irmelin Indenbirken at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony © REX/Shutterstock
Women have hair. All over their body, exactly like men do. It is a simple fact of nature and life, a fact that should be of little interest or importance. Except that women are subjected to intense scrutiny and derision in accordance to superficial and antiquated aesthetic norms that require them to alter their natural selves. Of course these affects men too, they affects all genders, but women in particular are too often judged not for who they are or what they do, but what they look like and what they wear. Because the point isn’t how Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother looks, but that she raised him, and he credits her with having given him the support that made his brilliant career possible – for example, driving him three hours a day so that he could attend the prestigious Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies when he was a boy. Not surprisingly, it was Indenbirken that the actor proudly had on his arm as his date for one of the most important nights in his career.
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