There was this joke I read on a website (which isn’t known for being friendly to women), and it wasn’t at all funny. Here it is (emphasis all mine):
A woman, wearing a sleeveless sun dress, walked into a Bar in Dublin.
She raised her right arm, revealing a huge, hairy armpit as she pointed to all the people sitting at the bar and asked, ‘What man here will buy a lady a drink?’
Down at the end of the bar, an old drunk slammed his hand down on the counter and bellowed ‘Give the ballerina a drink!’
The bartender poured the drink and the woman drunk it. She turned again pointed around at all of them, revealing the same hairy armpit, and asked, ‘What man here will buy a lady a drink?’
Once again, the same little drunk shouted ‘Give the ballerina another drink!’
The bartender approached the drunk and said ‘Tell me, Paddy, it’s your business if you want to buy the lady a drink, but why do you keep calling her a ballerina?’
The drunk replied, ‘Any woman who can lift her leg that high has got to be a ballerina!’
This joke relies to two things to make it funny – the confusion suffered by a drunk man about what he was looking at – armpits and pubic mounds totally the same, and the fact that women with hairy armpits (or “huge, hairy armpit[s]”) are gross and revolting and no one but a drunk man would buy such a woman a drink.
The joke isn’t funny as far as I am concerned. Hairy armpits are fine, there is nothing wrong with them, and how they’d be huge… can you have huge armpits?… I’m not sure. This joke is one in a million others which reinforces crap beauty and gender myths about what it is to be a beautiful woman. This joke is one in a million of others which reinforces gender conformity and beauty conformity.
I call bullshit.
Be beautiful. Love your body for it is beautiful. It gets you from here to there (most of the time), helps you feel good (much of the time) and is gorgeous. Be beautiful in your own way. Don’t ascribe to society’s fucked up view of what makes a woman beautiful. You are gorgeous.