Jada Mackenzie Travis lives in North Carolina — a place she says is very opinionated. And Jada has been speaking out against people who judge her for not shaving her armpit hair.
On TikTok, over 4.6 million people watched her explain, "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."
"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 said as she raised her hand to show off her 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 concluded in her video.
People — including razor companies — loved her explanation.
BuzzFeed spoke to Jada, who decided to stop shaving in 2019. "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," she said.
"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 said.
Jada wants women to be able to step into their power and do whatever they want. "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."