When it comes to quotidian beauty rituals, one subject invariably sprouts up: how to get rid of body hair. All women have it, yet most of us spend endless time and money pruning, grooming and whipping it clean off. Facial hair is a particular taboo. Perhaps Shilpa Shetty's finest hour in the Big Brother house wasn't standing up to Jade Goody and her cronies, but rather appearing in front of the nation with her face covered in a layer of facial hair bleach. Most women would prefer not to admit they spend time every three to four weeks bleaching or waxing away their moustaches.
The comedian and self-confessed 'serial body-hair remover' Shazia Mirza (below, right) has just spent three months without depilating from top to toe as part of a BBC Three documentary entitled F*** Off I'm A Hairy Woman. On Monday evening, while silky smooth models stepped out onto runways around the city for London Fashion Week, Mirza staged her very own hairy catwalk event at London’s Café de Paris. "It's a bit of freak show, but it's a nice one." teased Mirza as she invites her hirsute models to the stage.
A melange of women of differing shapes, size and age and with varying degrees hairyness confidently strutted their stuff, and struck a pose – arms aloft of course so we could get a proper look at those hairy pits. The 90-piece lingerie collection entitled “Her Suit & Cute" is the brainchild of political artist Tracey Moberly who was asked to collaborate on the project. Under Moberly’s tutelage, woven textiles and fashion students from the University of Brighton learned how to spin human hair - some, cunningly garnered from celebrities including Richard and Judy, Howard Marks, Daisy Asquith and Mark Thomas - into thread. The thread was then incorporated into the weaving process for the garments. “I myself spun over 3.5km of hair for the project! I haven’t used it all yet though.” confesses Moberly. Place your orders now! -- Ronita Dutta
For more information about Tracey Moberly’s work and to see more images from the show visit
. (Pictures here by Claire Rees)
F*** Off I’m A Hairy Woman airs in March as part of BBC Three’s Body Image season.
Posted by Times Online on February 15, 2007 in SPY