Sina Weibo user Yang Yuzhen shows her armpit in this file photo. [Photo/Sina Weibo]
Hundreds of Chinese women have joined a recent armpit selfies competition on micro-blogging service Sina Weibo, proudly displaying their unshaven armpits.
Started by a popular Sina Weibo public account, the contest is called "girls not plucking armpit hair". It encourages Chinese females to post a photo of their armpit hair to demonstrate their natural beauty, to echo similar events overseas.
These selfies of pretty young Chinese women, with their underarm hair exposed, have stirred hot debate online. Some netizens said it's gross to see such photos, some believe the pictures show the confidence and courage of Chinese women who want to challenge social norms.
Of the more than 6,400 respondents who participated in a survey on Sina Weibo, more than 70 percent said it's better to shave armpit hair because it will make one more beautiful, while others argued that it's natural and healthy to keep the hair.
Many people think that personal hygiene or etiquette dictate that women should shave their leg hair and underarm hair. Men, however, are considered to be manly if they have hairy armpits, legs, arms and even chests - while women turn to epilators, shaving creams and razor blades, to keep their legs and underarms "feminine" and hairless, just like a newborn baby.