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Dove #ArmsUp

#ArmsUp: celebrating underarm beauty

We believe that beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety for all women, and we’ve been championing body confidence since the Dove Real Beauty campaign in 2004. 

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Everyone should have the right to feel confident in their bodies, but beauty standards and ideals can make us feel self-conscious and hold us back from reaching our full potential. In fact, 8 in 10 women feel pressure to adhere to a perceived global standard of beauty – and feel judged on many areas of their bodies - underarms included.

We commissioned The Underarm Confidence Survey to help us understand the issue of underarm confidence. Our findings showed that 6 in 10 women feel that they have been judged on the appearance of their underarms and 88% of women have felt pressure to have the “ideal” underarm - smooth, flawless, blemish-free. Feeling self-conscious about our underarms can affect us on a more physical level too, making us change the way we move, stopping us from fully expressing ourselves and holding us back from opportunities.

If you ask us, there is no such thing as ‘perfect underarms’ – it’s all down to personal choice and preference, that’s why we’re committed to removing the stigma, shame and stereotypes surrounding our underarms by:

  • Showing a diverse range of underarms (and bodies) across everything we do
  • Helping young people around the world build body confidence and self-esteem through the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Including information in our educational resources to help them challenge appearance ideals and pressures, including those relating to underarms
  • Ensuring that a wide range of diverse underarm images are available to media and advertisers through Project #ShowUs – the world’s largest image library to shatter beauty stereotypes

We want to say goodbye to the ‘flawless’ underarms ideal  – and who better to help us than our community. For this Dove campaign, 13 wonderful women shared their underarm stories to empower others to feel comfortable and confident, no matter their underarm choices. Because real beauty is unique and diverse, it’s you, and it’s worth celebrating – every little bit of it.


Meet the women

Whether you choose to go natural, smooth, tattooed, glittered or rainbow coloured, whether you have scars, moles or vitiligo, the only thing your underarm shouldn’t be is a worry, it’s all about what works for you. We believe you should feel happy, comfortable and confident in your underarm choices ­– and here’s four women showing us how its done... 


“I work at a day centre for vunerable children, and a girl told me I wouldn’t be happy or get married if I didn’t shave my legs or underarms. So I decided to dye my underarms pink, because I wanted to show girls that you can be a happy, hairy and successful woman, all at once”    


“I developed Vitiligo when I was young… I was very self conscious of it… It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I realised I was living this life for myself and no one else. Now I go on beach holidays, I go shopping, I buy any swimsuit I want. Nothing stops me being who I am today.”


“In my 40s I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the operation to remove it left a scar on my underarm. I never let the scar stop me wearing and doing what I wanted. In fact, it’s given me a new found appreciation for women who do their own thing with conviction and confidence.”

Behind the scenes

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