Hello, foxy friends of VAIN + believers in the Free Your Pits movement of armpit dyeing + creative self-expression! We’re kicking off 2015 with a free Pit-In at VAIN Downtown on New Year’s Day from 1-4PM, where you can learn all about the #freeyourpits phenomenon, dye your armpits if you want to, be part of the photo shoot action, and meet the visionaries behind FYP, VAIN hairstylist + How-To Hair Girl herself, Roxie, and VAIN front desk star + blogger Rain (she’s the fox pictured above). It’s the first official Pit-In ever, so we hope you’ll be there!
In anticipation of what’s sure to be a very good time, we sat down with the OG pit free-ers themselves to talk about how the movement got started, what VAIN’s got to do with it, and more… including which celebs they’d like to see free their pits and which color they’d dye their own pits if they could only choose one. Here’s what they had to say:
VAIN: How did the #freeyourpits movement get started?
Roxie: The FYP movement started with an experiment in pit hair dyeing and a celebration of hair/pit hair blog post. We photographed the process on top of VAIN downtown on a sunny day. The rest is history!
Rain: After working together for a few months, Roxie asked me to be her guinea pig for a dyed pits article for Offbeat Home & Life, and of course I was totally game for the experiment! One of my favorite perks at VAIN is lending my hair to creative projects! After an initial 30,000 shares we were pretty excited, but then dyed pits went viral. After being made fun of on the Today Show, I personally felt it was time to attack this thing head on and it’s kept going strong since Thanksgiving. FYP has been featured all over the world from Germany and Japan to Russia and Australia. Roxie has provided some incredibly meaningful and eloquent commentary that’s really helped spread the word, and working together as a team has allowed us to reach a wide audience and to promote our mantra. It’s been a pretty incredible experience so far, that’s for sure!
VAIN: How has VAIN’s environment + our approach to style exploration been a factor with this movement?
Roxie: Working at VAIN has definitely reinforced my obsession with radical acts of style expression. I trained under Victoria, VAIN’s fearless leader, and she taught me to break the rules and to look at hairstyling as more of a personal art-form to customize as opposed to a set of rules and trends to follow.
Rain: Before I moved to Seattle, I had never really felt comfortable being my true self. It may sound cheesy, but VAIN has really helped me along my journey of self-acceptance and I am really grateful for that. And if it wasn’t for VAIN, I wouldn’t have met Roxie! At VAIN I have been able to creatively express myself in a way that I haven’t before. I know to a lot of people it’s just hair, but being able to look the way that I want and the way that I feel inside is really empowering. I don’t feel judged and I don’t worry about being myself anymore. At VAIN being yourself isn’t a bad thing, but something embraced and welcomed.
VAIN: What has surprised you most about the attention the FYP movement has been getting?
Roxie: I am surprised at how ready so many people are to talk about the subject of body hair and personal choices for women regarding their bodies. Both for and against the FYP movement, a major conversation has started around it.
Rain: What has surprised me most is the support that we have received from strangers. After the initial criticism from the Today Show, I felt pretty raw. It hurt my feelings that people would go out of their way to criticize someone they haven’t met. I am no stranger to the struggle for self-love and body positivity, and it really made me feel bad about myself reading and hearing negative comments. Since then, though, we have received an incredible amount of support and positivity for the FYP movement. Other female-bodied people have been joining the movement and sending their stories and photos and have continued to encourage our efforts. It’s pretty exciting that this has caught on and that FYP is inspiring others to love themselves!
VAIN: What can people expect at the Pit-In at VAIN on New Year’s Day?
Roxie: People can expect to get their pits dyed for a great cause, and to have some fun talking about it and witnessing others getting their pits dyed and marvel at how fun and empowering it is to do it. We will have limited edition FYP t-shirts, too. And we will be taking lots of pictures.
Rain: It will be a body-positive empowerment-a-palooza!
VAIN: What if someone’s just curious about the movement, or, say, doesn’t have enough grown out to dye anything [Editor’s note: I’m talking about myself here]? Can they still come?
Roxie: yes! All you need is stubble, and we can dye yours. And if you are just curious, come in and check it out by all means. You may just get inspired! You can be a part of the movement just by joining the conversation:)
Rain: Of course! FYP isn’t just about dyed armpit hair, or armpit hair in general, it’s about women making conscious decisions for themselves and promoting body positivity. Please come check us out and feel free to ask questions! We want to provide this service and be available to educate guests about the FYP Movement and about our mantra of self-love and acceptance. Don’t be shy!
VAIN: If you were stranded on a desert island and had to pick one pit color, what would it be?
Roxie: Manic Panic Cleo Rose, hands down.
Rain: Well, if the island was gracious enough to provide me with Manic Panic to color my hairs, I would probably pick a brighter blue like Atomic Turquoise or Bad Boy Blue. It might make me really sad though because it would remind me of all the water I didn’t have around to drink…haha!
VAIN: Who would be your dream public figure(s) to have free their pits?
Roxie: Madonna. Ellen D, Macklemore to rep Seattle. Katy Perry.
Rain: Bjork! She is one of my favorite humans and would be the perfect person to embrace the Free Your Pits Movement. If I could go back in time and convince Bjork to dye her pits orange to match her hair for Biophilia, I would be SO STOKED.
VAIN: Thank you, ladies! We’re excited for you to share the Free Your Pits good vibes with everyone on Jan. 1st. Keep on freein’ in the pits world!
Start the New Year off on a fun and creative note: join us at the Pit-In! Thursday, January 1st, 1-4PM at VAIN Downtown- 2018 1st Ave, Seattle.