If you thought ridiculous beauty standards for women peaked with the thigh gap, you’re going to want to sit down for this. (Or maybe not, since sitting can create stomach rolls, which we’re also not supposed to have.) Allow me to introduce the “armpit vagina.”
The alleged “armpit vagina”—also known as the “arm vagina”—is the fold of skin formed when your arm is lowered against your torso. Yes, that’s it. Basically, everyone with arms and a torso has it regardless of size. It’s just one of those things that happens when you have a body and is in no way abnormal or ugly or deserving of its own name.
Although the specific origin of this faux anatomical term is fuzzy, many credit Jennifer Lawrence for introducing it into the body-shaming lexicon when she used it during a SAG red carpet interview in 2014. Thankfully, the idea didn’t really pick up steam after that, but recently received major exposure when Hollywood stylist Rebecca Corbin-Murray mentioned it in an interview with The Times on Nov. 29. Detailing how her A-list clients are always worried about one body part or another, she said that one that comes up a lot is the “arm vagina.”
As a writer pointed out in The Guardian, Corbin-Murray isn’t trying to give women a complex about their arms; rather, she was highlighting the unattainable beauty standards set for women in the entertainment industry.
And on top of everything else, the term “armpit vagina” is inaccurate and misleading. The arm crease in question is not a narrow canal with the ability to expand during penetration and childbirth. I believe the term they’re looking for is “armpit vulva” or “armpit labia,” describing the exterior part of the genitals.
We’re already told that our armpits are repulsive—that we have to take every precaution to make sure they stay dry, smell fresh, and are hair-free. But even if we accomplish all that, we’d best not rest our arm too close to our body, because then we’d run the risk of inadvertently recreating another body part that many people find too heinous to even say out loud.
Nope. Repeat after me: This is not a thing. I for one refuse to live the rest of my life (or even pose for photos) as that golden robot from Star Wars. And if you look at a woman’s armpit and see a vagina, you need an anatomy lesson—and a new hobby.