In Deadpool 2, ZazieBeetz plays Domino: a mercenary blessed with powers of blind luck. She also so happens to have unshaven armpits which are briefly glimpsed during the multiple fight scenes.
Domino, as a character, is confident and self-assured, and the fact that her armpits aren’t shaved is simply a woman living in 2018 who doesn’t feel like shaving their armpits.
Beetz’s decision to keep her armpits unshaven is accompanied by a low-key story and she remarks:
“Before we started shooting I actually hadn’t shaved in a bit, just out of… not even having gotten to it. And my boyfriend, if I remember correctly, he was like, ‘Maybe you should keep it’. And I was like, ‘You know what?’ That’s kind of a good idea.’ So I just kept it. And then I sort of tentatively brought it up. Well, not really tentatively, I brought it up.”
She was initially hesitant over the decision for fear of the “internet reaction”. “It’s interesting how strongly people really do feel about armpit hair on women,” she adds. “They have very, very strong opinions about that. But I felt, you know, like that’s not about me, right?”
“That’s about social conditioning and about people’s perception of what women should look like. And, you know, I felt if people got offended by that, that’s not something I really have to worry about.”
Beetz’s portrayal of Domino now stands amongst a growing movement of younger women making strides to embrace their own body hair
She also said. “It was something I really wanted to do, also because I just have a lot of friends now who are feeling sexy in their body hair and I wanted to embody that,” she says. “And it’s not something that is gross or shameful.”
She’s also keenly aware that personal choices over body hair are never straightforward, but are always wrapped up in complex layers. “It depends on how I am, but I feel very sexy when my legs are shaven, right? Where does that come from?” she questions. “So I, sometimes intentionally, will let my body hair grow out so I don’t feel beholden to that.”
She also shared her own relationship with makeup: “I will also intentionally go weeks without wearing it, in my personal life, if I’m not on set or something like that. Because I never want to get used to seeing my face with things blotted out. I want to always feel comfortable with me just being naked in front of a mirror.”
“But that takes also intention for myself and I have to practice that,” she adds. “And so, it comes from the outside, and then because it came so strongly from the outside, it starts coming from the inside. And I think it’s something you also have to be aware of.”
Beetz nails the heart of the dilemma that the things that make us confident are also the things that the world made us ashamed of for no reason.
At the end of the day what’s more important is choice. Not to passively restrict how we see ourselves, but to have control over our own identities. Which is why, it matters when Domino flashes her unshaven armpits in Deadpool 2.
Deadpool 2 is out now in cinemas.