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Rachel McAdams Sparks Debate Over Her Armpit Hair in New Photoshoot

Fans are both praising and criticizing the "Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret" star.

Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is set to hit theaters on April 28, and in preparation of the film's highly anticipated release, lead star Rachel McAdams sat down with Bustle to talk about the film, which organically segued into a conversation about embracing her natural body… armpit hair included. The actress chose not to shave her underarms for her photoshoot, baring armpit hair in multiple sleeveless outfits. Naturally, people took to social media with their opinions, both good and bad. Keep reading to see what both McAdams and fans (and trolls) have to say about body hair.

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She asked the outlet to edit her photos "as minimally as possible."

screenshot of rachel mcadams lying on a couch with the text "you and your mom keep butting heads"
Bustle / YouTube

This is not the first time McAdams has pushed some people's boundaries in a photoshoot. In 2017, she posed for Girls. Girls. Girls. magazine in a breast pump. "I love that juxtaposition of beauty, glam, fantasy, and then the truth," she said of the experience. In the same vein, for her Bustle cover story, the publication noted that McAdams had requested that her images remain untouched as much as possible.

"With this shoot, I'm wearing latex underwear. But I've had two children. This is my body, and I think that's so important to reflect back out to the world," she insisted.

The journalist points out that McAdams "does not look like a product of the industry's dermatological regimen; she looks like herself." The actress has embraced her body's natural changes, which she proudly displays in this month's issue. "It's OK to look your best and work at it and be healthy, but that's different for everyone," she said.

While McAdams got what she wanted, her unedited armpit hair has sparked a hot debate on social media over women's hygiene.

Her armpit hair has fans feeling both empowered and uncomfortable.

screenshot of rachel mcadams posing on a couch in bustle video
Bustle / YouTube

While some people are calling McAdams's armpit hair "nasty" and "worthless," others are praising the critically acclaimed actress for publicly celebrating her natural body.

One person tweeted in her defense, "if ur [sic] genuinely pissed off about Rachel McAdams showing her armpit hair in her most recent shoot, u should crawl back under the cold rock from which u came from."

Another praised McAdams, "I didn't know Rachel McAdams grew out her armpit hair! I love it." Bustle's Instagram is overflowing with positive responses to the actress's unedited photos. One user commented, "Love her, and also love appreciating bodies that age and expand regardless of whether they've had children or not."

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She shared shaving advice she would give her younger self.

Rachel McAdams
Emma McIntyre / WireImage / Getty Images

During her photoshoot, McAdams was asked to advise her pre-teen self on a variety of puberty milestones like getting her first bra, having her first kiss, and shaving for the first time. "'Once you start, you can never stop,'" she said of her own mother's advice. "I remember rolling my eyes about that and thinking, 'Ugh, that's not the fun answer,' but it's so true." She then warned her younger self to be careful shaving around "the ankle bones, the shins," and to always use shaving cream.

"You're gonna go to Bible camp and think it's okay to shave without shaving cream, and it's gonna be terrible," McAdams recounted, before assuring young Rachel that shaving doesn't have to be a lifelong thing.

"If you want to stop shaving again one day, that's okay, too," she said.

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McAdams isn't the first celebrity to rock armpit hair.

Rachel McAdams red carpet
Jon Kopaloff / WireImage / Getty Images

In 1999, actress Julia Roberts was photographed with underarm hair while hailing a cab in a gorgeous red sequined dress, per Variety. Madonna, Drew Barrymore, and Britney Spears have also proudly posed with their natural armpit hair on display.

"I saw how popular girls had to behave to get the boys. I knew I couldn't fit into that," Madonna told Harper's Bazaar in 2011, reported by People. "So I decided to do the opposite. I refused to wear makeup, to have a hairstyle. I refused to shave. I had hairy armpits."

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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