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Why You’ll See Female Armpit Hair in Deadpool 2

According to actress Zazie Beetz, it was basically an accident.

Zazie Beetz as Domino in Deadpool 2.
Photo: Joe Lederer/2018 20th Century Fox Film Corporation/IMDB

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Superhero hair is only getting more interesting, and in the latest Marvel film, it’s not just the kind that grows on the head. Indeed, the heroine of Deadpool 2, which premiered last weekend, has what so few women onscreen do: armpit hair.

Of course, this is far from the most interesting thing about Domino, the character played by Atlanta star Zazie Beetz. Vanity Fair and The Root dubbed her the best part of the film; though she comes from a tragic past, her superpower is good luck, and by the end of the movie, she’s arguably the most crucial member of the X-Force. And as a biracial woman with an Afro, Beetz brings a fresh look to the character, who in the original comics was depicted with exaggeratedly white skin and straight black hair.

Zazie Beetz as Domino.
Photo: IMDB

And there’s the fact that in Deadpool 2, Domino happens to have armpit hair. In an interview with the Independent, Beetz says the decision was hardly even a decision at all. “Before we started shooting I actually hadn’t shaved in a bit, just out of … not even having gotten to it,” she says. “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.”

Although she did say she was hesitant about the potentially negative reaction from moviegoers, she ultimately realized that “if people got offended by that, that’s not something I really have to worry about.”

Armpit hair on women in general has become more culturally visible in the past few years —celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Paris Jackson have Instagrammed photos of their own, transforming the traditionally taboo choice into one that can feel both carefree and political. (This, however, doesn’t stop our collective fixation on armpit hair when we see it on red carpets.)

But what’s perhaps most notable about Domino’s armpit hair is that it isn’t mentioned in the film. It isn’t the target of one of Deadpool’s acerbic jokes, nor is it intended as any sort of broader statement. It was just a happenstance of Beetz’s everyday life, which, when you think about it, adds a pretty cool element of realism to the fantasy.