PHOTO: TONY KYRIACOU/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK.
In 1999, long before Gen-Z stars like Amandla Stenberg and Paris Jackson were making the case for body hair being NBD, Julia Roberts attended the premiere of her new film Notting Hill dressed in a sparkling red Vivienne Tam sheath with her hair haphazardly twisted in a waterfall updo and her armpits completely unshaven. This wasn't the first time anyone saw an A-list celebrity with body hair, but it certainly did trigger a vocal response.
While some reports claimed Roberts' hairy underarms were because then-boyfriend Benjamin Bratt preferred the actress au naturel, most regarded her body-hair reveal as a feminist statement. But unlike a lot of famous faces who actively challenge the norms, Roberts never publicly talked about her hairiest red-carpet moment — until now.
On the fifth episode of Busy Philipps' new talk show Busy Tonight, Roberts finally answered the question fans had wondered for almost two decades: Was the armpit hair intentional or not?
"Also just because of feminism, I'm always thinking about these things – you know, you rocked the hairy armpit at the "Notting Hill" premiere, and you never really said if that was like a statement," Philipps said."The picture is vivid in my mind actually, from that, from that moment," Roberts said. "I think I just hadn't really calculated my, my sleeve length and the waving, and how those two things would go together and reveal personal things about me … so it wasn't so much a statement as it's just part of the statement I make as a human on the planet, for myself."
In short – no, that wasn't a feminist statement from Roberts so much as much as it was a too-short sleeve.
So Roberts wasn't necessarily trying to keep the flame of a massive movement alive, but that doesn't mean she didn't do exactly that in the process. Hey, she doesn't need to tell you she DGAF — actions speak louder than words, and she's a pro at simply showing it. After all, the woman did go barefoot at the Cannes Film Festival.