Adele Labo, 16, created the hashtag #LesPrincessesOntDesPoils after being mocked at school for not shaving
French women have posted pictures of hairy armpits and legs on Twitter to fight the stigma over female body hair.
The hashtag #LesPrincessesOntDesPoils (Princesses have hair) was the top trending topic on French Twitter with over 25,000 mentions as a furore erupted over whether women should remove body hair or not.
The hashtag was launched by 16-year-old Adele Labo, said she had suffered enormously from mocking and teasing at school when she refused to shave.
I think society stigmatises women, there is massive social pressure over body hair, she said.
Labo, who already has a blog with pictures of her natural hair, invited others to post images of theirs.
While many praised her initiative, she was also the target of insults from both men and women who declared the pictures disgusting and those who posted them feminazis.
The teenager said she did not think all women should steer clear of razors and wax, but they should be allowed to freely choose how to treat their bodies.
Body hair removal dates as far back as ancient Greece and Egypt, and took off in the 20th century when Gillette sold the first razor for women in 1915, declaring body hair unsightly.
In the 1960s and 70s it became fashionable in some circles to leave the body as it is, and the growth of pornography popularised pubic hair removal.
Several tried to lighten the mood on Twitter, with men posting pictures of their hairy torsos while others merely put up pictures of their pets.