Leanne Ratcliffe, who goes by Freelee the Banana Girl on social media, has racked up nearly 400,000 Instagram followers.
But she was left “disappointed” after falling victim to a slew of abusive comments after sharing a snap of her hairy armpits.
The 37-year-old vegan blogger posted a candid close-up snap in which she proudly flaunted her arm fuzz.
She said: “I haven't shaved my furry armpits in ages now and I love it.
“Not only that but I no longer shave my legs, arms, face or pubes. No more cuts, bumps, rashes, wasting time with hot waxes and painful strips or visiting expensive salons.
“Best of all I find it really empowering as a female to embrace all my hair and not give a fuck what the brainwashed mainstream thinks. No more conforming to a ridiculous sexist standard pushed by media to make big $$ and create insecure girls.”
INSTAGRAM/Freelee the Banana GirlBODY POSITIVE: Freelee the Banana Girl shared a candid snap which divided her fans
Although Freelee’s photo racked up more than 7,200 likes, she was also met with some vile insults - mainly from men.
The gym bunny was labelled “disgusting”, “ugly” and someone even suggested that she must be suffering from a “mental breakdown”.
Pointing out that women are held to stringent beauty standards and expected to shave their body hair, while men are not, the activist defended her decision to go au naturel.
A post shared by Official Account #Rawtill4 (@freeleethebananagirl) on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:03pm PST
She said: “It's a strange world we now live in.
“I was somewhat surprised and disappointed about the amount of insulting comments coming from men on my hairy armpit post.
“This IS a gender issue.
“I was surprised and disappointed about the amount of insulting comments coming from men on my hairy armpit post”Freelee the Banana Girl
“Let's remind ourselves that men HAVE ARMPIT HAIR and don't have any pressure or expectation to shave it. The good thing is ladies that your natural body hair will repel these superficial men who can't handle you being your unapologetic self.
“You will attract a more confident secure man who will appreciate your decision to embrace your authentic self. What a gift.
“This hairy topic needs to be discussed until both men AND WOMEN can choose to embrace their natural body hair (and real selves) and not be constantly insulted and ridiculed for it.”
A post shared by Official Account #Rawtill4 (@freeleethebananagirl) on Nov 30, 2017 at 5:27pm PST
A post shared by Official Account #Rawtill4 (@freeleethebananagirl) on Nov 21, 2017 at 7:57pm PST
Freelee has shunned typical beauty products like shampoo, hair dye and cosmetics – which has helped her to save around $4,000 (£2,265).
She explained: “It's been almost a year since I've dyed my hair, I calculated I've saved around $2000 on that.
“I’ve stopped wearing synthetic eyelashes at around $100 a month. No longer getting eyebrows sugar waxed and tinted around $50 a month. Not to mention trying expensive face treatments in the past (did nothing) or the make up I spent too long applying.
“I used to put makeup on my red dot between brows, shave my baby hair fluff on my face and cover my freckles. Mostly to ‘look good’ for complete strangers. These human characteristics are only sold to us as ‘flaws that need fixing’ in order to sell us useless expensive fucking products... Ugh.
“It was exhausting trying to maintain an unrealistic standard set by fake Photoshopped media pics (which are now the norm on Instagram too).
“Some people say I’m ‘letting myself go’ well I call it ‘letting myself grow’ and it's super empowering. I AM good enough like this.”