Men’s body hair? I for one don’t understand where it is disappearing to. Well, the chin, obviously, since hipsters everywhere are trying to impersonate Rip Van Winkle.
I’m beginning to miss body hair in general. The other day, my youngest son was glancing over my shoulder while I was poking through a magazine. On one page was an ad for a hair removal product. The pretty model held an old photo of herself as a pre-teenager. Her arm used to be covered in black down. Not too crazy, just the sort that Italian girls might have sported when I was a kid.
Son said, “EWWW. Yuuuuck.”
“Huh?” I replied, as he pointed to what was grossing him out. “That hair? So what?”
And here’s the thing: he says, NOT something about her or other girls, but about himself: “I hope my arms don’t ever get like that.”
Well, my beloved kiddo, they MIGHT!
I was expecting him to say something negative about girls, but apparently very few girls even at his young age have any arm hair any more. Are their parents shaving it off? Waxing it? They are not old enough for laser. . .I think.
I find his reaction so very ironic because when he was an infant, one of his self-soothing gestures was to suck his thumb while he gently yanked and smoothed the hair on my arm. . .or his father’s or his grandparents’. I mean, my arm hair is a smattering of blonde, or at the very darkest, light ginger growth, but it is graspable. Oh, the sweet memories of his nursing, while he played with the little hairs on my wrist.
I’m sure there is some deep Freudian something at the root of his pubescent yuck of a hairy arm on himself. I’m not sure I want to go there.
But more than likely, it is simply modern culture that is destroying his future self-esteem, should he grow up to be as fuzzy as his grandfathers. Or Mom.
I know the trend of shearing the body to the skin is nothing new on the female side of the genders. Years ago when I was divorced and had jumped back into the dating pool, I tried the waxing. My arms suffering first, which bled, stopped me from trying the wax in a more hairy, more tender region for sure. In fact, my arm hair became ingrown, once the somewhat curly bits started filling in, causing a rash the likes of smallpox.
I had to go on a first date on one of the hottest days of the year wearing long sleeves. And of course, the date asked me, why the hell are you dressed like that?
Because YOU IDIOTS have decided hair is gross.
Even farther back in time, before the naked pubic bone trend, while I was teaching in a southern, “traditional” school, meaning a place where the men still saw themselves as the lions of the home, we came to a reading passage in a book which mentioned something about hair on a girl’s legs.
A young man shouted out how disgusting that was. A young lady next to him said, “Lots of women around the world never shave their legs or their armpits.”
“Not their armpits?!!” he griped. “That’s just plain dirty!”
“So,” I said, “Really? Why don’t you shave your armpits then? Somehow YOURS are nice and clean? And hers,“ pointing at the girl ”Are dirty?”
“Well. . .yeah!” said the boy.
I said, “HOW? Don’t men sweat more? Don’t they have more hair? If so, how is it cleaner exactly?”
He started turning red.
I continued, “I think you should stand up now and say to all the ladies in class that you are simply a cleaner human being than they are, but that you could be even cleaner. And then offer to shave your pits.” He put his head down on the desk to shut me out and said not another word.
The hypocritical thing is that I did shave my pits then. And I had no intention of stopping and no intention of men ever doing it.
I’ve accepted that this is just how things are. So much so that a few weeks ago when everyone was up in arms over Sansa Stark being graphically raped by Bolton in Game of Thrones, and more so when R. R. George Martin stated this was simply realistic to the time period setting, I couldn’t be bothered to ask, “If you are trying to be realistic to a time period then why is Cersei not covered in leg hair, or worse, why does Cersei have a ‘narrow landing strip’ of hair on her pubis. Pretty modern. . .”
But the bald woman has become so “normal” I stayed out of that argument on misogyny. I figured it was the actress herself who wouldn’t be caught dead with hairy legs on T.V..
BUT NOW. . .men are joining the changing trend . And I don’t like it.
I happen to love a hairy chest, arms and legs on my men. Whether a tiny smattering in that concave area between the pecs, or a thatch from shoulders to naval and below; Think 1980s Alec Baldwin or Sean Connery? YUM!
I feel badly for men in general, and my sons specifically, that now they are beginning to suffer the grooming demands of a hair-fearing culture. Sure, I can see the appeal of a slip-and-slide chest that some women crave. But the vanity and the procedures behind maintaining such is so unappealing. If it is natural, okay. If not, don’t go there, Guys
I also feel badly for the young ladies whose mental picture has been so shaped by their culture that they cannot love a downy chest the way I can. The Black silk that lines my husband’s stomach. Tingly nirvana, Women!
And I hate that my children may have ANY itch of self-loathing due to the demands of hair-hating women. My oldest son whose chest is fuzzy blond does pick and pull at it, and has wondered aloud about shaving it.
I cannot tell him that when I was back in the dating pool years ago after his father and I split, I dated a MUCH younger man. To my shock, the guy groomed his privates and shaved his chest. And even as recently as he had done so, I was completely turned off by the mere stubble on his stomach, and the weird crew cut feel of his pubis. Of course, I guess men are used to that feel from their wives or girlfriends . . .but I’m not going to discuss that with my son.
Not quite. I simply said, “Not all women want a naked little boy chest. Some women prefer MEN. Keep your hair.”
Come on! If we can shape people into this current baldy viewpoint, let’s reshape them back to the other.