I will be attacked by cavemen for this title alone. I will then be flash mobbed by a crowd of angry Bear-loving protestors holding photos of Kevin Smith, after they finish reading the whole thing.
But the internet is THE place for sharing your unsolicited & generalized opinions with the world. I know you agree, Bernie B (If you are unfamiliar, the aforementioned dude-guy shared his viewpoint on vaginal grooming a few months ago). The internet is a cruel master, and when I read something so thought-provoking, that pertains to half the world’s population, no less, I have to listen to that little voice in my head telling me to respond.
Thus, I am also here to talk about realities, realities that are based on my own personal experience & opinion (because I know you care about that) and late-night chats with guy friends of mine who happily “suffer” from Alopecia.
Darwin’s notion of “survival of the fittest” is not just about fish growing legs you guys! It’s about adapting to what society tells you to do, and making sure you keep up with every fad through the times. Back in the beginning of days, men needed body hair to keep warm during the winter, and to help camouflage them in the bushes while they were hunting the dinosaurs. Yes, hair was a survival necessity, but not anymore. However, there’s really no need to look that far back in man’s existence. We can go just a few decades back to see how our men were seen differently: the famous example of Abraham Lincoln’s beard, which is recorded to have helped him win his presidential campaign, would be scoffed at in today’s political arena. This is just one of millions of examples of how time, and culture, and peer pressure have affected our view on men’s body hair.
Let’s take a quick Google through history on how the definition of handsome has changed, as we became more civilized & technologically advanced:
Ancient Worlds: In Egypt, a metal false beard was worn by kings and queens, which noted sovereignty. The Spartans would shave cowards clean as punishment, as hairless-ness was regarded as a sign of effeminacy.
Renaissance through 18th Century: most Europeans were clean-shaven. In 1705 Russia, Peter the Great order all men to shave and even levied a tax on beards.
20s-30s: In America, popular movies portrayed heros with clean shaven faces and short hair.
The 50s: extreme hairy-ness became a popular trend among “hippies” and “beatniks”, and soon even business men were growing out their hair.
These are examples I picked & chose from the “history of facial hair” section on Wikipedia, to show what I believe is an accurate example of mainstream ideals during different times and cultures.
Let’s get back to my main issue. All male body hair.
But first actually, here’s a quick excerpt from a diary entry written by a woman* in 2013:
I decided to say yes to his request for a date via the online dating site, because he said he was lonely, and I know how that feels — and you know what that crazy asshole had done to himself? He had shaved his face completely clean and gotten a brand new haircut. Have you ever heard of this kind of behavior for a first date? It’s ridiculous isn’t it? I was mostly upset because now I could see what he looked like. I could see every detail of his perfectly chiseled chin, dimples and all. I couldn’t stop touching it, you should have seen me! It was like I was seeing a man for the first time in my life. And the more I looked at him, the more insecure I felt. How am I supposed to talk to a man if I can actually see his face? The hair is what helps shield his attractiveness and keep my jealousy at bay!
Reading that text (*which I actually just wrote) I was shocked. I thought there was sarcasm to it (there is), but I soon realized I was missing something. Don’t all women want a man to be shaved? What happened? Why is it so repulsive for me to even be seen with a man who has hair on his body? It’s not only me though! That paragraph above was silly! It doesn’t even make sense in this article. Maybe it’s the drugs I use to consume from that time I thought I’d been abducted by aliens. When I share my “hairy experiences” with my friends, I get the same reaction from EVERYONE (that’s all 3 of my friends). And hey, don’t take what I’m saying for face value, I am not a demanding diva, promise. I don’t mind if you can’t reach that small area of your back with you razor, or you can’t afford laser hair removal. But when I can’t get wet, don’t look at me. Let me really beat this personal opinion into you.
I don’t blame guys who don’t shave their bodies, I blame that pothead olympic swimmer who gave men with smooth appendages a bad name. I’m part of a generation where everyone with internet access has an opinion that they feel the need to shout from the rooftops of the Reddit offices. I’m constantly being told what to do to be attractive and what to find attractive in other people. People try to shove their personal beliefs down my throat, but why listen to them? My thoughts are obviously more factual as you can see from this article. I see magazine covers every week when I’m in the check out line at the grocery store. I watch television, log on to Facebook, and tweet regularly. I’m bombarded with the thoughts & opinions of others. I’m surrounded by photos of shirtless men, proudly baring their smooth chests for the world to admire. These are the only men my mind registers & remembers, because these are the ones I find most attractive. Since I’m brain washed by the images, I can only assume that all women are as well, and that they share my belief about what makes a man appealing. If women wanted to cuddle with something covered in hair, we’d stay home with our cats. Plus, it’s way better for your personal hygiene, dudes.
I know, it’s fucked up. And this is part of a bigger problem that is running rampant in television and the internet. The constant stream of pressure to fit into someone else’s standards is exhausting, but it is necessary for society to become one blob of grey sameness.
Sure, you can ignore the noise, start a revolution of individuality & self expression in whatever form you choose (including using your own body). I see this as a pretty far fetched dream though.
But til then, please, shave off all your body hair. It intimidates me.
*please note this is a fictitious representation of my diary.