When you meet a guy for the first time, what do you typically look at? Maybe it’s his eyes, his shoes, or his smile. The thing that I look at first (if it’s available for viewing) is his body hair. Legs, chest, arms – I’ll take a look at whatever I can get my eyes on. I guess you could say that I have a fascination with it. It’s not a “fetish” kind of fascination. For some reason I just find it extremely interesting. Maybe it has something to do with the “sex talk” I had with my parents. I remember very little from my childhood, but I do remember being told that part of being a man is that I was going to get hairy legs. I think that may have been the trigger for all of this because it’s stuck in my head ever since. I need to do a complete a body hair analysis on everyone I meet before I really know you. Weird but true.
I’ve noticed a definite change in male models found in mainstream media like Men’s Heath, GQ and Details. Ten years ago, the typical male model in ads and articles was plucked, waxed and shaved to oblivion. I understand the reasoning that less body hair enhances muscular definition (please note that you have to have the definition to begin with). When I was seriously into body building in my early twenties, I would shave my entire body – it’s what I saw in the magazines – I guess I was at an impressionable stage in my life. And trust me, for someone like me of an hirsute nature it was a major commitment. But times have changed. Over the last few years body hair has made a comeback. More often than not, male models in fashion ads, fitness articles or otherwise, are sporting body hair. And I have to say – I think it’s pretty hot – and you can still make out the muscular definition! I no longer ritualistically remove any trace of hair from my body, and I feel better about my body than I ever did in my early twenties. Then again, maybe I’m still impressionable, but I’m pretty sure I evolved without the influence of external factors.
I don’t know who coined the term “manscaping”, but I like it. I understand that there are different strokes for different folks, but IMHO, I think it’s best to lean towards a more natural look – everywhere. I’m not talking about an impenetrable mound of pubic hair that needs a thorough blowdry every morning. I think the best battle plan is strategic manscaping for your entire body. As a friend once succinctly put it, you want to look well maintained, but it should look natural so that you can’t tell you’ve done any manscaping to begin with (thanks D.R.) Few things turn me off more than a stubbly body and sharp, sudden angles & transitions from hairy to smooth. I know a lot of people like smooth (and if that’s how you are naturally in certain areas then fine), but for me at least SOME body hair is an integral and defining component of masculinity (if I’m with a woman, then 100% smooth is 100% great!). And if anyone is in the market for a body hair trimmer the best one I’ve come across is the Braun BodycruZer. Silly name, but it does the job well, and is reasonably priced.
One disclaimer I’ll make is that the one place where body hair really should be removed completely is the back (unless that’s your fetish). If you can’t afford laser hair removal or even waxing, there are some pretty handy gadgets out there to control back hair. One of my favourites is the Mangroomer (www.mangroomer.com). It has an extendible, telescoping handle that allows you to access your back so you don’t have to endure the embarrassment of having someone else take care of this task. It may not leave you silky smooth, but at least it tames the beast.
UPDATE: The latest Bodygroom (which is amazing) you can find here.