Mother Nature has given me many gifts, some of which, to be frank, I’d be comfortable throwing back in her face. Chief among these has been hairiness. A ridiculous abundance of hair, even in places where hair by rights ought not to be, has always been my special genetic treat.
Oh sure, there are worse genetic curses. I’m a decent height, have the requisite number of limbs and don’t seem to have any of those terrible disfiguring disoders we studied back in high school biology. It’s a bit silly to whinge about a bit of hair, which isn’t even necessarily a bad thing on a bloke, surely?
Well, apparently lots of blokes not only dislike bodily hair, but… well… let’s just say that Kasey Edwards’ article in Daily Life yesterday utterly blew my mind. In fact, I would have torn my hair out in frustration, except it would have taken too long.
Her revelation was that lots of guys are waxing their pubes. And in some circles, most guys – she cites a survey of US undergraduates that found 65% of women and 63% of men remove their pubic hair.
YES THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID 63%.
Am I missing something here, or are they? Why would you do that to yourself? Regularly? I mean, who wants stubble there? And obviously male hair grows more rapidly than women’s, and… WHERE WILL THIS END? NOWHERE GOOD.
Perhaps I’m simply ignorant of a fad that’s so pervasive that it’s become normal. It wouldn’t be the first time. After all, Kasey reckons her friend’s friend (that most reliable of sources) hasn’t slept with a guy with any follicular action in the groin region in five years. Maybe it’s fashion, maybe it’s a fetish, maybe she just has an extremely dull sex life. (Hey, not judging, I can relate to that.)
Or maybe – MAYBE – I simply need to recalibrate my standards for normal male behaviour, and accept that my fellow men are now removing not only the hair on the visible parts of their bodies, but everywhere else as well.
My beef has previously been with a culture that says that the visible parts of men’s bodies should be hairless. And if you don’t believe that this is the case, it’s probably because there aren’t many guys besides me whinging about it, for whatever reason. But just try and think how many ads you’ve seen where topless guys had even an ounce of body hair, except perhaps a smattering under the arms. Similarly, when dudes in movies and bands take their shirts off, you can pretty much guarantee that they’ll have about as much visible fur as a prepubescent.
Having had the privilege of viewing a number of gentlemen friends naked over the years, most enjoyably at that Korean bathhouse in Kings Cross during the course of a bucks’ night, and before you ask, yes, it was totally awesome and yet very masculine, I can confidently say on that a significant proportion of Aussie guys have at least a bit of body hair.
So I’m arguing that this jihad on male body hair is abnormal. Wax on, wax off – it’s something the Karate Kid does. Not the Karate Man
I mean, if no body hair anywhere is the new normal, what hope is there for people like me who are outriders in the other direction? There’s having a bit of a pelt, Pierce Brosnan style, and then there’s – well, let me illustrate just how weird this can get. Look at your hands. Imagine hair on the back of it, for starters. Then look up at your fingers. Imagine tufts of hair between the knuckle, and the joint. Weird, right? It gets worse. Imagine a few scant hairs in between the first and second joints of each finger. Surely that is a location where nobody needs hair. Okay, so maybe if I was in the habit of punching people, those errant follicles might provide a tiny amount of extra insulation. But otherwise, it’s simply bizarre.
You can imagine the rest. Hair removal really isn’t an option for me. It would be like painting the Harbour Bridge – there’d be more to do as soon as I’d finished. And besides, I’d feel weird – not myself. I’d gladly have less hair than nature has given me, admittedly, but I’ve no interest in having none.
So, I’m going to assume that this is just a bizarre fashion thing, and that we’ll get over it eventually. Every possible human configuration drifts back in and out of style, after all – for instance, who would have thought in the 1990s that beards would ever come back in again? And perhaps in twenty years’ time, men will let the whole of their bodies blossom with the same hirsute glory that many of us currently display atop our faces.
What I’m saying is, don’t get electrolysis down there, guys. Because body’s hair’s time will come. Or at least I hope it does. Because until then, I’m going to keep on feeling distinctly unusual.