Ladies, which of the following males would you rather see at the beach?
Obviously, David Beckam. Who else is going to play soccer with you while everyone else hits the volleyball courts?!
While men range from smooth-as-a-baby’s bottom to THAT’S-A-HAIRY-BOTTOM, there is a clear modern trend of non-facial hair removal. While not every guy’s a true manscaper, it’s definitely become an accepted part of American culture.
Frankly, I’ve yet to experience this obsession first-hand. I’m fortunate that my boyfriend’s hair resides on his head and not on his back- though I haven’t been quite as lucky in the past. None of them were ever metrosexuals- that straight, elusive male who wears more designer labels than a New York socialite. Thank goodness for that.
But is male body hair really that bad? While most women dig a hairy chest or happy trail, we all live in terror of bedding the deceptive hairy beast. Whenever this subject comes up in conversation, I’m forced to remember my freshman year of college and parties at the campus “Jew Frat.” With one of my roommates hailing from the wealthy Bexley high school district, we spent a lot of weekends at this particular house.
Now, I’m not trying to stereotype Jewish men here. But the fact is, kittens are adorable, the Twilight sagas are terrible, and, at least in my experience, Jewish men are naturally bear-style hairy. As I think back to those Saturday-night drinking tournaments on their awesome Star-of-David pong tables, I’m always confronted by the images of the brothers- short and smart, with glorious carpets of hair peeking out from their popped-polo collars.
Although I’m now thankfully old enough to skip out on the frat-house nonsense and go to real parties, I’ve begun to notice a change in the general male population. Suddenly, it’s no longer effeminate to care about their appearance (And may I say, it’s about time). While I certainly don’t want to date a guy who spends more time getting ready than I do, I think most of us appreciate a well-groomed man.
In the contemporary ladies’ opinion, there are rules to be followed when taming the wild man-jungle.
The first and most important rule:
1. No woman wants to see a completely hairless man. Trust me, it’s gross. Plus friction and razor burn, especially on sensitive areas, are never, ever friends. So unless you’re Michael Phelps, please remember moderation.
With that in mind, there are basic guidelines to what kind of removal is (commonly) acceptable.
Places to groom:
Chest and armpits. Most women expect to see some hair in both of these areas. None of us want that hair to resemble shag carpeting. Keep both of them trimmed to a reasonable length.
All points down south. There really should be no double-standard here. Having no hair, while “enhancing” the size of certain appendages, reminds us of pre-pubescent boys- not sexy, please do not attempt. Unfortunately, men are often clueless about how unpleasant too much hair makes certain bedtime activities for their partners- trust us, gentlemen, it can get funky down there. You don’t like an untamed forest on us- please, do us all a favor and keep things well trimmed, and she’ll be more likely to make longer visits.
Ears, nose, and over-grown eyebrow hair. These areas are pretty self-explanatory- it’s easy enough to pluck anything that sticks out too far. No need to get fancy- in fact, over-plucking nose hairs is unhealthy as it prevents proper airway filtration. Just be sure you have two distinct eyebrows and don’t look like this:
Hungry, hungry caterpillar.
Places to GO:
The back and shoulders. These are terribly disgusting places to have large amounts of hair. I don’t really know why, it’s just gross.
The belly. I’m not talking about a little happy-trail action here- this is for the men with a silky horses’ mane growing out of their navels. No need to go male model smooth on this one: I still remember my friend Paul getting waxed by my roommate. After a while he couldn’t take the pain, leaving him with milk-white patches in a dense field of hair. Just don’t resemble Steve Carell in “40 year old Virgin.”
Poor fuzzy-wuzzy teddy bear.
The bottom line, guys, is we women don’t expect you to look like a Calvin Klein advertisement. We understand better than anyone the pressure to look perfect 100% of the time. But trust us when we say that we appreciate a man who cares about what he looks like. Yes, nature might have been heavy-handed with the body hair. Yes, it is strange that women prefer chest to back fuzz. And yes, it is a pain in the ass to get rid of. But guess what? Women- all women, at least in America- have to shave about half of their bodies, all of the time. We don’t get a “free pass” just because the upkeep gets tedious.
So keep on manscaping gentlemen, and you’ll be first pick for the girls’ beachside soccer game.