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Apr 05, 2012

Please Discuss: How Do You Feel About Chest & Body Hair?

created at: 04/05/2012

I'll admit...that's a pretty unlikely photo to accompany a post on ManMade. But, bear with me. (Get it?)

It's a screenshot of the funniest site I've found this week, a Pinterest page entitled, "Hairy Chests I Want to Cry On," by comedian Stacey Nightmare. It includes, not surprisingly, some fine, manly chests, but the real gem is Stacey's commentary, including captions like,

  • Elliott Gould. I want to shrink down to the size of a thimble & frolic on his chest like a young lamb in the springtime.
  • Mike Rowe, I can't decide if I want to cry on your chest hair or lay eggs in it.
  • Lee Majors. Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? They paid him by the chest hair.
Okay, you get it. It's funny, but it also serves as a helpful, perhaps even encouraging, reminder: In the era of when nearly every Men's Health magazine cover has featured some ripped dude with a torso as smooth as his equally-waxed bottom, some people think having body hair is something that comes along with being a guy.
So, let's discuss.  

Confession: I'm a hairy guy. Not disgustingly so, and, in reality, I'm probably just average for someone of my ethnic background. But, I can grow a mean beard, have formidable chest hair, and a healthy collection on my arms and legs.

In the past, I've been self-concious about it. I could grow a beard in sixth grade, and was teased for having chest hair in high school. I'll even try to hide my hands and arms when making how-to videos or taking step-by-step photographs. 

And, I don't know why. I've been told by women that it's a nice, healthy, even manly amount. That I look like a guy is supposed to look. And maybe it comes from the "I like it, cause that's how you're supposed to look" perspective (I'd look pretty strange without a beard shadow and my heavy eyebrows and general fuzz), but it's hard to believe sometimes. Perhaps it's similar to when some women have a hard time believing they look more beautiful without makeup. 

So, I'm curious what you think. There's a survey below, with questions for both men and women. Please join the conversation, and don't stop there. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

And the results!

Disclaimer: I know that body hair and general hair texture, etc, are intertwined with race and ethnic background, and I'm trying to be inclusive of that. I also know that not all men are interested in female partners, and not all women in men. For the record, I'm a straight, white male, age 29; an averagely hairy guy from a European background, and that's what I bring to this converstation. I invite discussions of diversity in the comments below.

See more: Hairy Chests I Want to Cry On

 


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dustwindbun on Apr 10, 2012:

As a lady who likes dudes, I admire and respect the beard/chest hair/whatever, but I have a personal hangup where I can't comfortably be intimate with someone who has a beard or chest hair. Any other hair is fine with me, do what you want, but I can't do the facefuzz or chestcarpet. (I assume it's because my dad is a Wookie of a man and it's too Electra-complex for my subconscious to deal with.) So, I just date people who already don't have it. Problem solved.


I would never ask a partner to change their grooming for me (beyond "oh hey you aren't actually growing a beard, just forgot to shave, so could you go do that before we get down so I don't get beardburned?") Why? There are plenty of babyfaces out there naturally that can use some love (like my husband, who at 28 can't even grow a high-schooler's weedy mustache). Why change a 'bear' when there are plenty who like them (like my mom who loves my dad's Tom Selleck-ness and Teddy Roosevelt mustache)?


EzraWontShutUp on Apr 05, 2012:

For me, it's all about what's natural. If you can't grow a bear, fine. And if you want to go to all the trouble to wax and trim and manscape, then you'll attract a woman who is into men that remind her of her freshly shaven legs. There are women who like both, so there's room in the world for men that are both. Just do what you want, not what you think others will want, and the people who appreciate your way of being (and there's always someone out there) will be attracted to you.