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