Saturday, May 10, 2003

Hairy Me

It has been difficult to ignore the unstoppable rise of the hairless male body aesthetic over the past two decades. Where once a man's hirsutism was a sign of manhood and virility, it is now largely derided as uncultivated or even beastlike. And make no mistake, it is not just women - or even primarily women - making this judgment. Men want to shave. Nearly all men shave something; almost none come in their natural, bearded state. Depilation of one's chest, shoulders, back, stomach, pubic area and legs - everywhere but the head - has become a basic part of many men's grooming. And once they start, they seem to find it difficult to stop. Many men, particularly those under forty, associate body hair not with their manlihood, but only with anxiety and disgust. Why has this come about? And what might we make of it?
· Shaving Situation, in More Ways Than One [CipherCulture ]