Thursday, 29 July 2010
Editor's Note: About a year ago we posted a blog about why men should trim their chest hair. It's time to talk about it again.
What is it about our world where people feel the crushing peer pressure to be (or look like) what they aren't? Sure, I wish I was taller or had more muscles. Everyone has a little but of vanity; it's only natural. But remember that we are talking about someone's body, something our momma's made for nine months, something beautiful.
At one point, when he was cast as James Bond, Sean Connery was the epitome of a handsome man. Images of him in nothing but shorts on that beach in Dr. No or other Bond films have become the stuff of Hollywood legend. Yes, his chest was hairy and they put the most beautiful women in the world next to him. Take a look at the photo below.
There's our man standing behind Ursula Andress, a Swedish goddess. No doubt she can feel his mane...
Now take a look at Daniel Craig (who I must say probably plays my favorite Bond). He's almost completely hairless. Please understand that I am not saying Craig in unattractive or ugly or a sellout. I am merely using the visual history of Bond as a backdrop against pop culture as a whole.
True, he might be naturally lacking in large amounts of chest hair. But the man who played Bond before him was Pierce Brosnan, who was just as hairy as Sean Connery.
Something must have happened in the late 80s and early 90s where many men decided to go smooth. I mean men like David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Mario Lopez.
Or did this happen much earlier?
In ancient times most men routinely shaved their chest for hygienic reasons. It was practical and probably a prudent idea. Many people didn't have the facilities to bath everyday and removing the hair limited body odor while also helping men stay cool, because hair traps heat. Ever see a Greco-Roman statue with chest hair? Probably not, and this might be because the artists were simply sculpting what they saw in their own society, unwittingly documenting the history of chest hair for their time. And because, well...maybe it is sexier for a man to have a bald chest. To each his own.
Like anything else, most things have certain stereotypes. For instance, some people jumble chest hair with over aggressive manliness. If a man's hair is gray people may assume he's old and ugly, or should be in Viagara. This might be one reason why men feel like they have to shave it. There are plenty of other reasons, of course.
Regardless, most pictures of the hot young things on T.V. or magazines (at the very least) trim their chest. I've heard this called Man-grooming, up keeping or metro-sexuality. Whatever you want to call it, sometimes I can't help but feel the pressure, or fee like an idiot when I walk on the beach with my wispy chest hair in the breeze. This is stress I could live without, stress no one needs.
At the very least, I think we can be mature enough to admit that chest hair is NOT evil; maybe sexy, maybe ugly, but not evil. I've heard a wise man once say that one important step to happiness is accepting our bodies as they are, with all the flaws, freckles, and wrinkles we accumulate through the years.
If you want to shave, then shave. If not, then don't worry about it. BUT don't make someone guilty about their body! Momma spent a lot of time on it!
Do you feel the pressure? Is shaving our chests hip, stupid, sexy, ugly? Do you shave your chest? If so, why?