Thursday, 12 August 2010

Male body hair - fur he's a jolly good fellow

Back in 1972 when Burt Reynolds posed for this Cosmo centrefold he was judged one of the world's sexiest male film stars. My guess is today his hirsute body would be a turn-off for many young women. I don't get why the hair thing should have changed over four decades.
Unless the world has turned upside down men still want to attract women - and so groom themselves accordingly. Women, therefore, share the blame too for what strikes me as an irrational approach to male hair - from top to toe.
Why, for example, would a young man who is starting to lose his hair feel inclined to shave it all off?
I can't say I've been on 24-hour lookout but if there is a current boy band singer with a chest rug like that of, say, Tom Jones then I've missed it.
Not so long ago for a man to shave his chest he had to be a swimmer or a bodybuilder. 007 had a hairy chest when he was Sean Connery; Daniel Craig, the current James Bond - if MGM can ever afford another movie in the franchise - doesn't.
These days if a young man sprouts anywhere it is a trim underarm display. Once to have been called "hairy-arsed" was only half an insult; it meant crude and uncouth but also rugged and manly.
It wouldn't be a surprise to find back, sac, and crack waxing is now the rage among builders, bikers, and rugby players.
From what I read fashion still allows a little pubic hair as opposed to the completely shorn porn star look. I can't understand why a young man would wish to slip beneath the duvet with his beloved looking much the same as when his voice broke.
At my age hair grows where I don't want it - nose and ears - but I'm losing it on my head.

PS. Hair today and gone tomorrow - normal blog service will be resumed when I return from a trip to the Edinburgh Festival.


  1. As a registered nurse in a California dermatology practice, one of the procedures I perform is laser hair removal. I have discovered that men of all ages hate their back hair and will endure painful treatments to permanently rid themselves of it, especially recently divorced men. Ear hair is the curse of the older man and I haven't a clue what the possible purpose of this hair is. Men under 50 come to me wanting to rid themselves of all of their body hair. There are a few places I won't venture but I'm sure there are plenty of clinics in Hollywood that have no such qualms. What you didn't mention in your article is that woman have also taken hair removal to the extreme. When I began in this industry 10 years ago I had no idea the grooming standards had changed so much since I was married in the early 1980's!

  2. Dear Anon,
    Thank you for your very interesting contribution to the hair debate. I hesitated to mention it in my main post but if we are going to get serious about body hair, the easy access to 'shorn' porn and the way it may be influencing how men and women view themselves and each other must come into the analysis.

  3. I believe that the way men and women view themselves goes way beyond "shorn porn" and is influenced by the unrealistic body images in the mainstream media. Perhaps if the media portrayed much more realistic images we would all be better off, except of course the advertisers that are selling the fantasy. Oh geez do I sound jaded?

  4. A point well made, thank you. GC

  5. Seeing that great picture, GC, which you have chosen for your blog, of Burt Reynolds in his prime, it would seem that he has currently fallen on harder times. A recent entry for him in Wikipedia states: "As of August 16, 2011, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation filed foreclosure papers in Martin County claiming Reynolds owes $1.2 million on his Hobe Sound, Florida home."

  6. Your contibutor above GC "ear hair is the curse of the older man"; so is nostril and eyebrow hair.


What do you think? GC