An Article Guaranteed to Put Hair on Your Chest

by A Manly Guest Contributor on January 28, 2010 · 130 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Hair

Shave my chest hair for $10 Million?  Go to hell.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Anthony J. Gretz.

Do you remember that part in The 40 Year-Old Virgin where Andy (Steve Carell) goes to a salon and gets his chest waxed? The camera focuses on his face as he screams and yells out a string of obscenities while strip after strip of hair is ripped from his body. I don’t remember much about that movie. But I remember that part getting a huge reaction from the audience (myself included). Like many other guys, there is something about watching other men in non-life-threatening pain that makes me laugh- no matter how emotionally mature or “well-rounded” I think I am.

Yet as a man who has struggled over the years to accept my own hairy-chestedness, there’s something about this scene that doesn’t sit well with me. Andy ends up at the salon in the first place because his friends think waxing his chest will make him more appealing to women. Normally, I’d hesitate to read too deeply into a movie like The 40 Year-Old Virgin. But the idea that removing a man’s chest hair makes him more attractive is pervasive in our culture. Most actors and male models are boyishly devoid of any body hair, while guys with furry torso’s are typically the butt of jokes and/or ridicule. For every Tom Selleck , there are five hairless Justin Timberlakes or Taylor Laughtners that our culture holds up as being the “ideal” male. That sends a message to guys that having chest hair is gross and unappealing.

The Art of Manscaping

So what’s a hairy guy to do? Those of us who have been endowed with active, thriving follicles face a strong temptation to do something about our body hair. In recent years, the practice of manscaping -shaving, waxing, trimming, and/or scuplting body and facial hair -has gotten more and more attention. Some of this is practical – my friend David, for example, shaves around his nipples because he is a marathon runner, and he has to cover them with bandages on long runs so they don’t bleed. Totally practical.

Most of it, however, is out of a desire to appear less hairy than they actually are. Men of all stripes are doing things to their bodies that would either make our grandfathers wince and turn away or burst out laughing.

Yet who can blame them? Until I met my wife Anna, I was very self-conscious about having hair on my chest. And stomach. And back. And shoulders. I hated it, and I thought it made me unappealing. In high school, I can remember before and after every football game at least one person staring at me for way too long with a goofy smile on their face, or making a comment about “taking my sweater off before I got in the shower.” (Years later, I still get this every time I go to the beach with friends).

Oftentimes when I was in the shower I would compulsively pull or tweeze hair off my body in an attempt to “thin it out.” There were also several attempts to “shape” the hair on my stomach, which predictably resulted in an unnatural pattern of hair and gross stomach-stubble. One time, I even made a half-joking (but secretly curious) attempt to use my mom’s Nair to get rid of the hair at the top of my arm – the result of which was gross, oily arm hair and irritated skin.

Yet I now believe these actions, and the steps that many men take as part of their regular grooming routine, were unhealthy. There is a difference between grooming to honor an honest request from your partner or spouse, and being driven to alter your appearance by insecurity. I know that as much as I laughed off the jokes and the teasing, I resented looking different from most guys. I worried that I was physically unappealing, and I wanted to do something about it.

The Truth About Body Hair

So where did all this hair come from? Facial and chest hair are sometimes referred to as “androgenic hair,“ because their growth is regulated by testosterone and other hormones called androgens. These hormones occur in higher amounts in men than women, which is why men develop more facial, arm, leg, and chest hair than women (Auntie Gertie’s mustache not-withstanding).

In spite of a biological disposition for growing body hair, the amount of hair someone grows is mostly dependent on genetics. In researching this article, there does not seem to be a consensus on why this is. Some theorize that hair is destroyed by over-exposure to heat and sunlight, and thus, over time some cultures would develop a gene-pool where body hair became less prevalent. However, this does not seem compatible with the prevalence of body hair in many Mediterranean men. Others argue that losing body hair was necessary for survival against fur-loving parasites, although some scientists point out that hair can actually protect against insects, and that there has always been enough hair on our heads to make us vulnerable to lice and ticks.

Still, those of us with a torso that’s more like Chewbacca then Luke Skywalker have reasons to celebrate. Having body hair may make you self-conscious, but it can actually be quite useful in landing a date. Our bodies contain something called apocrine glands, which are located under the arms and near the genitals (two of the hairiest spots for most men). These glands produce an odorous chemical that acts to attract members of the opposite sex, like pheromones in animals. Body hair tends to trap those odors and amplify them, projecting the scent farther than it would otherwise go.

In addition, despite what we’ve come to believe through popular culture, many women actually find a hairy man to be quite attractive. According to a survey by Askmen.com, 76% of women said they like it when men have some chest hair. Just as men are attracted to the distinct characteristics that make women, women-such as breasts, smooth skin, and hips-women are attracted to the things unique to men-such as our muscles and body hair. My wife says she likes my body hair because it’s natural and masculine looking. “Some men are supposed to be hairy, and they would be incomplete without it,” she said. Most women find security, confidence, and stability at least as attractive as physical attributes. “Men who alter their appearance to look like someone else compromise that.”

Embrace Your Inner Selleck

It is my hope that many of you who struggle with your hairy lot in life will learn to accept, and even embrace the man that you are. Being hairy isn’t something to be ashamed of – if it’s the way you’ve been made, it’s part of what makes you, you. Part of the decline in manhood so often documented on this website stems from our willingness as men to let culture tell us what kind of man we’re supposed to be. You can keep manscaping if you want, and if your partner likes you less hairy, than there’s nothing wrong with compromise (women certainly do a lot of shaving for us) . But I’d encourage you to look in the mirror the next time you pick up a razor, and ask yourself why you feel the need to alter your appearance. If you can come to accept yourself for who you are, you will become a better, healthier, and more attractive man than any grooming could ever accomplish.

{ 129 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah Joy Albrecht January 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Thank you for this post!

Hoping this will persuade more men to be proud of their chest hair… and facial hair, too.

It looks soooo manly!

I often find myself falling asleep in bed at night while running my fingers through my husband’s chest hair. It’s kinda comforting, because it reminds me of his manliness and how he takes care of me and protects me. I can fall asleep peacefully knowing this. Something very sexy about that feeling, yes?

Women shaving was mentioned in the post — you know, I don’t mind because soft, freshly shaven legs (soft = feminine!) brushing against my husband’s hairy ones feels incredible.

Guys, be proud of your man-hair.

2 Kate McKay January 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Awesome post, Anthony!

I am in total agreement with Sarah. Before I married Brett, I was sure that I did not like chest hair because you’re right, all you see in the media are these bare chested dudes. But now it’s one of my favorites things about him. I’m always touching his chest hair and pulling down his collar to take a look at it. It’s definitely comforting because it reminds me of his manliness-I love it!

3 srgonzo January 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Thank you ladies. I frequently joke about having a sweater I can’t take off. After hitting 30, I realized that the women who’ve been attracted to me never said: “If only you’d get rid of all that hair.”

4 Terry January 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Interesting that you post this today. I just went to a cardiologist this morning for a treadmill test and the nurse had to shave my chest to attach the sensors. While she did this, two other nurses decided to have a conversation in the room (I guess they wanted to watch). Emasculation fascination?

5 Jeremy January 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm

My favorite part of this article was that in the sidebar there is an ad to win a free laser hair removal from American Laser Centers, lol.

6 Michael January 28, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Great article. Right now Gillette is spending tons of money on a media blitz to have us use their products to shave clean from head to toe. It’s good to see more guys coming out in solidarity for a little chest hair.

On the other hand, my dad has long tufts of it that tumble out over his shirt collar, and to avoid that fate I do keep mine neatly trimmed. That way the gf can tug it but it isn’t going crazy.

7 Anthony January 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm

As a man raised in a family of women, coming to terms with my manliness has always been a difficult, if not befuddling experience. And I admit that I used to be one of those men that “manscape”, as you so quaintly put it! But just a few years ago I came to the conclusion that I am what I am, and I am more than proud to be a man! So I cut all that mess out, and I have to say, my luck with the ladies has more than improved. So keep those hairy chests’ men, and stick’em out high and proud!

8 Trish Lewis January 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I LOVE chest hair on a man. I love whiskers. Mustaches and goatees and beards and sideburns and…well you get my drift. I find male hair very very sexy…

9 Joseph January 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I think I am going to be the first to disagree here. My chest hair is very thin, and isn’t even. If you looked at the line at the top of my chest you would see that the hair grows farther up and lower down at certain places. If I had Tom’s chest hair I would be proud of it and I wouldn’t shave it off, but for me I like shaving my chest because my hair was pathetic. I am 30 so I am not some teenager. I wonder if my race has anything to do with it as I am Alaskan native?

10 Dan January 28, 2010 at 9:11 pm

There definitely is a difference between doing a little “neat trimming” and obsessively removing every last hair from your body. I don’t want to go through life looking like I lost a wrestling match with a weed whacker. And, thanks to all the ladies who come out in favor of manliness!

11 Tom January 28, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I find it hilarious that the google ads on this post are about Hair Removal and Exfoliators.

12 Tim January 28, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Great article! I have definitely had self-image problems when it comes to the amount of hair on my chest and legs.

One small comment/question: I don’t follow you when you say that because hair is destroyed by sunlight and heat, some cultures develop gene pools where hair is less prevalent. It is my understanding that physical changes made during a parent’s lifetime have no effect on their offspring unless those changes mutate their DNA. There would have to be some reason for people with less hair to mate more (or for hairy people to mate less). Perhaps because most men in that culture appeared to be hairless–originally due to heat and sunlight–women in that culture began to find that more attractive. Then hairless men would mate more, producing men who were less hairy in the long run.

13 Finnian January 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm

I totally disagree with this article… but it has nothing to do with with the fact that I have thin, patchy facial hair and about twelve chest hairs. Really.

OK. It has everything to do with the fact that I am basically bare chested and have the facial hair of a twelve-year-old girl. The worst part is that my legs are rather hairy. It’s like I’m Frankenstein’s monster, built from the legs of Tom Selleck and the upper body of Justin Timberlake. Actually, Justin Timberlake can grow a better beard than I can. Hell, my grandmother can grown a better beard than I can. Honestly, I hate it. I long for a cool chest of hair and the ability to grow a beard or a goatee. Hell, mutton chops would be better than the deforested area that is my face.

Oh, well. I guess I shouldn’t complain. I have two handsome sons and a beautiful wife of fifteen years. Obviously, she doesn’t mind… or she fakes it. Oh, crap…

Anyway… if you’ve got chest hair, enjoy it. Take it as a sign of manhood. You know that you have been through puberty and seen the other side. I look at my chest and see the same thing my nine-year-old son sees when he looks at his chest. It is sad, really.

14 Gus January 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm

This whole hairless man thing has been a popular media concept for 15 or 20 years. They probably do just want to sell us more razors with 17 blades and a special shaving bodywash. Headshaving probably helped this grow. Some men shaved their heads to pre-empt baldness and maybe shaving grey body hair to look younger? Notice more women responded to this post than most, and were the first two responders. Food for thought.

15 PaulCorvid January 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Hear hear!! It’s about time some stood up for us hairies…growing up in the 70s I always wanted a manly hairy chest…I have one now and I am NEVER shaving. Just my face and that’s it.

16 Marc January 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I usually take issue with citing statistics like %76 percent of women are attracted to hair on men, because that assumes that what you to do is maximize your appeal to numbers and not maximize your appeal to people who are predisposed to being attracted to you. look around on YouTube for Dan Savage’s advise on accepting what you find attractive. You should be able to extrapolate. But thats not what I’m going for here.

What I would like to see addressed is proper grooming of pubic hairs. Grooming.. not shaving, not shaping like a lightning bolt (although it is tempting), just grooming, like you’d give yourself a haircut. I believe that some is necessary as a matter of cleanliness not to mention courtesy to our significant others. It is very very hard to find anything on proper technique on the internet without ending up in the wrong place. I sort of wing it every time, but I’m always afraid of either a nicking myself or making a real patchy job. Has anyone tackled this most important topic?

17 Gabe Romero January 28, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I’m proud of my man pelt. I have no desire to look like i’m 12 or itch as my chest hair grows back in. I’m a man goddamn it and I’m proud of it.

18 JamesBrett January 29, 2010 at 12:00 am

I certainly have no problems with men who desire to celebrate hair. As for me, I shaved my legs ten years ago for my first triathlon (much more about symbolism than practicality) and loved everything about it. I liked the way it looked better and the way it felt to put on pants or get in the water right after shaving. I found I could tape my soccer shin-guards directly to my legs with no problems, and road rash wasn’t quite so difficult to clean and bandage. I’ve shaved my legs ever since. Now they feel dirty whenever there’s hair on them.

And shaving my underarms came years before, when I didn’t like how I was sweating through both my t-shirt and dress shirt. A buddy of mine suggested I try shaving my pits — that I would sweat and smell less under there, and that what deodorant I used would then go directly onto the skin, instead of tangling up in small pubic hair deodorant balls. It worked. So I’ve been shaving my pits for more than 15 years.

Somewhere along the way I decided that as long as I was shaving, I might as well take care of the chest and happy trail. And did. Before that I had been pulling the individual hairs around my nipples, because they grow so abnormally long — like up to 2-3 inches. Now I shave it all. My wife likes all the shaving except the legs; she’s indifferent about that, but has never really known me with hair on my legs anyway.

I definitely get the manliness of a hairy chest, and can support guys who want to rock that. But I do believe all humanity should be required to shave their pits — that’s just disgusting…

19 Saad January 29, 2010 at 12:32 am

Hear hear!

However I think shaving or trimming underarm hair in men is not a bad thing, as it prevents BO especially on hot summer days. Also trimming genital hair is a good idea for several reasons, both health and pleasure related ;)

Hair is manly. Embrace it!

20 Revrend Cowboy January 29, 2010 at 1:49 am

Finnian, rest easy– I, too, am in the same boat. The shameful, hairless boat….
A kid I knew back in high school never seemed to get the hint that all his friends wanted him to do something about the chest hair that would escape from the collar of EVERY shirt he had– A hairy chest may be manly, but untamed hair is NEVER good.

21 Mitch January 29, 2010 at 2:58 am

Best Blog Post ever ! Because i think about this EVERY day.

22 Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com January 29, 2010 at 4:20 am

Nice guest post. I can’t relate though as I’m not naturally a hairy person. I have some relatives who are though.

23 George Bridgeman January 29, 2010 at 4:56 am

Love it!

My girlfriend absolutely loves my beard & chest hair. I was an usher for my friends wedding last month and had to shave my beard as he’s always clean-shaven and claims to have pogonophobia (fear of beards)! My girlfriend hated it; she was completely spooked out by my baby face. I’m not me without a ginger beard! I’ve always had a hairy chest (since I was about 15) and I’m now convinced it’s the source of all my powers. Chest hair is a very manly thing as well and my partner would be mortified if I waxed it.

My ex was the polar opposite. She’d ask me to shave (both up and downstairs!) and wanted me to wax my chest and also shave my armpits. I wasn’t happy to oblige completely so compromised and trimmed my chest hair, shaved my face and gentlemans area occasionally, and shaved my shoulders. That relationship lasted longer than it probably should have done but eventually ended, partially because she wasn’t at all fond of my fur and I loved it.

Embrace your fur, gentlemen!

George.

24 Eden Wynter January 29, 2010 at 6:35 am

This whole, men shaving their bodies thing, is ridiculous. Men should not be paranoid about hair on their bodies. It’s become a fashion thing that started in the late 80s early 90s, and it is is going out of style. Hair is coming back in fashion for men, just like it was in fashion in the 70s. Some of my male friends still shave their bodies because they hear girls say that hate hair, and this is really pathetic. They are allowing females to emasculate them. It amazes me that there are wimpy, overly self conscious men out there, that will do anything to fit into a group.
All men should be proud of their masculinity.

25 Tyler Logan January 29, 2010 at 6:35 am

I’m a proud owner of a chest rug and a rough beard. They will not be removed. Fashion these days insists on ‘pretty’, well tough.

26 Brad January 29, 2010 at 7:54 am

I have chest hair and have always thought of it as a positive manly aspect of myself. When I was growing up no guy shaved their chests or anything else. That would have been considered weird. The women that have been in my life have always liked me having a hairy chest.
I guess I haven’t run into the ones that do not. I also enjoyed a beard off and on over the years nicely trimmed close to the face. I’ve had a mustache since I was 18 years old.
Good article.

27 Christopher Hopper January 29, 2010 at 7:56 am

Here I am. Husband, father of 3, recording artist and worship leader, author, pastor, school president, restaurant owner…

…and hairy chested, backed, (and yet strangely bald) white guy. I love this article! Thank you! ch:

28 Dawson January 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

I do believe, without any doubt in my mind, that the impression from all us men that women dislike body hair comes from a misunderstanding. The reality is, and some people have touched on it, women actually seem to dislike UNTAMED body hair. I’m not a hairy guy (and jealous of every one of them out there) and my girlfriend has often commented she appreciates that I don’t have a pelt, because that means it doesn’t tickle her face or matt up and get all sweaty when she lays on my chest at night. Does that mean she doesn’t like body hair? Certainly not! It just means she doesn’t want it in her way.

29 Alex January 29, 2010 at 8:40 am

I think that the tread in hairless men is a more recent one, influenced by porn. But If you look at famous actors with chest hair, Tom Selleck or say Sean Connery, they do have their shoulders and backs waxed and the chest hair trimmed. Now as man in my 20′s i dont mind my chest hair, but I do dislike my shoulder and back hair. I have tried waxing and shaving and nair, and to be honest I dont do most of it any more simply out of laziness. If I could I would get my shoulders waxed often or lasered to remove it.

30 PastorPeter January 29, 2010 at 8:44 am

Hear hear!

I love this article, as I do most of AoM’s articles on style and masculinity, because it celebrates men who look — shock horror — like men! It is similar to the problem of so many who hate to see the lipo’d, implanted, and airbrushed semi-human models. People looking like people! I love this article.

I also hear what Dawson is saying — I’m not a hairy guy in general, except my massive beard of which I am quite proud. But I wish I had a bit more fur. As it stands, I try to be proud of the way The Creator created me, but I would add more, not less, hair given the option. (i’m the only male in my family, Mediterranean all, without enough body hair to knit a small scarf).

Thank you for this post. Cheers.

31 Marc KS January 29, 2010 at 9:36 am

Personally I prefer going without hair on my chest… but that is simply because (as commenters have mentioned previously) I have very patchy chest hair. Just enough to look messy, not enough to look manly.

However on the subject of facial hair – I decided to not remove my mustache after Movember and I couldn’t be happier… it seems other men really respect a young guy with a mustache.

32 Mike January 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

I think whatever you do–shave or not shave–you just have to be okay with. While no hairy man should be ashamed of his hair, if a guy shaves–he should be okay with it if it is his personal preference. I’ve seen a lot of hairy guys with shaved heads and a lot of guys with heads of hair and no body hair. Doing either–keeping your hair or removing it–in an attempt to please someone else is the problem. Isn’t the bottom line (1) being cleaned and groomed, and (2) being okay with yourself? Neither state is more manly than the other if it is your preference. Being overly absorbed with either is not manly.

33 Osvaldo January 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

Thank you for your article. I agree that this is pervasive in not just straight culture, but in gay culture, too. I look forward to the day when hirsute men are placed on the high position that they merit being in.

34 Brian January 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thank you so much for this article. It’s about time us ‘hairys’ became proud of our man fur and stop trivializing a natural and manly part of being male.

35 JFV January 29, 2010 at 10:24 am

As a dude…who like dudes…I am never quite sure where I stand with the AOM. I had to comment on this topic though. I’m jealous of men who can have hairy chests and full beards as I’ve always been on the opposite end. I grew up with mainly men so my lack of body hair never served me well. So stop worrying about it and realize whatever it is in life you don’t want…someone else does.

36 Raj January 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

I disagree. I waxed my chest for the first time a week ago, and I’ve loved it. I had chest hair that didn’t completely cover my pecs, but more grew in between them, and I thought it was unsightly. If I had evenly distributed chest hair across the chest, I’d have kept it. But I love the feeling of my chest now, and more importantly, my pecs are fully visible and my muscles show through. I’m happy with the result.

37 Dauvit January 29, 2010 at 10:35 am

I once had the following conversation at lifeguard training:

“You’re hairy.”
“Yeah.”
“You should wax your chest. Kristen’s mom would do it for you.”
“Um, no.”

And that was that. I’m not too fond of the patchiness on the shoulders and back, but ever since my dad gave me my first half-shot of tequila when I was about 13, with the admonition “it’ll put hair on your chest”, I’ve been proud of my wild, hairy self. Hell, I’ve even worn muttonchops. Now if I could just grow a Tom Selleck mustache.

38 G January 29, 2010 at 10:38 am

Manscaping is like brushing your teeth. Sure, you don’t HAVE to do it, as “natural intended”………………

I say, there’s no excuse today. It’s not a case of “all or nothing” either — get yourself a quality electric body razor to TRIM (not shave) and rest easy knowing you’re both manly AND well kept.

Waxing / shaving is awkward, as you constantly waffle between feeling like a prepubescent boy and dealing with razor bumps and abrasive body stubble in sensitive regions. Trimming keeps the grounds maintained without any of the fuss for a consistent, well-groomed look.

39 Chris January 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

Does anyone think it is hilarious that there is a rotating ad for a laser hair removal center on this page?

40 AJ Gretz January 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

Thanks for all the kind words! I’m glad people have enjoyed the post.

Tim, as far as your comment about the “science” of heat and light destroying hair, I think you are right. To be honest I didn’t really understand how that would work out, but it was a theory, and I thought it was worth bringing up, if only to show that it doesn’t totally make sense.

41 Finnian January 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

I have to agree with JamesBrett and Saad: removing underarm hair is a good thing. I tend to sweat quite a bit in that area, and I hated having wet underarms. I found that removing the hair in my pits did help the antiperspirant do its job much, much better. However, you do not have to go so far as shaving. A set of electric clippers on a low setting does just as good of a job, maybe better. You don’t have to worry about itchiness, and it takes less time, too. I take a swipe at my pits every couple of weeks, and I do not feel less manly at all by doing it. I still have some hair there; it just doesn’t interfere with my antiperspirant.

42 OleManIdaho January 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

Amen. My wife loves my hairiness. She say’s today’s naked ape fad does nothing for her. Am I lucky or what? Thanks for the article.

43 Kevin January 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

As you said, Manscaping is an art. I think there could be an entire article on that subject. Perhaps this gentleman will inspire… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=081dHOYY6IE

44 Living with Balls January 29, 2010 at 11:23 am

I think chest hair is a good look for some guys, but not for others. Back hair, on the other hand, is not a good look for anyone.

45 amy January 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

I can’t help but thinking, as I read these comments, about the reactions we we would all have if the article were about women wearing their natural body hair proudly?

I am all for every person on this planet having the right to tend to her/his body in whatever way s/he likes best without being subjected to shaming and social punishment. Want to shave your legs? Go for it! Want to keep your chest as hairy as your momma made it? It’s your chest! Do what you want!

I don’t really get into preferencing one side over the other–vaunting the manliness of chest hair seems to displace the shame from the hirsute to the hairless. To me, manliness (humanliness, really) is about being yourself and doing what works for you, regardless of what’s on the magazine covers or what is perceived as preferred by potential partners. Do what you like, and you’ll be with someone who likes you–yourself!

46 steve January 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

I won’t go into “there are a lot of reasons to keep your hair under control (same as having beard trims or hair-cuts) but I will say there is an easy way to compromise the shaved or overly hairy look (neither are good aesthetically or physiologically in my opinion). Get a pair of cordless dog clippers with an attachment that leaves about 1/2 inch of your hair. It’s perfect, been doing it for years on an every couple of months basis; more often in summer, less in the winter.

47 Legal Leads January 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

This is a great post about how society views men. I think the posts also help mold the article by providing other points of view, which are interesting. Thanks for the post. I agree!

48 Jake January 29, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I have very little hair all over my body, and an average beard thickness. One girlfriend of mine actually complained that her legs would be hairier than mine if she didn’t shave them. Funny thing is that my dad and both my grandpas were pretty hairy.

Growing up I felt the exact same way as the author of the article did. Getting hair on your chest was “manly” and not having hair on your chest was clearly not. But, like everybody, I slowly stopped caring so much until I eventually didn’t think about it at all.

49 Dennard January 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for this article. I have more chest hair than the average guy. I’ve received my fair share of kidding about it, but have never given in to pressure to trim or shave it, except in high school when I had to shave my face. I like this about myself and wouldn’t change it for anything.

50 Wayne January 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I hate the whole concept of shaving body hair. I’ve a hard enough time shaving my face. Nothing is more manly and let it grow where it may. In this age of boyish men, let the cowboy, the Viking, the hirsute hero stand out from the pack.

51 Angelia Sparrow January 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Our society hates body hair on anyone. Look at women these days: nothing below the eyebrows! Now, having saturated that market, advertisers are working on the men. We’re reverting to the 18th century.

I like facial hair and some chest hair. Pelt…not so much. Husband’s beard has been cross-pollinating his chest for a while now. I have seen him without some sort of facial hair exactly once. It’s not his best look.

Manliness comes in all styles. Enjoy yours!

52 Bill January 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I highly recommend the Norelco Bodyshaver to keep things trimmed up and it can also completely shave sensitive areas with no worry of cutting: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EG8HLE?ie=UTF8&tag=ft0f-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000EG8HLE

53 Francis January 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

As always the gentlemanly way to approach personal care shines through: clean it and make it presentable. I for one have thin body hair with the exception of my chest, which looks rather horrid without proper grooming. Thus I trim to even out my body hair without giving way to either extremes of body hair fashion. Clean enough to look presentable in any situation should be the focus of any body hair type.

To just nitpick a few things: yes, body hair is a left over from our days before clothes protected us from sunlight and extreme heat. The BBC documentary “What’s The Problem with Nudity?” has it own results that differ from the survey mentioned; but research will not change that body hair is personal preference (for owner and partner alike). To this I say be yourself but more importantly be happy with yourself and how groom your body.

54 Gabe January 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Always interesting to hear opinions on the issue of men and body hair. I’m not a particularly furry guy but I have a decent amount growing on my chest and stomach. I don’t have a problem with it except…I shave my head. And when I’m clean shaven from the neck up, it just looks weird to see all the hair.

Any other guys run into this dilemma? It’s okay when I’ve got some stubble growing but a lot of times it’s just…odd looking. Especially if I wear a shirt with buttons undone and you can see the difference.

55 Phil January 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Fantastic article! For those of you that say you “disagree” with this article because you shave your body/facial hair because it’s practical / it looks good and such, this is not applying to you. This is applying to those of us that have lots of body hair and feel obligated to shave it off just because of what other people say, not necessarily what you think. Rather than saying, “Hey, if you manscape at all you are no true man!” and such, it’s saying that we shouldn’t be ashamed of what we’ve been endowed with, rather, we should be proud of it, and we should be able to flaunt it if we like, despite what popular culture may attempt to force on us.

56 Nothingman January 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Read this article in morning, now coming back to comment.
Loved reading this. Chest hair is ok, and it’s cool. I’ve known guys who could not grow a beard and they look like babies.

Rock on AoM :D

N

57 srgonzo January 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I submitted an earlier comment, but I’m taking another opportunity to weigh in here. I’m hairy. We’re not talking Tom Selleck hairy either. I’m more of a Robin Williams hairy. I’ve used Nad’s, Nair, and a few other products, and I got tired of it. Discerning women, women with substance, and women with class have a substantially more forgiving attitude (perhaps I should have said ‘people’ to include the gay men in our midst, but many of the gay men I’ve met have been substantially more fickle than most of the heterosexual women I’ve met) when it comes to aesthetics.

Here’s what I take away from the article: don’t be ashamed of what you have or don’t have. Granted, if you’re one of those people who wants to get rid of all of your body hair, that’s your prerogative. Perhaps you might be the kind of guy who takes the middle ground and keeps everything trimmed, yet visible (though I think that would get incredibly spiky). It really doesn’t matter. The point is that a man is no more or less manly for the presence of body hair, and a man is no more or less civilized for the lack of body hair. The current trend of denuded men in fashion is largely a result of increased desire for androgyny, a continued perception of youth, or a greater perception of strength because body hair hides muscle definition.

If you really want to know what attracts a mate, it can be summed up in one word: confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, is one of the most attractive qualities a man can possess. It makes us a little taller, can be identified easily, but it’s quantification is a challenge. Walk tall (or roll, if you happen to employ a wheelchair for mobility) and be proud of who you are.

58 Hitler January 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

All I need is my trusty mustache.

59 Fee January 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Its quite simple…. Manly men have hair….. little boys don`t.

So… “man up”, and let the follicles flow!

60 Dave January 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Ironic that I should read this post on Tom Selleck’s 65th birthday. Selleck in his “Magnum PI” days, along with Sean Connery in his James Bond pictures, are examples of hairy-chested, manly men—who also probably shaved their backs and shoulders, but didn’t tell us that. The remaining chest hair, while luxuriant, didn’t completely hide upper bodies that were not as finely tuned as we might like our heroes (and ourselves) to be. I would also refer you to Chuck Norris, surely one of the manliest of men. In his early pictures he was heavily-carpeted front and back, but in later pictures and his “Walker, Texas Ranger” series, he is virtually hairless except above the neck.
My wife is a former hair stylist and cuts my hair once a month. She also shaves my back and shoulders, using a clippers. I trim the front, including the important area (you know what I’m talking about). When I shave in the morning in front of my mirror, I can get a better idea of how my own personal training is coming, just by judging my definition in chest, shoulders and abs. Hard to do that with lots of hair–especially if some of it’s turning gray!
For extra fun, every now and then my bride will dress up as a special, private stylist.
I’d better stop there. ;)

61 Finnian January 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm

@Fee and Nothingman-

Thanks for confirming my worst fears: without facial hair, I am not a man, but little more than a “little boy” or a baby.

Curse my hairless genes!

62 Joe January 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Thanks ladies!

As a little kid, I was always repulsed when I saw hairy chested guys in movies. When I hit puberty, and my own chest hair started to grow, I used to be really self-conscious about my chest, and went shirtless as little as possible.

Happy Birthday Tom Selleck! Watching Magnum P.I. and seeing how the ladies used to go wild over seeing him bare-chested made me comfortable with my own hairy chest.

I’m 49 and have had both a mustache and chest that almost mirror Tom’s. My wife of 26 years loves my hairy chest and would kill me if I ever thought of “manscaping” it.

To paraphrase an ad, “I’m not a meterosexual. I don’t moisturize. I don’t do Pilates….”

Joe

63 Terry Tommey January 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Thanks Brett,

I’ve come to accept my own unique characteristics as well and don’t feel the pressure to hide or alter my manly appearance. It’s another part of me to shared. Feel good guys there’s a reason we’re men.

Terry

64 Herr Doktor January 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Herr Doktor, like most subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, has little chest hair but most of us are hairy from the neck up.

65 Alejandro January 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

It’s interesting that, as boys, men yearn for the day they start growing facial & body hair. It’s a true sign of maturity for us! Now, body & facial hair are considered unfashionable – at least for some. To hell with that! I sport a beard and I’m proud of my hairy chest, arms & legs.

66 Just Call Me Lou January 30, 2010 at 3:19 am

I am also proud of my hairy arms and legs, but I do closely trim “down under”. My long time gf likes it that way. She did ask that I trim my chest hair, but I refuse!

67 Jess January 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I think it’s great for anybody to be less self-conscious about their bodies, too much hair is a HUGE turn off. (this obviously coming from a woman, and agreed on by all my lady friends)

68 the friendly grizzly January 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm

As one might gather from my screen name, I am a hairy dude. I have also worn some form of facial hair since 1968, and in fact have had the same beard since 1977. I’ve never shaved it off.

I joke with folks, saying that for all I know, if I shaved they’d find Jimmy Hoffa!

69 Michelle January 31, 2010 at 4:43 am

Guess I’m in the minority here. Personally, I find really hairy guys to be a huge turnoff. My boyfriend is naturally not very hairy–something I’m grateful for. To each their own, I guess, but no thanks as far as I’m concerned. I don’t necessarily think guys should wax or anything, but naturally hairy guys put me off big time. I don’t need a guy with a hairy chest to remind me of how “manly” he is or how he “protects” me. I take care of myself despite being in a loving relationship (something my boyfriend loves about me, I might add), and the amount of hair a man has doesn’t define how masculine he is or isn’t, in my opinion.

Also, I object to the idea of “soft, freshly shaven legs (soft = feminine!)” I shave on an almost daily basis myself and like the soft feeling that results from it, but at the same time, I think it’s important to realize that it’s a personal and cultural thing. Not all women consider shaving their legs the norm or even prefer it.

I just don’t believe in traditional gender roles. Gender is preformative and flexible, after all. No man or woman fits into a perfect little masculine/feminine square, so let’s stop trying to make them.

70 Sarah Joy Albrecht January 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Michelle,

While I can’t agree with your thoughts on _traditional_ gender roles (certainly there are exceptions due to extenuating circumstances), I do agree with your point on hair preference being a personal and cultural thing. Not all women shave their legs, nor do they want to. A man who naturally has less hair should not in any way feel less of a man, nor should a hairier woman feel any less of a woman.

I am sure there are other things about your boyfriend that make you feel safe and protected. It might not even be a physical attribute. Another reason why I feel safe around my husband is that he’s brilliant and can be reasoned with – NOT someone who’s going to punch me in the face every time he’s angry, for example.

On the other hand, women typically don’t grow chest and facial hair :) So, they are less hairy and, well, softer.

My concern is that American culture emasculates men by glamorizing a certain look of the completely shaven/waxed man. That’s what makes Selleck’s picture here quite awesome. It’s raw. It’s real.

It’s sad we’re not used to chest hair and that this is even noteworthy.

SJA

71 Kat January 31, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Thumbs-up on the article, and I agree that there are certain attributes (men–hairy chests/women–soft skin) that are naturally meant to be differentiated. (And, I occasionally relate to why humans rebel against this!)

I’m mainly commenting because the picture of Tom Selleck reminds me of one of my Christmas wishes as a teen. My friends and I sat on Santa’s lap and I told him that I wanted Tom Selleck and a new car for Christmas, in that order. He said, “So…you want a Celica?”
;)

72 Evan J. January 31, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I hate it how too many women I know say that they hate facial hair. I now sport just the mustache, but I did have a full beard a while ago. I love it, it makes me feel much more manly and more empowered then I do without the ‘stache.
On the topic chest hair, I have very little, mostly because, I think, of my multiple open heart surgeries. Cracking the chest open must interfere with the follicles. All I have are scraggly little hairs here and there amix the scars. Kinda sucks, but the scars are also kinda manly.
Although I must concur with many of those who say that you should trim your body hair, just as you would your facial or head hair.

73 Jason February 1, 2010 at 12:52 am

“Also, I object to the idea of “soft, freshly shaven legs (soft = feminine!)” I shave on an almost daily basis myself and like the soft feeling that results from it, but at the same time, I think it’s important to realize that it’s a personal and cultural thing. Not all women consider shaving their legs the norm or even prefer it.”

People often dismiss things as cultural, as if things that are cultural have no real basis and are just silly. But cultural things tend to develop for a reason, even if not all cultures adopt them. Women are softer and less hairy almost across the board, so if they accentuate that difference, it increases their femininity. Just as a guy with bigger muscles and a beard looks more masculine, because he’s accentuating his gender differences. If you want to talk about culture-the reason Michelle doesn’t like hairy guys is that she’s been brainwashed by the media and also probably takes birth control:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men–interested-boyish-looks.html

“I just don’t believe in traditional gender roles. Gender is preformative and flexible, after all.”

So you’re reading this blog because??

74 Bill February 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Great post.

As to the different possible reasons why this trend has become so prevalent in recent decades, I feel it’s very much an economic thing. But not just in the we-want-you-to-spend-more-money-on-razors way, although that’s a big part of it.

In the 1950′s, companies first began to realize that they could make large amounts of money off of the “teenager” demographic. Before the advent of rock and roll and movies specifically for this group (think “Rebel Without A Cause”), it was a relatively untapped market.

Part of appealing to a demographic and convincing them to spend their money is to glorify that group. I think it’s possible that the evolving lack of hair seen in male “sex symbols” and models came about due to our ever-increasing obsession with youth. Although many teenagers do have a large amount of body hair, they haven’t been depicted that way in the media, which seeks to glorify them for profit (and now the “tween” market, since companies have discovered parents will spend just as much money on them, too).

This is probably also one of the reasons that stupidity became en vogue in recent decades. Movies have presented us with many images of the “stupid teenager” who is nevertheless attractive, desirable, and youthful.

When looking for what to accept and reject from popular culture, keep in mind you’re no longer a teenager. Unless, of course, you are a teenager. In that case, have fun.

75 Dave February 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

When you get older (53) hair grows from everywhere on your body. Even when you had a “hairy body” from youth it continues. I should not complain as I still have all my original hair, just some gray mixed in. When I was a teenager it was a cool thing to be hairy. I once even shaved my stomach to make it grow more. Now I trim so I don’t look like that guy, the one with gray long chest hairs coming over the top of his tee shirt. It also is no fun having your wife pluck long hairs growing out of the top of your ears.

76 Ibrahim | TwentiesLife.com February 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I’ve got to be honest. When I went through puberty I thought the idea of having body hair was so cool, so grown up. But now I’m into building my physique, and I find a lack of chest hair to be motivating, since it helps me to see the progress of my training. Plus, and I may be alone here, it just feels nice. I like my smooth, lean chest and stomach. Hair just gets in the way.

For the record, though, I’m no justin timberlake. I play all kinds of sports, mountain bike, love camping, and wouldn’t shave my beard for $. I just don’t like chest hair…

77 Nadia February 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Well, here’s another comment from the female side of the issue.
Personally, I don’t care either way: hairier fellows or hairless guys are both attractive. I would probably think a guy who shaves his chest,etc, (when it isn’t for specific functional reasons, ie. athletics) is somewhat of a metrosexual and that would be less appealing to me. However, I consider both naturally hairy or naturally hairless men good looking.
“They” (whoever they are) say that ladies tend to be attracted to guys like their fathers: If that’s the case, I should be attracted to the hairier guys since my dad is definitely in the hirsute category. :)
My only preference would be in regards to facial hair. I prefer clean-shaven guys because it seems that most men don’t wear facial hair that suits them or they don’t keep it trimmed neatly. However, if a guy has neatly trimmed facial hair- that includes shaving the neck- I’d be much more likely to appreciate it.

78 Rising Norm February 4, 2010 at 4:52 am

Not only am I confident with my full chest of hairiness, but take it for a swagger on the way to do my fifty laps at the pool.

People regularly comment at the tuft coming up from my buttoned shirt collar. Gives me some manly pride to look them in the eye and say; ‘Yep that’s right, it’s all me buddy. Why, do you want some?’. Which engenders the raised eye brow and curious interests of the fair ladies round.
It’s probably not so much the fact I have chest hair. More the fact that I am confident with it and can follow it up by looking them in the eye and engaging them in interesting conversation.

Anyway, I’m not interested in women, who like to look at guys, who look like twelve year old boys. Or the men who make themselves look that way either. It’s narcissism in my view.

As for requests from you wife (sig.other). She would have heard you say ‘Don’t try to change me.’ often enough already; once more won’t hurt.
Rising Norm :)

79 prufock February 4, 2010 at 11:02 am

I’m in the trimming camp. I’ve shaved before, but I looked like a plucked goose, and found it pretty uncomfortable. I prefer how I look with body hair, but short body hair. It feels better too – more comfortable, cleaner.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t spend excess time on it, either. Just give myself a once-over with a beard trimmer every few months.

Mike has the rights of it: “I think whatever you do–shave or not shave–you just have to be okay with. While no hairy man should be ashamed of his hair, if a guy shaves–he should be okay with it if it is his personal preference.”

80 Mike February 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I feel rather blessed. I’m in a comfortable middle ground between ‘rug’ and ‘hairless rat’. I lack shoulder or back hair, yet I have a nice hairy chest, legs and arms. I grow sideburns, but haven’t really attempted to grow a beard yet, mainly because I dislike the notion of having to look horrible for 3 – 6 months while it grows out. Either way, I love my chest hair and I love that I don’t have to worry about back hair, most girls I’ve been with love chest hair but hate back hair, so it’s like win win win for meh. At any rate, awesome article. I decided I loved my chest hair a while back, even though in high school I felt like an abomination because of it. Go go gadget HAIRY CHEST!

81 Keltik February 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Hey man, great post, I gotta admit I’m pretty jelous! I wish I could get a hairy chest, but sadly I’m more like one of those Justin Timberlake types than a Tom Selleck type…

82 G. Alphonse Menard February 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm

What’s the best way to grow a mustache? Should I start growing out a beard first and then shave it into a stache? Or just stick with the stache alone?

83 Sean February 25, 2010 at 2:23 pm

This article would be a lot more persuasive if A) that attractive “scent” wasn’t what men spend tens or hundreds of dollars a year covering up with deodorant and cologne, and B) this sight didn’t prominently feature images of shirtless Victorian men who, in their quest to resemble the physical perfection of Greco-Roman sculpture that was then the ideal for both sexes amongst the educated classes, shaved off all their hair in exactly the manner this article decries. To shave or not to shave is a personal choice as much as any other aspect of hair-related grooming and it’s hypocritical of this site to say one thing and go about displaying images of another entirely.

I for one don’t shave my body hair, but many Victorians did, as did the Greeks and Romans, and the Ancient Egyptians did so with vehemence, not to mention many modern people in Asia find excessive body hair more grotesque than Europeans. . As soon as this site decides it’s not embarrassed to show a full range of body hair types, this editorial might as well also say “Don’t cut a hair on your head men, it’s natural and masculine to like Tom Hanks in castaway, go for it, ladies will love it!”

84 Rebecca February 25, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I think this piece is more about just a man’s self-esteem (or whatever “manlier” term for that) concerning his appearance. It really is mostly about how you carry yourself than your genetic makeup, so I definitely agree about a man being confident! However, I’d like to pitch in my two cents on the actual subject of a man’s body hair.

My poor older brother is very hairy; his fur covers his back, shoulders, chest, and everywhere else looking very black and wiry, and his light skin makes the hair look even worse. He used to shave when he was about 20. I am telling you now, guys, be wary of how you shave (how close, how often, etc). The prickly hair two days after is just as bad as the original coat and often my brother had even worse skin from the shaving.

That being said, I take the time to shave my legs and underarms to keep them soft and smooth, so I think men should be willing to make the same kind of effort. I mean, if your lady is into the furry chest, keep it by all means, but that 76% seems a little high to me and I know that plenty of us women would prefer a sparse level of hair. Bare chests just feel cleaner to me.

85 Johnny March 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

I thoroughly agree with this article – I have a hairy chest, stomach, and back – and I’m proud of it.

86 Bharat Patel March 9, 2010 at 1:29 am

I have a good amount of body hair and if the other men in my family are an indication around 30 or so I’ll have a bit more, but I am fine with that. I get a few comments now and again and i was a bit self conscious growing up (still am growing at my age i guess). But I have always been vigilant in having body hair. You are who you are, embrace and own up to it. If there’s no practical reason to change your appearance then don’t. I find that people respect that.

87 jimmie March 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm

body hair is proof that we’re just fancy monkey’s…eeeeeyuk!

88 Belladonna March 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Oh man, I love chest hair like you wouldn’t believe. I draw the line with back hair though.

89 PD March 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm

My husband is a hairy dude. And, while he is a wonderful example of manhood and I am proud to be the wife of such a hirsute chap, there are limits. While I believe we, as a culture, should be more accepting of body hair, I also believe in looking neat. Body hair, like the hair on our head, needs to be groomed if it gets excessive or unruly. Particular peeves are back/chest hair sticking out from the top of a t-shirt, especially long eyebrow hairs that stick out at strange angles, and random hairs growing in unusual places. Pluck that junk. Keeping your body hair in check should be as much a part of your routine hygiene and grooming as shaves and haircuts.

90 Cristina March 17, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I love chest hair! there is nothing manlier than running your fingers through chest hair while cuddling. its primal, rough and so so attractive!

91 Louis March 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

While a little chest hair is no big deal and I agree that guys should embrace it, I disagree that it’s “coming back into style” fashion models and houses such as designer Hedi Slimane & Lagerfield, vehemently oppose any body hair, While i see how it looks good and is manly, It’s not mainstream at all yet.

92 Jeff March 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

It’s definitely comforting to hear some women say they like when a man has chest hair. I used to take ridiculous measures to remove mine. I was very insecure about it but as I got a bit older it stopped bothering me. I’m much happier to present myself while being comfortable in my own skin. Nothing beats feeling confident.

93 Spacelord March 29, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I have hair everywhere: beard, chest, back, legs, arms, stomach, balls, ass. I trim my beard and balls a bit, the rest goes wild. My wife likes my hairiness, but I wouldn’t trim it even if she didn’t. The idea of a man shaving his armpits or chest gives me convulsions. Are you that afraid of the smell of your body? Life is too short for that nonsense. Most women I know pay more attention to the quality of a man’s shoes than the length of his chest hair.

94 Liz March 31, 2010 at 1:10 am

My roommate once mentioned her distaste for chest hair, and I thought “What?! Really?” It somehow never occurred to me that other women might not like it. Oh well. To each her own I suppose, but I say whatever approach a man takes, as long as it’s neat and well-maintained, it probably suits him just fine.

95 Alison March 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I’m chiming in with another HELLZ YEAH! Chest hair, either naturally there or naturally absent, was never a dealbreaker for me when dating, but I absolutely LOVE my husband’s hairy chest. As many others here have said, part of it is how manly it makes him look, part of it is, as you mentioned, the way it smells. I love running my fingers through it and nuzzling it.

Funnily enough, last year for Halloween he went as the Man o’ Lantern from the 40-Year-Old Virgin. I didn’t wax him, but I did shave off patches of hair, and applied crepe hair to other parts (he’s not quite as hairy as Steve Carell). The costume was pretty funny, but the stubble as it grew back was so scratchy! I wouldn’t want him to ever wax his chest because he’d have to do it so frequently it would be annoying.

I like hair on a man, though of course if your chest is naturally hairless that’s just peachy, variety being the spice of life and all that. But dude, don’t come near me with a waxed and shiny downstairs. That just looks weird. Three cheers for embracing the inner Tom Selleck!

96 Godzilla April 1, 2010 at 5:19 am

I’m relatively hairy, though more so from about navel down; I approach all my hair, whether it be on my head, face or elsewhere on my body, in the same way — leaving it be, trimming it, or removing it as my personal aesthetics and comfort dictate.

97 sammy April 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm

From a purely sexual/evolutionary standpoint, hairy men connote high testosterone levels. High testosterone connotes strength and virility and a higher chance at reproducing successfully. Forget about the girls who find chest hair disgusting. Their preference (or prejudice) has largely been shaped by corporate America and they probably don’t have two cents worth of maturity to reciprocate the beasty, animal sex required to keep a mature and (hairy) masculine man interested. That’s right…beasty, animial sex and not something out of a sweet sixteen magazine.

98 Caro April 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I may be wrong, but I think that Greek athletes shaved their bodies (or removed hair in other manners) to show off their muscle definition. Don’t modern bodybuilders do the same? Also, think of Michelangelo’s David and other statues depicting the “perfect man”, with no body hair. I think a smooth male chest is appropriate for young men “in their prime” who have the body and muscles to show off. Its not emasculating, but rather shows that the men are athletic, take pride in their appearance, and aren’t sloppy and negligent in hygiene. I think this standard drops for older men, once married, but trimming and grooming is still very important.

99 Dana J April 7, 2010 at 2:57 am

Huzzah for man-hair! The first thing that attracted me to my then-18 year old boyfriend who ended up being by now-28 year old husband, was the little patch of chest hair I could see peeking out of the top of his shirt. I also couldn’t keep my eyes off of his amazing chops! Even as a teenager I was crazy-apeshit-style attracted to the hair on a man, because it speaks of Manly Lumberjacks mightily swinging their axes to and fro in the wild feral forest……as well as old-school secret agents, and animal instincts.

God bless all you Hairy Men out there! And yes….Hairy Men deserve to be capitalized!

100 The Might Tor April 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

I’ve never had a girlfriend who didn’t like my chest hair but even if they didn’t, I’d keep it because I like it. Chest hair is a mark of high testosterone, why not wear it has a badge of pride?
And to answer Caro’s comment. I’m kind of a History geek and I’m currently studying the Ancient Greeks in college…I don’t think the Greeks did so much. Chest and facial hair to them was a sign of passage into manhood. I know the Romans did do a lot of plucking…at least among the patrician class. But that went out of fashion around the time of Emperor Hadrian.

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