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November 30, 2006


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Some recent, and very NSFW, paparazzi shots of Britney prompt a few questions. For example: If you were going out on the town in a short dress, would you leave your panties behind? I know I wouldn't. And: Do the stars flash the photographers on purpose? It seems to be a very effective way of generating interest, after all. And if showbiz isn't about demanding attention ...

The main question it leaves me wondering about, though, is: Has the pubic-grooming thing finally gone a little too far? It isn't just the gals. I notice in the gym's locker room that the young male set is now going in for shaving, waxing, and trimming. Not that I look, of course. Still, what a strange experience it is to be surrounded by male crotches that have obviously been fussed-over.

God knows that upkeep is usually to be valued, and that novelty and variety are often appreciated too. But this whole "I am a plastic, Photoshopped version of myself" mania isn't even particularly sexy, is it? I mean, except maybe to a 14 year old. Back in the day, learning to find body hair alluring was considered a central part of growing up. It was a sign you'd graduated from kid-hood. Perhaps the obsession with total, overall smoothness is yet one more sign that we've handed control of our culture over to the tastes of 14 year olds ...

Can I be the only person -- let alone the only veteran of the '60s and the '70s -- who's wondering, "Who declared body hair un-erotic?"



posted by Michael at November 30, 2006


So what's the big hairy deal? LOL

I have always equated a nice hairy masculine chest with a real man. I love the way it tickles my nose when engulfed in a big bear hug.

My daughters would all disagree and in fact, are often heard to remark, "ugh" on the subject. They prefer the sun-tanned and well coconut-scented-oiled chest of a studly lifeguard. Not necessarily a bad choice of eye candy, but there's nothing to hold onto in a passionate moment! And who could ever imagine Sean Connery, aka Bond, as a chest hairless secret agent?

However, I believe you are addressing (undressing?) the female anatomy and the question of hair versus hairless. Again, I am not a fan of the bald look for that body part, either. My turn to say, "ugh". Shaving legs and underarms seems like a good personal hygiene choice, but I don't need to totally abolish every follicle on my body.

Kman was with me on a recent shopping trip to the local beauty supply store. He was looking for a mustache grooming kit, and asked the young sales clerk where he could find mustache wax. Guess where she directed him? Yep, bikini waxes and depilatories. He remarked to the young lady that he just wanted to groom his upper lip hair, not rip it out his "package fur". She never batted an eyelash, and just shrugged her shoulders.

I was rolling in the aisle and making a guffawing spectacle of myself. Fortunately, I did leave home clad in a nice pair of panties.

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on November 30, 2006 5:14 PM

Reading all this just increases my satisfaction with being asexual.

Posted by: kent on November 30, 2006 6:37 PM

The bald look is, I think, yet another manifestation of the dominance of porn. I think that the bald eagle obsession started because, you know, you can't really see the private parts that well if the hair is in the way.

Michael, I've seen no commentary on the Comic Relief shows on HBO. Hosted by Robin Williams, Whooppee and Billy Crystal, every person on that show literally screams "Fuck!" in every sentence. I got tired of it after about three minutes. It seemed juvenile and stupid to me.

One of the dumbest tropes of the left is the notion that leftists are just more sexy and hip than righties. The Comic Relief fiasco was a leftist group grope and Bush bashing extravaganza. Billy Crystal played out a skit in which he virtually nominated himself for sainthood. I've seldom seen a more fetid display of sanctimony.

I think that the "Fuck" screaming is supposed to be part of the "liberated" BS the left likes to talk about so much. "We scream at the top of our lungs about fucking," they seem to be saying, "so we're not uptight and sexless like our enemies, those sexless Republicans."

And the shaving, well it's also another demonstration that the shaver views sexuality primarily as a means of self-expression, rather than as a means of procreation. After so many years of living in New York, I know that it is axiomatic that only ignorant yokels screw for the purpose of having children.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on November 30, 2006 6:56 PM

I've already mentioned my dismay with the shaving/waxing trend among women. Adult women should look like adult women, not like prepubescent girls ... and that, of course, touches on the issue of why some men prefer hairless women. Even leaving aside the pedophilia aspect, there's another reason why the bare look is a bad idea for women - as the picture of Britney shows, the parts of a woman's body normally obscured by hair are not necessarily of an esthetically pleasing appearance. And some women can be a hell of a lot worse than she is.

There have been predictions that shaving/waxing will go out of style, with the natural look to become trendy again. I don't know if that's actually begun. One thing I've noticed is that among the amateur photos on Voyeurweb, the hairless/natural split is about 50-50, though of course it can be argued that the Voyeurweb dataset is not representative of the female population in general.

As for men and shaving, that trend started among porno actors for a good reason - hairlessness makes a man look bigger.

Lastly, it is said in South Korea a nice thatch on a woman is considered highly desirable. Natural growth being somewhat sparse among the population, some Korean women actually opt for surgical hair transplants.

Posted by: Peter on November 30, 2006 6:56 PM

Hairless people got no soul.

Posted by: ricpic on November 30, 2006 8:21 PM

A big part of this is the homosexual element in advertising and the media. They were the ones that started the no-hair waxing look that has spread, well, everywhere. You could say porn, but in the 70's and 80's, body hair was still "in". The preponderance of gays in the media is what is leading the charge to more "feminine" men.

Posted by: BIOH on December 1, 2006 2:05 AM

I wonder if the Cesarean-scar that she is flashing appeals to Britney's teenage demographic?

Posted by: grandcosmo on December 1, 2006 2:56 AM

A lot science fiction dystopias portray the citizens as entirely bald. Maybe this is just an indication that those visions of the future are coming true.

In other news, Douglas Adam's grand sci-fi romp "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" covered in depth the utility of the common bath towel and how it was the most useful thing to have at hand at any given moment. Considering the fact that all these starlets are riding around in limos with short skirts, no undies and bald clams, Mr. Adam's advice is still on the money as the rest of us will want to put down our towels before we sit in any public limos.

Yes, I went there.

Posted by: yahmdallah on December 1, 2006 11:35 AM

Christianity collapsed? Did I miss a memo? And what would that have to do with birth rates?

Posted by: yahmdallah on December 1, 2006 4:08 PM

I'm sorry we aren't going to be able to refer to "the bearded clam" any longer. Let alone "the furburger." Some slang terms are so great they deserve to endure.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on December 1, 2006 5:38 PM

my last comment on Christainity was supposed to go on the population panic post...can you nuke it or move it?

Posted by: yahmdallah on December 1, 2006 6:16 PM

Hey, yahmdallah, your inadvertently posting that remark here about Christianity leads me to muse on Peter's comment, about the fact that hairy thatches are still popular in South Korea - that country is now over 50% Christian, while of course, the Faith is on the decline here. Can it be that Christians prefer the body as it is, and less modified than pagans? I think that is so. I know it is so for me, and that I'm not alone amongst believers.

Posted by: anon on December 1, 2006 8:49 PM

Anon, I honestly don't know.

I know that Christianity's view of sex is that it is to be (and simply IS by its nature) intimate and that it is powerful (hence all the seemingly overdone rules). Also, the body, particularly when it comes to sex, "belongs" to the spouse. So, I think whatever a husband's preference is regarding his wife, and what a wife's preference is regarding her husband would be the standard to follow. Thus if she likes her man hairless and baby-oiled, he'd better get a good razor.

However, the Bible does not weigh in on shaving body hair or not. My dim memory of what it does say about appearance is that Christians (and Jews in the OT), should not look like people who belong to another religion or belief; they should be noticeably different in appearance so that others don't think they pray to trees or something (that's what all the rules about hair and hats and so forth come from). In other words, you should be able to identify a Christian or a Jew on sight.

The Bible, and the NT in particular, focuses on how we treat each other, and things like exfoliation don't really rate as a specific topic.

Posted by: Yahmdallah on December 2, 2006 12:12 PM

As a guy, I trim mine to a length that the pubes don't get caught in my foreskin. It's not cosmetic, I assure you. A manly mane is all well and good but dammit, at a certain point you have to be practical 'cuz that shit hurts.

Posted by: Timmer on December 10, 2006 12:07 AM

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