So the male readers among you have been subjected to my opinions on Samoans, Bruce Campbell and Lou Ferrigno. It’s time to give a little something back:
Back hair. Let it be.
No thanks… doing good… haw-right!
I can’t believe I almost did this without Hugh Jackman.
This has been on my mind since I saw John on “Next Action Hero” getting his back shaved for an underwater scene (yeah, I`m pretty hooked on this show despite the gawdawful production — I mean, has America really got such bompin` ADHD that we can’t watch the same whole scene twice, so we can compare how the actors are doing? If I can listen to the same synthetic “One Shining Moment”-themed pop song sung four times in two nights on American Idol, surely I can handle seeing the same 60-second script twice, preferably back-to-back, so I have an idea who to root for. Besides John and Corinne. Jeez.)
(BTW, Teddy Pendergrass REPPERSENT!)
Anyway. All I could think is, geesh, this is a crying shame. Although I guess it’s fair that if they’re spray-painting muscles on some guys they would find a way to humiliate the guys that already have muscles.
Hair on a man’s back doesn’t faze me. I strongly appreciate hair on a man’s front, so it’s hardly fair to set loose some kind of dorsal discrimination that approves a region for free hair growth from here to here and leaves the subject looking like Austin Powers. Sure, I do some shaving, but that’s because sometimes it’s fun, and hair removal is the Pringles of grooming — as evidenced by all the seventeen-year-old girls running around with eyebrows like Edith Piaf).
I am soulful, gifted, and very very surprised.
A) I acknowledge the contradictions at the heart of my hair opinion. I don’t care for facial hair (another little-known effect of growing up on a military base; and I realize it’s a kind of cruelty to target a guy whose beard grows in real thick and then demand he rake a blade across it every day (Sidebar 1: Never listen to a chick who complains that she has to shave her legs. 1. She doesn’t have to. It doesn’t affect people’s ability to recognize her if she stops. 2. Even the most vigorous lady leg hair is about thisthick. and 3. It’s your FACE). I feel your pain. But shave.
There’s also the matter of ear and nose hair which invariably crops up on every masculine landscape, and Lord help me I never would have noticed either existed if my mother hadn’t pointed them out on an old boyfriend’s dad as if to say “this will happen to yours, too, so make sure you nag and deride him into doing something about it when it does.” So now I do, and I wish I didn’t, because life was simpler and better before.
B) I`m not hatin` on dudes who aren’t hairy — I just ain’t worried about you — when it’s grooming time at the first date corral y`all don’t have any decisions to face at the shirt collar line.
C) And I`m not saying “mmm, back hair, shave me off a piece a that.” But general dude hairiness, I`m for it. And here’s why:
- To me, whatever else he looks like, a dude should clearly be a dude, at all times, from all angles. That’s why from me the depilated, tapered-waist Brad Pitt A&F catalog look gets nothing but giggles. I mean, I can appreciate the aesthetic, but I don’t think I`d take it home to my parents. Ew.
- Body hair — and the increase of it — is an integral, even emblematic part of growing up and older as a human animal. Asking a man to do something about his back hair is like asking a woman to do something about… Hmm. If only I could think of something women have that’s distinctly mammalian and loses its aesthetic merits over time. Have to get back to you on that one.
- For Caucasians at least, if you want nice eyebrows and eyelashes on a guy, you’ve got to get the hairiness quotient up into “random tufts everywhere” territory. (Sidebar 2: I could write an essay on the concept and implications of “nice eyes” on a guy. “Nice eyes” walks into a bar and suddenly all the sorostitutes want to do body shots. “Nice eyes” could rob banks. “Nice eyes” is why Paul McCartney is the cute one, Gwen went for Gavin and N`Sync beat The Backstreet Boys. And I’ve never met a guy with “nice eyes” who didn’t know it.)
- An attractive back isn’t spoiled by hair, and an unattractive back isn’t improved by shaving. So there.
The point I`m really trying to make is that the appearance of one’s backal region just doesn’t matter. A friend, who is all the time dropping bombs of astonishing truth and insight on me, pointed out that nowadays people are rounding the bases so early that, when they encounter some human defect at second, they haven’t yet formed a bond with that person strong enough to survive it. I think this is where back hair falls. If you detect it and are offended by it, something definitively is amiss.
The polite corollary to this is that guys shouldn’t wear tank tops. A tank top is no man’s friend. It is also friend to few women. It is the fickle slut of the wardrobe, embracing starlet or singer oft but briefly and spurning all others. What I`m saying is, as part of the hair covenant — dudes, don’t let strange women see you in one.