Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Et Tu, Chest Hair?

So I was watching the premiere of The Bachelor last week--I KNOW. I just don’t learn.--when I was treated to a slo-mo beach jogging shot of whatshisname, you know, the caramel-colored, fleshbearded guy who’s about to screw his way through a baker’s dozen of recently divorced pharmaceutical sales reps. Brad. Brad Womack. (Like, “Woah, Mack, what do you think you’re doing trying to be the Bachelor twice? You can’t have two MOST CONTROVERSIAL SEASONS EVER. Are you trying to give Harrison a stroke?”)

Anyway, as Brad was doing his requisite sadface Baywatch jog, scanning the ocean for a wife or one last shred of dignity, I noticed his waxed chest. And it made me depressed.

I think it made Brad's pecs and abs depressed, too. Look:

Can you spot the hidden face?

Now, I know that hairless chests are not a new thing. I know that for decades now guys have felt compelled for some reason to wax their torsos to a high sheen of Miss Hannigan standards in order to better display their sweaty muscles.

Which seems counter-intuitive to me. Muscles are masculine, yes, but so is hair. Hair is like the national flag of testosterone, right? So isn’t a spotty, bald chest emasculating? Isn’t it undermining the very chick-bating that the chicken cutlet breasticles were created to do?

I know that this logic has its flaws. Women, of course, are expected to shave and wax away every offending follicle until we resemble Kewpie dolls, only hungrier, and that sexist standard of beauty isn’t fair. But it also seems unfair that men now get to co-opt hairlessness. Hey, guy, that’s our sexist cross to bear. Me, Jane. You, Tarzan. Stop stealing my razors for your manscaping!

(To all you men who are naturally hairless, by the way, I am not trying to shame you. Like James Blunt sang so often during the summer of 2005 that I wanted to beat him to death with a blunt--ha--object, you’re beautiful. Full disclosure: My father actually got mocked for his lack of chest hair in his Columbia dorm’s common room in 1972, so it’s a discrimination issue close to my heart. Jeff also doesn’t have much chest hair, which makes no sense seeing as his legs and arms could be mistaken for John Oates’ head, although it’s growing in as he gets older.)

But seriously, here’s a visual comparison:



In bed with a hot chick...

Alone, on a beach, probably weeping and masturbating to Journey songs...

And look, I love Mr. Schue, even when his pubes have been Photoshopped into oblivion, leaving his pelvis looking melty. But you know what's not hot?

The stubble phase. Rug burn: not just for your back anymore. Amirite, laydees?

(Also, those boxer briefs. Is that Camilla from The Muppets?)

So consider this a PSA from me to you:

Chest hair: If you can grow it, show it.
And if you shave it, save it... to give to someone in need.

Like Bachelor Brad. The last thing he needs during one of those rose ceremonies is itchy nipples.


  1. Thank you for fighting the good fight!

  2. So you went with an established gay man and Mark Ruffalo as examples of manly chest hair. Then you chose (should have stayed) a nobody who looks frightened like he's about to get gang raped Bristol Baby Daddy and someone you hinted was gay yesterday been in an Oscar winning movie playing a gay man as your non manly smoothies. Way to keep it fair and balanced Una.

  3. Hey Sassy! First impression rose girl here! Just wanted to let you know that I'm a huge fan of your blog and I hope to see more recaps of the show!

    Ashley S.

    ps. Didn't you think it was odd that Brad acted like he had never been waxed before when the Manscaper (Raichel) was waxing his wrist? Come on Brad! We all know you've been waxing your chest for years!!!

  4. Thanks, Tracy!

    That's not Jake Gyllenhaal, Dorn. And this is supposed to be funny, not fair. But if you prefer a smooth chest, more power to you!

    And Ashley--ha! I can't believe my reality TV life and blog life are overlapping. I'll definitely be revisiting The Bachelor, one of my favorite guilty pleasures. And yes, please, Brad, we all know you manscape.

  5. ah great - you'd love me, even my back is hairy!

  6. I think this might be one of my favorite posts yet. Granted, I have a tremendous bias being a HUGE fan of Queen (Real Queen, not Queen + Shitface rock the cosmos).

    Couple of points, first, that Bachelor dude's pecks will likely turn into some serious hooters one day, a la Fabio or The Ultimate Warrior. Chest hair would help cover that up.

    Second, I feel that substituting the Mark Ruffalo pic for an old Burt Reynolds one would have been SO MUCH BETTER... (what can I say, Smokey and the Bandit rules).

    Third, is it only a hairy chest that is 'in', or would hairy Hobbit feet also be considered as desirable?

    I need statistics that I can bring to my wife, for proof that I should not have to wear socks all the time.

  7. haha the rug burn is the worst

  8. Excellent points. I've been disturbed by post-feminist male hair removal too. Hair is manly, and if it isn't naturally soft, conditioner will fix it.

  9. Reading Dorn's comment made my head hurt.
    And thanks for bringing this important issue to light. I'm glad I live in the middle of the country where men don't feel the need to do this sort of excessive grooming. Hairless chests make me feel kinda dirty. And not good dirty.
    Hair on the chest gives me something to do with my hands after sex. Hairlessness is edging a little close to the "sleeping with a lady" line. Just saying.

  10. I loved the smattering of cultural references in this blog post. It makes me want to say, what do Miss Hannigan, the Muppets, and John Oates all have in common?? Una's razor sharp wit, that's what!! Thanks for the laugh! :-)

  11. My bad, I didn't inspect Mr Schuester close enough apparently. And I guess my snark wasn't as funny as I thought.

  12. Oh yeah, and I's gots me some chest hair and my wife would have it NOOO other way!

  13. No, Dorn, you were very snarky. Bravo! It was just pre-coffee and I couldn't tell if you were actually criticizing me. I'm very defensive pre-Starbucks. My apologies.

  14. Chest hair can be super-di-duper sexy, but too much is overwhelming--like when it starts spreading to the shoulders and back. I think this is an issue that requires a graph or chart of some sort. Get on it, Una!

  15. I'm an equal opportunity hair lover.

    If it's a hot guy, I could care less if his chest is hairy or not...although if his BACK is harry, dude better get himself an appointment with a Flowbe, and FAST.

  16. I'm definitely against chest waxing/shaving. I dated a guy once, and it was probably one of my biggest complaints about his physical appearance AND personality. My torso doesn't like rug burn, and my face doesn't like to cuddle up to stubble. Plus, a guy that is that concerned with hairlessness... I don't want that much pressure. Especially in the winter.

  17. Dreamy and hairless is great if you are a sparkling vampire, but I prefer someone who has hit puberty.

    I can only assume that the hair the bachelor removed from his chest is trying to manifest itself as a flesh colored beard. This serves to underscore the obvious. He makes bad life decisions.

  18. Claudia2:18 PM

    Is it just me or is it really gross how much the stubble guy's pelvis was protruding? I mean, I get that people like muscle definition and whatnot, but bone does not for sexy make.
    I'd be okay with the fact that it was just me, by the way; I'd just like to know.

  19. I LOVE LOVE LOVE chest hair! So much in fact that I've been known to don it myself. It's what makes a dude a dude and not a little girl.

    P.S. That Bachelor dude is from Austin, I think? I'm not sure anyone here actually watches it.

  20. Thank you for supporting men who choose to go natural! Now, while I have none of the reality show pecs of that Bachelor dude, I did live in Los Angeles for a few years, and I was made to feel like a hairy human version of Lassie when I walked down the Santa Monica Pier sans shirt. So, yes, I did feel insecure with my chest hair for a while, worried that no women would even look my way. But since my only career at the time was "story analyst" at Disney, the lowest paid job in Hollywood, I didn't feel like I could go to a professional "manscaper." (By the way, did you see that one of the women on the Bachelor IS a manscaper as a career!) So, I decided to rid my chest hair the old fashioned way -- with a scissor and razor, not realizing that when the stubble would return, the itch would be horrendous, and that I would also develop a rash around my nipples. From that day on, I vowed to love my chest hair, no matter the reality show trend of the day.

  21. I love Mr. Shue as much as the next girl but that hiarless pic of him screams ROUNDED KEN DOLL CROTCH.

  22. Thank you for treating us to lovely visions of man candy (not referring to the boy candy). The interesting thing about balding men is that they apparently go bald due to high testosterone. The groomed or shaved chest is fine by me but when it comes to a man's legs being waxed, yuck!

  23. I feel like the 20 year old age girls (I'm 22, so I'm not some old creeper) dislike hair on men. They want them to be super emasculate in ways. I already do things like sew, so I like to think my chest hair helps balance me out. I tried waxing my chest hair once when I was going to California for the summer, and yeah, I'm never doing that again. That junk hurt too much. If only girls my age appreciated chest hair as much as you apparently do...

  24. I think it's funny that my taste for chest hair has grown stronger as I'm grown older....I'm thinking genetics. Yeah, your genes cause a hair attraction as you age because men just seem to get hairier as they age. Except these men. What are they thinking? Don't you want the hot older chicks chasing you? And not Burt Reynolds?

  25. What's worse is having your boyfriend constantly force you to shave his back...then he steals my razor for his manscaping.

  26. I LOVE Chest hair.
    It's hot. And my man's got a lot of it. I'm talking a LOT. So much that it also covers his back.
    And I'm totally fine with it. But we were just thinking the other day that if he got crabs, they'd go all over the place. He'd have a crabby neck.
    So, in that respect, body hair is bad.
    But fingers crossed for no crabs.
    And thanks for supporting the love for hair. Bringing it back one blogger at a time.


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