Embarrassment doesn't make any sense -- it doesn't have to. It wraps itself around your mind like a snake and won't let go.
Tell a guy when he's 13 years old that his wrists are too skinny and he's liable to start wearing long-sleeved shirts. Really long-sleeved shirts. For years, maybe. Consistently mock a guy for having ridiculously thick hair -- can you really have hair that's too thick? -- and he'll wonder if maybe he should break out the razor and go Vin Diesel.
Such highly individualized quirks aside, there are some physical characteristics that large groups of men are embarrassed about -- which makes it even more ridiculous, when you think about it. How can you be embarrassed about a common trait? But, like we said, embarrassment doesn't make any sense. Maybe the best thing to do is laugh it off. Let's give it a try.
According to popular opinion, a man is supposed to have copious amounts of hair in some places and absolutely none in others. Who made these rules anyway?
Back hair -- the kind that peeks up over your shirt collar, creates a furry blanket over your shoulders and blocks the sun on your lats when you're at the pool -- is one of those traits that men curse the gods of genetics for having "blessed" them with. It's viewed by some onlookers as a sign of uncleanness. It gets washed as often as the rest of you. Still, many men are thoroughly ashamed of it.
But it's all a matter of embracing it. A guy who wears his furry coat proudly and can chuckle at himself may soon be viewed as a "that funny bear of a man." If you really hate it, you can have it waxed off at a salon -- or by a particularly sympathetic significant other. Plenty of men in Hollywood have just such a Mr. Miyagi-esque treatment -- not perfect genes -- to thank for their back's hairless state.
You gotta salute guys for how far they've come on this one. More men than ever are embracing their follicle challenges and just shaving their noggin. But, still, receding hairlines, pattern baldness and chrome-domea of all varieties are perplexing. If the world could recapture the amount of time that men have spent examining their heads in the mirror, well we'd ... uhhh ... we'd have a lot more time, that's what.
Remember when we said that embarrassment makes no sense? Here's a case in point. The hair pieces that some fellas purchase to cover their baldness are usually far more alarming than the receding hairline they're covering. Embarrassment can twist a mind in such a way that it suddenly makes sense to place roadkill on one's scalp. Oh well, at least that poor sap's head is warm.
This one is just not fair. You work hard, sweating and toiling in the sun, and what do you have to show for it? A farmer's tan. A farmer's tan comes in many variations. There's the stark contrast between the brown of the forearm and the pasty paleness of the bicep. There's the farmer's tan of the legs, which leaves the eternal impression that you're wearing white socks. There's the farmer's tan of the neck, around your collar line, and even of the head should you happen to pair a ball cap with an aforementioned chrome dome. Unfortunately, you can't wear that cap all the time.
Yes, a farmer's tan can leave a colorfully negative impression on the viewing public, but it really shouldn't. What it should say is, "I work hard for the money, so you better treat me right." Farmers love Donna Summer songs.
It's the world's oldest question. No, not "to be or not to be," but "does size matter?"
A guy who didn't get a true education about sex from his parents or teachers -- locker room jokes don't replace real knowledge -- usually comes to the conclusion that the size of his penis matters a great deal and he, pun intended, comes up short. Nothing is more embarrassing for a guy than the false knowledge that he's inadequate in any sexual way.
Truth is, an extremely large unit will cause undue pain to your partner and prevent you from experiencing the pleasure of being able to plunge completely into the experience. Pun, um, still intended. Even a guy who is quite below average in the length department (less than 4.5 inches, or 11.4 centimeters) can make up for the deficiency by engaging in more preintercourse pleasuring and by trying some creative positions [source: Ask Men].
Enough already; this discussion is getting, well, embarrassing.
Again we venture into the bigger-is-better department. Some guys are overly concerned about their height. Maybe it comes from the playground, from desperately trying to shoot a basketball over the outstretched arms of a taller opponent or from looking up into the disinterested eyes of a slow-dance partner way back in middle school. Being "too short" is embarrassing for many guys, though it doesn't need to be. Undersized men have succeeded as actors (think Tom Cruise or Mark Wahlberg) and athletes (NFL running back Darren Sproles and former NBA slam dunk champion Spud Webb), and many professions in between. And it can go the other way, too. Some men worry that they're too tall because they've been called big galoots and awkward oafs.
Let's face it: None of these traits are worth worrying about. If you embrace them, they might even become attributes -- or, at least, your self-confidence and sense of humor will.
No. 5 may seem like it's just hanging out there but it's not. HowStuffWorks looks into the value of the pinky toe.
- Ask Men. "Embarrassed By Size and More." (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.askmen.com/dating/dzimmer_150/169_love_answers.html
- Elite Feet. "Are You an Average Man?" (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.elitefeet.com/are-you-an-average-man
- Soda Head. "25% of Men are So Embarrassed By Their Bodies That They are Reluctant to be Naked in Front of Their Partner." Nov. 12, 2007. (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.sodahead.com/living/25-of-men-are-so-embarrassed-by-their-bodies-that-they-are-reluctant-to-be-naked-in-front-of-their/question-26362/
- Quigley, Rachel. "Bring Hairy Back." Mail Online. June 30, 2011. (Feb. 4, 2012) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2009601/Bringing-hairy-Their-body-canvas-hairy-backed-men-turn-fur-art.html