Manscaping a guy's hairy back or shoulders may seem like a great idea in theory, but what happens when the quest for a hairless physique gets out of hand? We're talking about chest waxing -- or using a wax removal technique to eliminate chest hair. This isn't just an urban myth fresh from the horror channel on cable, either. Men use it as an alternative to shaving. Waxing lasts longer because the hair is removed (insert "yanked out" here) from below the skin line. Don't be fooled. This is painful deforestation. It's grooming gone Goth with torture chamber tactics. It may also be the next step in America's hate-hate relationship with male body hair.
In the beginning, when men moved out of caves and into office cubbies, they were expected to shave off their facial hair, especially if they wanted to get ahead in the world. After a brief period of adjustment, they were urged to excavate their ear and nose hairs with vengeful enthusiasm. The eradication of the unibrow came next, and the trend toward the metro-hairless look continues. Here's today's point to ponder: Could men actually be getting too girly? What happened to loving the feel of a warm pelt on a chilly winter evening?
Are men or women on the front line of the no-body-hair revolution? Well, it looks as though women are leading the charge. A survey conducted by Cargo Magazine in 2005 revealed that about 40 percent of women felt their men should trim their chest hair at least a little. Twenty two percent advocated removing chest hair completely (ouch). The guys seem to be falling in line, too. Almost one in four men surveyed claimed to take it all off using one method or another.
As if that wasn't enough to make you start wondering if male hair may one day go the way of the dodo, 63 percent of women surveyed felt that some judicious trimming below the belt wasn't such a bad idea, either.
- Ask Men. "Manscaping." (7/31/12). http://www.askmen.com/fashion/keywords/manscaping.html
- Eldor, Karin. "Hair Removal Trends for Men." Ask Men. (7/31/12). http://www.askmen.com/fashion/trends_100/103_fashion_men.html
- Hines, Twanna A. "Manly Monday Poll: Should Men Wax Their Chest Hair?" FunkyBrownChick.com. 2/1/10. (7/31/12). http://funkybrownchick.com/2010/02/01/manly-monday-poll-should-men-wax-their-chest-hair/
- Men's Health Forum. "Waxing Chest Hair." 1/23/03. (7/31/12). http://www.menshealth.co.uk/community/forums/thread/417948
- New York Times Opinions Page. "Are Modern Men Manly Enough?" 7/12/12. (7/31/12). http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/07/12/are-modern-men-manly-enough/
- PRNewswire. "Exclusive Cargo Survey Reveals: What Women Want." 6/9/05. (7/31/12). http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/exclusive-cargo-survey-reveals-what-women-want-54599617.html
- Stefanson, Sarah. "Body Hair Dos and Don'ts." Ask Men. (7/31/12). http://www.askmen.com/grooming/appearance/3b_body-hair-dos-donts.html
- Stewart, Dodai. "We Need to Redefine What We Mean When We Say "Manly'." 7/13/12. (7/31/12). http://jezebel.com/5925829/we-need-to-redefine-what-we-mean-when-we-say-manly
- The Finishing Bar. "How to Wax Chest Hairs in 10 Easy (didn't say painless) Steps." 1/26/12. (7/31/12). http://www.thefinishingbar.com/blog/how-to-wax-chest-hairs-in-10-easy-didnt-say-painless-steps/
- Woods, Stacey Grenrock. "Why Men Shouldn't Wax Their Chests." Esquire. 8/14/09. (7/31/12). http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CGIQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.esquire.com%2Fwomen%2Fsex%2Fchest-waxing-for-men-0909&ei=6zYcULXdPMLX0QGY-ICYBg&usg=AFQjCNE-9wWA2CMzHufLDKTE2LNfgoL6iw