If bald men were cool back in the days of Yul Brynner and Telly Savalas or even today with the likes of Montel Williams, today it is clear that there are deeper and more painful dimensions associated with the word. Macho hairy chests are now passé, old hat, ta-ta and gone with the wind and the rain. What has replaced them is the bald-chested, smooth and sleek new man, whose muscles gleam all the more via the process of what is called “manscaping” by some and sheer torture by others.
The fad took root (removed roots to be exact) after Bravo’s popular television show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy featured an episode last year in which one of the men got his back waxed. Quickly, salons and spas were reporting record numbers of men requesting hair-removal services. Although well-practiced within the gay community, this trend along with makeup for men and other fads are defining the new metrosexual man who lives along a frontier where boundaries between genders are still a bit blurry.
James Ligenfritz, a twenty-five year old musician from New York, had this to say about it “Getting rid of unwanted hair is something that has plagued women for centuries, and it’s becoming more common for guys to be more into image and self-worth. I kind of like the idea because it’s putting men and women on more equal terms. We’re in this together.”
Rick Dalberg, an engineer in New York said that “it’s only frightening the first time and the pain is good for you. (I don’t know about that.) He added, “there’s no reason not to look good.”
The one drawback is that once you draw the line in the sand (or in this case, across your hairy body), you have to keep re-drawing it; there’s no going back. Avoiding stubble means a visit to the salon for hot wax treatments, which deter the growth of hair for a few weeks.
What do YOU think about this? Have we gone too far with body image or not far enough? Please share YOUR thoughts.