She asks me why, why I’m a hairy guy.
I’m hairy noon and night, my hair that’s a fright.
I’m hairy high and low, don’t ask me why, ’cause he don’t know. ~HAIR–The Cowsills

English: Androgenic body hair, photograph take...

evolution…MAN or MONKEY?

I’m a pretty hairy guy (except sadly- in the last few years- for my head!)

A while back in William’s Lake, B.C., a female physician (former!) friend perused the curly dark hair sprouting over the open collar of my button-up shirt and labelled me as “The Missing Link“…ouch.

I don’t want to look like this guy in the photo. Does this man look attractive to you? If you said yes, then all I can say is…REALLY??!! I want to look and feel sturdy and mannish. And while I can appreciate a certain amount of fur on my corpus firmum, there comes a point where I scream …ENOUGH!

MANSCAPING has joined my league of masculine rituals such as the 3 S’s (SH**, Shower, and Shave). I don’t do it daily. But once a month or so I haul out the electric hair cutter gizmo and knock back the forest on my chest and back, and even a little on my legs. I’m talking trim and shorten here, not shave to the nubs. I do the legs because I like to see my great quad muscles (please read this as sarcasm!) glistening during Bike Spin Class…talk about vanity!

Of course there is true irony here. In high school, I WANTED hair- down THERE, you know what I mean- sooo badly. Changing and showering after gym class was monster torture for a late bloomer…I get nervous sweats even today thinking about it.

What really bugs me now is that here I am later in life and just learning that hair not only can grow on your head, legs, armpits, chest and groin.

It ALSO sprouts on and in your ears and in your nose. The rims of my ears grow hair. I have to shave my EARS. This is patently unfair and just one more reason that I doubt the existence of God.

Shouldn’t this be commonly shared with young men at the time of puberty? Why aren’t fathers and uncles sitting down with their young charges between hockey games- or spitting and crotch-grabbing sessions- and explaining what the future holds in store for them?

It has been traditional in earlier generations- and in some other cultures currently-  for knowledge and secrets of manhood  or womanhood to be passed on to the young by elders who had lived and experienced what it meant to be a MAN or WOMAN.

“First you shave up here, and then you wax down there!”

Women are pretty well schooled by their moms, grandmoms, sisters, aunts, etc. on what the trappings of femaledom mean. In North America, for example, women, by and large, shave their legs and armpits (I won’t dive here into bikini lines and international techniques that begin with “Brazil”). Because young girls undergo the start of menstruation, it is pretty important for them to get “the talk” from their Moms. These discussions probably get around to hairy issues like shaving and waxing at some point, don’t they?

The discussion, other than “carry protection”, never really happens for boys. Men don’t encounter a major life change in the same way that women do. Voices deepen and muscles swell. Hair bursts out on the chin and pits, chest and groin, and our hormones show us how to drive a car at high speeds when our buddies are nearby. Pretty routine stuff in the larger scheme of things.

Fathers, uncles and grandfathers are not so good at sharing the information of what it means to become a man. Jewish boys have a bar mitzvah when they turn 13, but I don’t think reading and understanding the Torah includes  tips on keeping body hair at a reasonable level. Christians have their Confirmation, Buddhists have Shinbyu, Islamists have Sehra…none of these touch on hair or manscaping.

I’m not  advocating that we men should go all Steve Carell in “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin” chest-waxing, expletive-screaming crazy over hair issues. BUT, I don’t think being macho means we have to allow ourselves to sprout out from every orifice and in all directions to look like Chia Pets. Perhaps (alright, definitely) this is all just a demonstration of my superficial nature. But, a little Bonsai-style judicious pruning makes me a happier dude, so there!

Male or Female…where’s your level of depilatory comfort…Maybe ALL. Maybe NONE?

(In 2008, I shaved my chest and had a logo painted on when I WON a bet for a Lab Congress that I was helping plan)…sorry about the gratuitous skin shot!