A light-hearted musing about trends, and a reminder that the real you is neither in fashion nor out of it.
No longer content to trim only nasal and ear hair, it seems men have fallen victim to what may be at times an obsession with physical beauty… introducing, ‘the manscaping’, the definition being landscaping for the male body – that which defines male grooming.
In the 60s and 70s hairiness was almost revered. Long hair, beards, and body hair was en masse at lifestyle festivals where nudity was almost mandatory. And of the course the ‘70s bush’ has become iconic.
There was even a musical written, Hair, which is still considered a theatrical breakthrough, and has played almost continuously around the world since its opening in 1968.
We were too busy marching for world peace, chanting protest songs, and listening to our rock and roll prophets to think about trimming body hair. Now the question seems to be, to manscape, or not to manscape – whether ‘tis nobler to leave one’s naturally occurring body hair intact, or to remove it at all costs. I am pretty sure concern over the amount of hair on chests or genitals was not on Shakespeare’s mind as he penned his famous lines.
While researching men’s opinions on this topic, grown men winced in imagined agony at the mere thought of hot wax anywhere near their delicate bits – not all men though.
Given that this is just a fashion statement, as was the 60s, 70s and 80s proud hirsute stage, there are men who embrace all things smooth and hairless. These are the pioneers (except for elite sportsmen) on the cusp of controlling body hair beyond the battery-operated nose and ear trimmers. So ‘fair play to them’, as they say here in Ireland. Fashion trends have defined us since we put our first garment on, and will continue to define us, but we need to seek to maintain the delicate balance between peer pressure (fashion) and our basic love of self, where we see and know our own self-worth, regardless of hair or no hair. By all means trim, pluck, thread, hot wax, or laser away… but know that physical appearance is only one aspect of you – the holistic you, which is so much more than a few unwanted hairs.
Celebration of our incredible inner qualities must remain paramount, and to be nurtured above all.
So be bald, be hairy, be bearded, be clean-shaven, but most of all be authentic. Our personal integrity and ability to be an honest and caring individual that contributes to humanity and the planet is not measured by the amount of hair we have, or don’t have. I have read the fine print, and it is nowhere in the job description.
Enjoy this trend if you choose, but see it for what it is – a trend – and it too shall pass.
And please, please, always test the temperature of the wax first.
Joanne Greene is a qualified nurse, naturopath and freelance journalist.
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