In 2003, when “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” was a cultural phenomenon, the term metrosexual became a hot topic. Thankfully, that term has become a footnote of pop culture history. But, the idea that even the most manliest of men can pamper himself still exists.
One example of how a guy pampers himself is “manscaping,” or simply 21st century lingo for body hair removal. This trend was often associated with male models, porn stars, bodybuilders and even guys like Sean Combs or David Beckham, but today a lot of average Joes are joining in. And, we’re not just talking about the nether regions. It’s common for men to remove that unwanted chest and back hair, whether because they like the look or because the ladies prefer less hair.
Still, there are many of us out there that have misconceptions about manscaping, and here are five of them.
5. Not For The Straight Man
Manscaping could have started in the gay community, but heterosexual men are also partaking.
While there isn’t a lot of research out there on this subject, there was an interesting 2008 study conducted by researchers at Flinders University in Australia that concluded “hairlessness is rapidly becoming a component of the ideal male body.” Of the 228 heterosexual males who participated in the anonymous survey, 66 percent said they had removed their pubic hair at least once, in comparison to 82 percent of homosexual males.
In case you’re bad with number, that’s over half of the straight men included in the survey. From the manly continent of Australia.
There was also a 2009 article from ABCNews that mentioned a 2005 study conducted at the University of of South Florida that found 63.6 percent of 118 men interviewed had done some manscaping. The same article also interviewed the owner of a New York City spa who stated “We do have a high gay clientele, but we are starting to see a lot more straight men who want pampering”.
4. Only For the Vain and Stupid
Let’s be honest here. A lot of us men can be vain, and here’s a shocker, also stupid.
There will no doubt be vain and stupid guys getting their share of manscaping done. However, there are plenty of guys who aren’t as vain or stupid who are enjoying it as well. And, that’s for one reason. The lady in their in lives prefers a guy with a little manscaping done. The current belief overall is that there is a number of men who believe that grooming is just as important as something like work.
Vanity and stupidity aren’t the only reasons to do it. It’s a preference for men to be hygienic and attractive, mainly for women.
3. It’s Just a Fad or Joke
We all had a laugh at Steve Carell’s expensive in The 40 Year Old Virgin when had his chest hair waxed. While it was one of the funniest scenes in the movie, it definitely made a joke out of the manscaping trend. Even if it’s perceived as just a joke, there is also the belief that manscaping is just a fad.
However, men have been removing body hair for a long time. Egyptians did it to stave off fleas and lice. Romans removed adolescent boys’ body hair as an initiation into adulthood. In the 16th century, Europeans were aghast when Michelangelo’s statue of David featured a sculpted tuft above his penis; they thought it looked ungodly. In certain Islamic groups it has a history of being a cultural and religious custom.
Even during recent economic difficulties, men have actually increased trips to the salon for some maintenance, while it has decreased for women. Even if manscaping loses some of its popularity, it’s most likely going to stick around for a good portion of men in some parts of the world.
2. It Will Grow Back Thicker
This has been a rumor that I’ve heard ever since I started shaving, which was years before manscaping was even in our dictionary.
But, is it a fact or misconception?
According to Mayo Clinic dermatologist Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, the answer is no, even if your hair appears darker or thicker when it starts to grow back.
1. Should Only Go to Woman’s Waxing Parlor
Finding a place to get some manscaping done can be hairy (ha, get it?). You’re not going to walk into the barber shop to get your back waxed, and it can be a little embarrassing to go into a salon filled with women. But, that’s where you would assume to go.
Right now, there are businesses that actually focus on manscaping, so you don’t have to feel embarrassed. Or, you could find a location for you and your girlfriend or wife to make a little date out of some grooming. Regardless, you can browse through your local directory and find at least one spot to have some hair waxed or shaved that isn’t the typical women’s salon.
Also, there are companies like Gillette and Philips Norelco who have products that are specifically made for male hair removal. So, you can do it in the comfort of your home, but you may need some help for those tricky areas, so ask your woman, because bros don’t manscape each other.
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