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So Where Would You Like Your Hair, Sir or Madam?
December 29, 2003 1:34 PM   Subscribe

Just Another Twig On The Evolutionary Bush: Beards and moustaches are out; even goatees are the butt of jokes; eyebrows are being plucked into Rotring-size oblivion; female pubic hair has forever renounced natural - even tropical - splendour, to be replaced by ridiculous geometric designs... Have we perhaps taken this naked ape thing too damn far? [For the record, I am gratefully in favour of all these trends, except for the pubic hair. As a Lusitanian, I deplore that the good name of Brazil has come to be associated with such a travesty.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (33 comments total)

Rotring-sized oblivion?

(I've got the Initial fountain pen, in silver, and like it very much.)
posted by Vidiot at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2003

There is something wrong with you!!!

It just so happens that I have the thing to fix it right here, and right now we have a special offer of 5 for $9.99.

Sure, it makes no sense, but look at the economy we generate by trying to stay so unnatural.
posted by wah at 1:41 PM on December 29, 2003

As far as shaving pubic hair, I'm all about it... I keep hearing on the radio that half the population has genital herpes, and women tend to lie...
posted by banished at 1:45 PM on December 29, 2003

woops, it was genital warts, not herpes... if there is a difference to you
posted by banished at 1:47 PM on December 29, 2003

Show me a batch of bald men or balding men and I will show you guys with beards...there will be no end to this ...I was told that in Spain, the day after a woman marries she begins to grow a moustache and a very slight fuzz beard. I can not vouch for this, however.
posted by Postroad at 1:48 PM on December 29, 2003

Beards appear to be making a bit of a comeback, both among younger folk and older businessmen, at least by my observation. Then again, I haven't been clean shaven for about 7 years. I started out with lengthening my sideburns, went porkchops for a little while, and then settled on a full beard when I had to find a real job. And I have every hair on my head, thank you very much.

Oh, and for the ladies, trimmed is nice and makes certain, uh, acts a little easier and cleaner, but all the way? No thank you.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:59 PM on December 29, 2003

Goodie trails 4eva!!
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:04 PM on December 29, 2003

bald is beautiful.
posted by quonsar at 2:10 PM on December 29, 2003

such and such is so out.
posted by Satapher at 2:37 PM on December 29, 2003

I cannot for the life of me figure out what makes a totally shaved/waxed cha cha appealing to men. It makes the woman look prepubescent, as the article mentioned, and I have and extremely hard time processing that men really do want their women to look like little girls. Yes, yes, I know, there are other cultural indicators of this (the wobbly walk of the high-heels), but really, during sex, I would think that the last thing a man wants to is picture his partner as underage and underdeveloped.
posted by oflinkey at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2003

Good eating.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:52 PM on December 29, 2003

Miguel: Thank you for adding Lusitanian to my vocabulary.

oflinkey: At the risk of being NSFW, I think the shaved trend has two drivers (1) the proliferation of porn thanks to that Internet we hear so much about (and whether or not this style is an artifact of porn striving to make women look like girls or just making closeups more interesting could be the subject of debate) and (2) the fact that oral sex is arguably better when one doesn't have stray hair entering one's mouth.

On preview: What five fresh said.
posted by donovan at 2:56 PM on December 29, 2003

And here I thought Miguel just meant that he was one of the few living survivors of this cheerful event.
posted by scody at 3:17 PM on December 29, 2003

eyebrows are being plucked into Rotring-size oblivion
After watching 60 minutes last night, no: if your monkey's eyebrows look like this, trim please. (add, they were worse than this)
It will cycle, remember during the 80's had a girlfriend whom found bushier eyebrows more attractive being that some men were trimming them smaller.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:23 PM on December 29, 2003

Beards appear to be making a bit of a comeback, both among younger folk and older businessmen
Have to agree, yet we are in Dallas, long hair too.

Goodie trails 4eva!!
For men also known as "happy trails".
posted by thomcatspike at 3:26 PM on December 29, 2003

I would put this at the very bottom of list of "weird things that we should be worried about that humans do that no other animal would even THINK of doing in the wild".
posted by cinderful at 3:48 PM on December 29, 2003

that no other animal would even THINK of doing in the wild".
Think of felines licking their fur as grooming and trimming.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:16 PM on December 29, 2003

Here's mine: Except on the bodies of animals like rabbits and sheep, hair is no good, except when you don't notice it, which is quite seldom.

Yet, extreme baldness is disconcerting. I'd err on the side of little or no facial hair (eyebrows excepted) and good grooming habits, rather than full unkempt au naturel.
posted by hama7 at 4:17 PM on December 29, 2003

Oh, great, another bush-bashing thread.

I've had a full beard since 1976. The main reason for this is that shaving is a huge pain in the ass. I'd rather do a weekly hedge trimming than a daily lawn mowing.

Don't worry about the bald thing so much, guys. It doesn't really go away, it just reseeds itself in more remote areas.
posted by groundhog at 5:19 PM on December 29, 2003

oflinkey: donovan's (2); sure you can learn to ignore or put up with loose coarse hairs wandering down your throat, and you can become quite adept at gracefully picking the stray hairs off your face at a pause - but why should something that's supposed to be enjoyable be made to be something that is, in the end, endured or tolerated - and why should some very beautiful parts of the female body be hidden beneath a plastered mat of rough hair?

wrt the prepubescent concerns - perhaps if the hypothetical shaved woman has a very very androgynous body, then one could proffer the prepubescent angle - but in the usual adult female body, breast and/or hip development generally provides visual differences from a prepubescent body.
posted by quaeler at 5:27 PM on December 29, 2003

I'll take mouthful of hair over razor stubble. Which, I suppose, my beard would provide some protection from.
posted by groundhog at 5:31 PM on December 29, 2003

I like eyebrows. I don't understand why people pick them to skinny little lines. They frame your eyes... And long eyelashes on both sexes are beautiful.

I'm indifferent to shaving legs / pubes / underarms. I go by partner preference because I really don't care; when I'm single I'm kinda seasonal about it, but I tend to just trim and keep everything neat.
posted by mdn at 6:06 PM on December 29, 2003

being smooth shaven is nice for playing, for men or women, but the aftermath of stuble and in-growns is just CRAZY in my personal experience. VERY personal experience.

as far as facial hair soul patch and sideburns have a mind of their own, i've no choice but to keep them, regardless of current fashion. My face looks deformed when i lose the patch.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:07 PM on December 29, 2003

Goatee and I shave it off pretty much everywhere else. A full head of hair, though I would give it up without many qualms if it were so inclined.

My wife plucks my eyebrows to continual perfection (otherwise I tend towards monobrow; it was disconcerting the first time someone complimented me on my eyebrows; it was more disconcerting that more than one person has done so).

I have no particularly preference for completely shaved groinals on women, but don't care if the woman prefers it that way. But I do prefer the area to be trimmed, nothing worse than showing up at work with hair in your teeth.
posted by obfusciatrist at 6:08 PM on December 29, 2003

Sugaring, friends. A moment of agony, a month of pleasure. Recipes abound.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on December 29, 2003

Goodie trails 4eva!!
For men also known as "happy trails".

I've always know it as a "treasure trail" : >

And this was interesting: One of the more imaginative theories is that humans were once aquatic apes. This, it is argued, would explain why humans have hair on their heads: since the aquatic ape's head would have to be held out of the water, it would have needed protection from the glare of the sun. -- reminded me of Vonnegut's Galapagos.
The parasite theory seems more likely to me, tho.
posted by amberglow at 8:18 PM on December 29, 2003

“I'd rather be fat than bald,” bemoans one.

ha hah ha, what a bunch of whiners. I think journalists search for bald men who simply couldn't relate to a woman to save their lives. Of course it has to be the lack of hair! It couldn't be anything about their personalities.

Hair is such a personal taste issue. I've had a beard for 25 years and I've been bald for 20. Neither affected my ability to, hmmm, relate socially with members of the opposite sex.

But, while working an information table in a gay bar in the late 80s and early 90s, I did get quite a few men asking questions about hair. Many expressed a hope I had as much hair on my chest as on my chin. It confused me since a look to the dance floor gave me the impression that everyone wanted a smooth chest.

Hair. What a silly thing on which to focus. Now, finger length, that's what I look for...
posted by ?! at 8:21 PM on December 29, 2003

Quaeler- Points well taken, and I appreciate them, but combine shaved hooties with flat-chestedness and narrow hips, as seen anywhere in any fashion magazine, and I become disconcerted about the prepubescent thing again.
Also, you think that ladies don't have hair issues when, er, performing certain acts? Hairy chests can be a problem when trying to kiss someone in places other than the mouth.
I think the swallowing hair argument is wimpy anyhow. You men paired with ladies are lucky that all you have to deal with is hair!
posted by oflinkey at 8:55 PM on December 29, 2003

This is completely off-topic, but would it kill the Economist to include bylines in its articles? The lack of authorship (and accountability) in it drives me up the wall.
posted by mrbula at 9:08 PM on December 29, 2003

I really don't get this "a shaved crotch is like having sex with a prepubescent". You really think that?

Do you think that having sex doggy style is tantamount to bestiality?

I can certainly see the attraction to being able to see 'the goods' if you like, and I certainly feel that the human body is ridiculously randomly coated in hair. Shave it all off. All of it...
posted by twine42 at 2:17 AM on December 30, 2003

I'm goofy. Anything beyond sideburns and eyebrows on a man's face is a turn-off. Oddly, monobrows don't bother me and sometimes are attractive (although they are worthy of humor). The custom of shaving the face comes to us courtesy of Rome. Is it not amazing this thing has survived so long?

Chest hair is nice. If you bury your face in them, they make it easier to breath than smooth. I've come to enjoy shaved genitals although at one time this too was a turn-off.

As for the ladies, I am no judge, although with thought, I suppose all-or-nothing seems best. Artificial shaping sounds silly.

Problems from shaving result from curved hair follicles, which is also the cause of curly hairs. This is why Africans can have such a difficult time with their skin from shaving. Also such follicles are very difficult to do electrolysis (the wire has to go down inside the follicle). When shaved close (below skin level), hair in a curved follicle often tends to grow into the skin.
posted by Goofyy at 2:23 AM on December 30, 2003

Re: This is completely off-topic, but would it kill the Economist to include bylines in its articles? ....
posted by mrbula at 12:08 AM EST on December 30

From the about page, (5th paragraph)

The main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it.

I think it's an interesting concept
posted by darsh at 10:33 AM on December 30, 2003

[...] but combine shaved hooties with flat-chestedness and narrow hips, as seen anywhere in any fashion magazine, and I become disconcerted about the prepubescent thing again.

i'm sympathetic to your point, oflinkey, but are pictures in fashion magazines, and fashion models in general, intended to appeal to men? personally i find the models rather disturbing.
posted by lescour at 10:58 AM on December 30, 2003

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