Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The War Against Body Hair

An old saying claims that a woman can never be too rich or too thin.

Even though people quote it as a higher truth, in fact, a woman can be too thin. I am sure I do not need to explain it.

And a woman (or a man) can also be too rich. There comes a point where you have so much money that money is no longer money. I probably should explain that, but that will await a later date.

Today, America’s inventive young people have added a new concept. They are acting as though you can’t be too naked either.

In the old days men used to try to talk women out of their clothes by saying that it was a good way to show that they were not ashamed of their bodies.

Still, someone must have noticed that naked human bodies, both male and women, possess strategically placed hair. So, after you take off your clothes, if you want to be even more naked than Adam and Eve before the Fall, you should remove all of your body hair.

That will show them that you have really overcome shame.

One understands why women would want to remove all of their body hair. They are following the example of Kim Kardashian. Yet, men too are getting into the practice, through something that is called manscaping.

Back in the 1960s hippies signaled their contempt for mainstream culture by letting their hair grow out. Men and women threw away their razors and allowed their bodies to be what God intended them to be.

Men grew their hair long and refused to shave their beards. Women stopped shaving their legs and underarms.

The style was considered to be majorly attractive.

Nowadays, hairlessness is in vogue. It is considered to be the ultimate in sexual stimulation, for men and women.

Women naturally have less hair than men,  so women have led the way. Since less hair signifies more feminine, then, logically, no hair must be most feminine.

Here’s where things become strange.

Everyone knows by now that sexual hormones called pheromones reside especially in hair. More hair means more enticing and alluring to the opposite sex.

On this score the hippies were right. They were so right that we can start wondering why they needed so much extra stimulation. Hair attracts, but, after all, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Women who go Kardashian know that a cute pixie cut is not going to attract very many men.

So, young people who worship the pristine beauty of all things natural transform their bodies into forms that are decidedly unnatural.

It beats me.

Many people have offered cogent explanations.

First, it might have something to do with the threat of sexually transmitted diseases. Not only does hairless look cleaner, but less hair means fewer places for dangerous microbial organisms to hide.

At a time when people are extra cautious about STDs, hairlessness allows each partner to check out the other for overt signs of disease.

Second, hairlessness has become a staple of pornography. A generation that received its sex education from porn is more likely to emulate the great performers that it has been watching.

Today, these great performers, female and male, lack body hair.

Third, since the male gaze likes to undress women, men might believe that they have not fully succeeded in their quest until every last part of a woman's body is fully visible. The male gaze seems to want or to need to see it all, up close and personal.

For all I know, young men have been so conditioned by pornography that real bodies no longer suffice their imagination. Since most people understand that removing the mystery from sexuality tends to desensitize them to erotic stimuli, it does not make a lot of sense to think that full exposure is going to enhance libido.

Fourth, hairless means pre-pubescent. For reasons that escape me the vision of an adult body pretending to be a child’s body is attractive to young men today.

The great irony is that hairlessness is not erotic at all. It is not even very original. It feels like a contemporary fetish.

Portraying the human body without hair is not a new thing. Classical nudes are hairless. Think about Venus de Milo.

You might think that classical sculptors were prudes. But it might also be true that they understood that too much body hair eroticizes the human body. 

In truth, and today’s porn stars notwithstanding, a hairless adult body is really an object of aesthetic contemplation.

Young people today might think that they are sexually advanced. Yet their hairless tells us that they are not looking to enhance their erotic pleasures. They are trying to turn their bodies into works of art. To be looked at but not to be touched.

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