Apart from the ones they have on their head, women hate hair. They go to all sorts of rituals and chemicals to pluck, remove, and burn excess body hair. I could never imagine myself going through waxing. Or having to pluck my eyebrows.
Men love hair. They will trim them a little, but they are generally resigned to nature’s carpeting.
The Bedouins have a curse which says “May God pluck your beard”. Thus a manly man without bodily hair is bordering on gayhood (ok, “Metrosexual”). Just imagine a fair-skinned guy, with milky white flesh, without any body hair and pinkish nipples…Damn…he will be popular in prison.
“Come to Papa….bwahahahaha”.
Men start growing body hair early in their teens. “Secondary bodily hair” according to my biology teacher. Here is a hint to parents: If you want to know what is the best time to have your son circumcised, the answer is simple. Do it before he starts growing pubic hair. For there is nothing more embarrassing than being uncircumcised and already hairy down there. It could get you into a lot of trouble. I remember this kid who was one year older than me in school. The story going around was that at grade five, he was already “Fidel Castro”. There was even a huge vandalism in the boy’s rest room:
“SI ___________, MAY BULBUL NA”.
After the awkward years of puberty, men’s hair (primary or secondary) becomes a status symbol. I grew up in the 1980s—yep the bad hair decade. I actually envied those in 70’s or even from the 2000s onward. They could wear afros or could have their hair really long like an Apache Indian. In the ‘80s we only have the “Gel Look”. In college, it was mandatory ROTC training for us so, every able bodied males had their “2 x 3s” for two years or in my case it was four years because I took the advanced ROTC course. We were not even allowed to have beards or moustache. I think that it would be late for me to wear an afro. A middle-aged lawyer, in an afro before a judge?
Underarm hair. We do nothing with it, unlike women who have to contend with the how and why of underarm hair removal. But it doesn’t mean men should display them. Imagine yourself in the crowded MRT and the guy next to you is wearing a sleeveless shirt and decides to raise his arms on the grab bar?
We do not shave our legs. We like then as they are thank you. A manly man without hair on his legs is definitely not one of ours and should be treated as a captured spy.
Our facial hair is covered by a few rules. Rule No. 1: You may shave your beard or moustache, Rule No. 2: You must trim your nose hairs or your ear hair, Rule No. 3: You should not shave your eyebrows (Remember Commandant Mauser in the Police Academy Movies?).
And lastly our chest hairs. Chest hairs are acceptable. Hair on the back of a manly man? Scary. I remember this guy I saw on a beach in Hawaii, he had carpeting on his back…and his eyebrows were pretty thick too.
As for me, I am no Burt Reynolds, but I am proud to say that I have sufficient hair on my torso to turn off any un-manly advance by my cellblock mates.