Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Les cheveux, pas les chevaux

There is just so much hair on the human body, and we go to great lengths to maintain various lengths in various places.  Long is stylish here, but bald is preferred there, there, and there.

Bald is not preferred on the head except in adolescent women who have no reason to pursue that hairstyle other than ___ (and by some, it is perceived as sexy).

It is true, though, men are required by our culture to shave (generally) their beards off and likewise women (generally) their legs, armpits, pubic area — and the lattermost in various styles that keep changing, though lately, the balder the better, it seems — and pluck out patterns or patches of gloss on chins, brow bones, upper lips.

Just patterns and patches — yes, women should save enough eyebrow hairs so as no to have to draw them in like the octogenarians; it is important to be able to express one's emotions, after all and especially if one are pre-menopausal (I'm sure).

Would men likewise in exchange for all this labor do well to keep their chests smooth?  (Some, Asians and some of unexpected descent — or not, African, Scottish, Arabic, Asian, American Indian, Indian, apparently most of the planet, I guess — are naturally that way (thank God?).)

Men's ear- and nose-hairs are overstated, but I suppose that is due to testosterone,  and in some cases, subjects are loathe to acknowledge and deal with them.  A few women out there miss the chin hairs or choose to grow them as 19th-century females surely did.

Personally, as I'm oversensitive to smells, so I prefer to try to stay trim as a cyclist (in terms of hair — have you seen?  — I'm not revealing my weight, but I'd lose every semi-professional and faux cycling race there is).

The tweezers, hand-operated bi-valve (not really) and the multiple electric-powered discs are my best friends and most likely not to survive a present-day airline flight screening.

I suppose, despite my already sweaty and annoying nature that I am destined, upon "armageddon," to become, as a "lover" (don't ask) from Croatia (nationally Bosnian) once described me during one of my "this is me, get over it" phases, "like Russian girls."

He had plenty of prejudices, mind you.  Hated Jews, I think (his country allied with Germany at one Nazi-esque point), disbelieved the U.S. moon landing, had been conscripted and was, when I met him, only 21; he had interesting Catholic Church mythology to share, etc.

I once shocked my mother during an earlier college or post-college phase when I had let my legs and underarms go.  It was fun to be soft, and it was winter, but eventually it got itchy, and even as light brown as my leg hairs happen to be, they were long enough to conjoin with each other and show up in New Mexico photographs taken from several feet away.

The "lambs" under my arms as we (past tense) called them were friendly but difficult to deodorize.  Staying indoors as a concubine with frequent bath-access would have been no problem.  We have "lives," alas.

I trimmed them from time to time, and then moved into a phase of tweezing them out, one by one (the worse part is to the neck and vision — you can't do this much past 30, I propose).

Also, it produces a large, stinging pain.  The pain of pulling out pubic hairs is 1000 times (I will not back down from this figure) more, and I have confusion about this waxing thing I have heard about.

I have maintained my mostly-hairlessness for many, many years.  Sans electricity, there may be problems,  but I think I've made the case that it doesn't matter.  Tenacity needs only tweezers and time.

You have seen  Mad Max (2?) in which they pine over the mere luxury of women's lingerie.  You know those women were not lice-free or fragrant, and yet …

I used to shave my legs, etc. twice a day.  I was paranoid and influenced by a particular man's comment about a different woman, who happened to be a friend of mine.  I was quite paranoid.  Men can make you crazy with their none-too-subtle cosmetic demands, even from afar.

Several year ago, I was out camping with my husband, and we had the fortune (?) of having a gaggle (yes, a female collective noun) of college-esque boys turn up, after dark, noisy, in two or three cars, right next to our post-______ love-nest.

They had the works:  radio, fire, several blaring lanterns as to imitate a television and exclaim a fear of darkness, tons of beer in bottles we heard bandied about, and stupid (unfunny) jokes that involved random accusations of "Homo!" and the following opinion on coochie-hair:  "Man, I'll never go (out with / down on) a girl who doesn't shave, again, man!"

There were plenty of seconds  to this proclamation and more stories I then classified as rank and did not remember to write down.  Eventually, my "romantic" camping-coupling returned, as the stupid boys (six or eight of them, we think) had their tents collapse in some kind of drunken fight (yes, alcohol will do that to the repressed, especially) that escalated to the point of some or all of their leaving in the middle of the stupid conversations and night.

No offense and pardon my naivetée, but this is what guys mean by the "guy talk" they don't talk when a few women are (known to be) around?

Of course, women have their own Private Idahos of language and topic.  Another day, mes amis.

A short time after the camping thing, some of us were at a bar, several women-friends and one heterosexual guy.  One stumbled onto a conversation about a collection method / device for menstruation (who says we don't talk the same when you're all around!), and earlier, the majority of us were rambling about gynocentric versus phallocentric adjectives.


But back at the campsite, I had been struck sad.  Never before had I wanted to avoid forever such people.  Menkind did not look too attractive then and there.  I wanted to and had to fight the urge to rise up and shout, "Do you shave your stupid pubes — or even your face for that matter — every day?"

Yup, there was lots of grrr.  Why must we all live up to the porn and body-model invention?  These days, I do what I want, and we're happy.  I'm not going to elaborate.

I read that Gillette is at fault for all of this anyway.

Follow the money.


m.v. said...

I grew up were people didn't mind and I don't mind. There is a golden spot somewhere between twice a day and a fur, but I realize how labor intensive this is and never make a big deal out of it if it's not up to specs.I was waiting for my kid at the beauty brands today and some old(er) fat(ter) lady was telling her husband that she had her mustache waxed with her hair cut. now, female mustache is where I draw the line, and I've seen some pretty major specimens.

Le Grand Lapin said...

Before I read your post, my body was covered in unwanted hair. But now, I'm crazy about my hair. :)