by Mak Faene
Stepping out of the morning shower amidst a robe of steam. Thankfully the mirror is frosted over and so I am spared the stomach churning sight of a body naked but for its disgusting coat of post pubescent hair. What I wouldn't give to have this unwanted body hair disappear. My girlfriend wishes for the same thing - though she would never say so, I see it in the way she looks at me. She says nothing because she too is self conscious of the same thing.
This is all very wrong.
As a culture I think we need to establish what went wrong when. Biologically speaking, human beings are still quite hairy. Body hair density may vary from region to region based on evolution, adaptation to climate and so on but ultimately, we as a species are hairy. We're still mammals after all, not lizards. This being a fact - why has western civilization rejected body hair?
Think real hard before you say something like aesthetics! There is no inherent aesthetic that arouses the human libido. This can be proven based upon the fact that different cultures find "sexiness" in different body types. Shocking but true, America, there are cultures who have alternate views of what is sexy. There is no god-given take on sex appeal, it all boils down to what you have been taught.
Here's a theory as to why we decided that hair was decidedly disgusting: It's hard to paint a hairy nude.
Before photography, painting was used to compose wall-hangings in Europe and America. If the subject of the painting was a nude, this nude was almost certainly completely hairless but for her/his head and perhaps a hint over her/his genitals. Why? Well, other than personal fetish perhaps this was because it's harder to paint hairy legs then smooth ones.
These paintings became the object of desire among viewers. Whether the renderings were based on contemporary fashion or not, the paintings themselves eventually set the definition of beauty.
We are not born knowing what is beautiful. We learn these things. That's right, if you had been taught that nothing was more sexy than body covered in hair, that's what you would fantasize about. Hard to believe? Just think about it, there is reason behind everything so what is the reason you find hairlessness appealing. You can't say, "I just do, it's my choice," this is an illusion and an ignorant stance towards the power of social conditioning.
So why continue the trend of idolizing hairlessness - of something that is completely unnatural? Well, who has the most to gain from this tradition? As long as you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, someone will be trying to sell you something that will make you feel better about yourself.
Razors both straight and electric, shaving cream for both men and women, hair removal wax, tweezers, after-shave and so on. These are all products we buy to make ourselves look more like the modern day paintings that now coast by on the sides of buses and on highway billboards.
Wake up hairy people! Hollywood stars and super models all have a freshly shorn crop of little hair roots just beneath the surface. They shave, wax and yank too. And they do it so that their employer can sell you bullshit. Do you know what that means? That means that you pay some giant cosmetic company so that they can pay some super model - some mutant of society - to make you feel inadequate. Not to mention the photographer and the graphic designer they hire to take the flattering shots and do the touching up so that these models look absolutely perfect on that billboard.
I towl myself off and open the bathroom door. I think I'll march to the kitchen this morning buck naked and just try to swallow my pride. I'm tired of being someone's bitch.