DEBORAH CROMBIE: Today we move from the sublime to the, if not ridiculous, at the least the very shallow. Has anyone else noticed the recent trend towards the absence of male body hair? It was very evident at the Olympics, of course--you won't see a stray hair on the manly chests of divers or swimmers or runners. Or, it seems, models or dancers or many movie stars.
Not that I'm lamenting the days of the full fur rug sported by the likes of Robin Williams or Burt Reynolds (or the fake one worn by Steve Carrell in The Forty-Year-Old Virgin--ouch!!!)--but I've decided I miss seeing a little normal body hair on men. Oh, for the days of Sean Connery and Tom Selleck in their quite modest swim trunks!
And now, having started noticing, I've become a bit obsessive. Does he or doesn't he???? My two most recent Nice Chest Hair awards go to Dominic West in The Hour, and Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in Yemen. (Not that I wouldn't like either one of these guys with or without.)But they are brave about it, these smooth-chested (and smooth-thighed) blokes. Witness Channing Tatum here suffering for his art in preparation for Magic Mike. (Did I mention strippers in the above list of NO HAIR guys?) What about you, dear Reds? Do you prefer your men au natural? And would your fictional heroes wax for a good cause?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I can't discuss this.I can't even think about this. I've NEVER thought about this. I am closing my eyes. I am closing my ears. La la la la la.
HALLIE EPHRON: I never got what the big deal was about men's or women's chests... well okay, I sort of do. Okay, I get it. But men's chest hair? Don't swimmers get rid of it because it slows them down, or is that a myth? Same reason they don't wear boxers. What I do miss, though I know you didn't ask this Debs, are those halcyon days when women didn't have to shave, period. We pretended we were European.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: My first reaction was NO, but then I had to admit that there's a certain amount of manscaping that really improves the, shall we say, quality of my viewing experience. For instance: Nose hair, ear hair and eyebrows appearing anywhere on the face that isn't directly above an eye. Back hair. Ugh. Sorry, gentlemen of Mediterranean descent. I see men walking about on the beaches of Maine and all I can think of is "human shag carpet."
But chest hair? Who cares? Hairy is nice. Smooth is nice. Same for the top of the head. I like a full head of hair just fine, but I also LOVE the sexy bald look. Also beards. (This will not surprise anyone who's met my husband.) The most attractive thing about a man is his self-confidence, not his pelt (or lack thereof.)
DEBS: Hallie, I was never brave enough to go European. And obviously, that cultural trend has reversed itself. And Hank, you're too funny!
For the record, Duncan would never wax--unless it would help him solve a case.
What about you, readers? Are you embracing the smooth-men trend? And our guy readers--would you shave or wax? And would you tell if you did?
(Oh, and just for comparison, here's the latest Bond, Daniel Craig. Notice the difference?)