Last night I was hanging out and reminiscing with some old college friends when bam, out came a photo of me as a freshman, in the first weeks of school—all of ten years ago at this point. Naturally, I was shirtless, and that was what caused my buddy to turn to me in awe. “Look how hairless you are!” he exclaimed, indicating the baldness of my chest as compared to the thicket of fur that currently blankets that same space. Yes, I had become a man in the interim.
I don’t think I’d want to go back to having just a few sprigs of chest hair. I’m much warmer in the winter, for one. Plus, at least in my experience, it feels like most women prefer a full carpet. If my pieced-together knowledge of the 1970s is at all correct, and contemporary photos of Burt Reynolds are any indication, chest hair was once even publicly prized and adored. So why does it seem like you can’t be a Hollywood hunk anymore without a baby-smooth torso that looks like it was molded from plastic?
Don’t be coy: you know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether it’s Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Ryan Gosling in whatever he was just in, producers just don’t trust you to see all those pecs and abs under a thatch of body hair or, god forbid, a happy trail. I can only imagine what kind of horrid waxing/shaving/ electrolysis routines these poor actors have to submit to. And for what? So we can promote an evolutionarily disadvantageous fashion that it feels like only a creepy bodybuilder would be into? For shame, America. I want to live in a country where I take my shirt off at the beach with confidence—at least until my back hair starts coming in.