COVER STORY: No, thank you!

From generation to generation, humans have become noticeably less hairy. Remember those pictures of Neanderthals in your history textbooks?

From generation to generation, humans have become noticeably less hairy. Remember those pictures of Neanderthals in your history textbooks?

This is natural. As we started wearing warm clothing, the basic need for body hair as protection against cold diminished. What evolution didn’t take care of, grooming has. For centuries, women have spent a lot of time and money ensuring that they were suitably hairless. Well, the wheel of fashion has continued to turn, and metro sexuality has become the in-thing.

It is perfectly acceptable for today’s man to trim his hair, or even eliminate it altogether.

I can already hear some of you begin to ask: “Why this sudden obsession with bald bodies?” Well, a lot of it is the media’s fault. Our fault. The current image of the male sex-symbol, undoubtedly spurred on by the media, is a confident man with a hairless and well-sculpted body emerging from the waves, the sun glistening off the droplets of water on his body. It’s every woman’s fantasy.

Abbel Makuta, a manager at Passadena Murugo Bar, argues that if one is born with body hair, then he sees no need for one to dispose of it. “If God wanted it that way, then I will not tamper with it,” he contends. Well, let’s look at the flip side of the coin: Just imagine if your girlfriend tried that line of argument. You wouldn’t be too happy, would you? That is not to say that it all has to go. Body hair, like most good things in life, is good in moderation.

And when it comes to the subject of hair on a man’s body, three body parts come to mind: the armpits, the chest, and, of course, the nether regions.

Is there something more repugnant than smelly armpits? For the chest and nether regions, it may be that one unfortunate female (your girlfriend) to deal with it, but with that smelly armpit, you could torment literally everyone unfortunate enough to cross your path.

Why would you have to wait till your armpits turn into ‘carbon pits’, so to speak? There are many ways out. The first one is cheap and very readily available: water. Good old water, and soap. But if you really want to give your personal hygiene a boost, consider trimming it down altogether. Bushy armpits can generate extra heat, often resulting in heavy perspiration. The hair then traps the perspiration, increasing chances of body odour. With less hair, your armpits will breathe easier, and in the same breath (excuse the pun), people around you will also breath easier. They deserve to!

There is the aesthetics of it too. A well-groomed underarm is more pleasing to the eye than a bushy one. A general rule of thumb is that if the hair protrudes from the armholes of a sleeveless T-shirt, it’s too long!

Getting down to the chest, the African man is noticeably less hairy than his white brothers. This is a major plus when it comes to keeping chest hair in check. If you’re particularly furry, and happen to have deep pockets, the good news is that waxing for men has become more and more common. There shouldn’t be any shame in popping in for a quick wax at your salon. However, if you’re a bit shy, you can always buy a home wax kit and ask your partner to help. I can’t lie to you, it’s going to hurt, a bit, but you can handle it, you’re a man!

A less painful (and cheaper) option is shaving, but it’s such a hassle! (Does this remind one of the saying, ‘free things are not free, or what?!) Plus, unless you learn to shave your chest as often as you do your face, it will soon be covered in bush.

As for pubic hair? Well, pubic hair is not a public affair! It is a personal choice, but hey, one that can spice up your sex life. Ask yourself if you prefer it when your partner’s genital area is groomed or when it is unkempt and hairy. After all, what is good for the goose is definitely good for the gander.

As you should know, anything new in the sex department can be a major turn-on. For whatever reason you choose to do it, grooming your body hair is now perfectly acceptable – even required. So, why not indulge in some “man-scaping”?


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