Looking For a Real Man?

I have just read an article about British men’s preference for a fuzz free body. Not ours, but theirs.

Apparently, today’s young bucks find their own chest hair repulsive and are shaving, waxing and probably using their wife’s Immac, to remove the fluffy stuff.

The most ridiculous explanation for this comes from clinical psychologist, Linda Blair:

“Everywhere you look, the message is that good guys are hairless.  In sport, the winners are super-smooth men; in adverts for grooming products, the underlying message is that chest hair is undesirable.

 “Today’s men are bombarded with subliminal messages that they need a smooth chest to be attractive.”

Seriously?  A respected, clinical psychologist actually said, ‘good guys are hairless’?!  I pray she has been misquoted.

Crap quotes aside, I don’t know any men who feel ‘pressured’ to remove their chest hair.  Back, sack and crack, yes and understandably, but chest hair?  It must be a slow news day.

However, we do know that men are spending more on grooming products annually.  John Lewis reports a 31% increase in sales during April and May. Getting ready for the beach, apparently.

Why is this news? Why are we concerned if the beautiful boys in our life want to smell nice and look good?  Are they effeminate? Not real men?

And what constitutes a real man these days? I’m sure men haven’t a clue.  Women’s lib has swung so far, it is perfectly acceptable for the crones on Loose Woman to publicly berate their useless partners every lunchtime, but outrageous and sexist if a male presenter dares to call a woman ‘a pretty thing.’  We can’t have it both ways ladies.

This ‘real man’ nonsense seems to start when boys are teeny, babies even.  Last week, I took my two children (3 and 4 years) on a pirate ship.  Whilst they chuckled and ‘ooh arred’ at the enthusiastic crew, one boy was in tears.  How did his loving mother deal with this?  She bollocked him for ‘acting like a girl’ and told him to ‘stop being a baby.’

Poor lad was probably four years old, so his baby years weren’t too far behind him.  I’m guessing he had never actually set foot on a pirate ship in his life, neither had a scary, ginger-bearded old man tell him to ‘walk the plank.’

His terrified emotion was entirely justified. He was scared; he cried. What he needed was reassurance that the nasty pirate men were not going to hurt him, and really, they worked in the fish and chip shop in town.  A hug would have done the trick.

Right from the off, boys are told to deny their natural feelings and to act like someone else; their big, strong dad perhaps; a person who should not express themselves.  No wonder so many grown men cannot say ‘I love you.’

We need to allow boys (and men) to be scared and allow them to cry if that’s what they need to do.  Stopping a toddler expressing their most instinctive emotions is cruel and surely damaging in the long-run.

My husband must have cried lots as a child and been allowed to, as he is the softest and most kind-hearted person I know.  He is kind and gentle, but incredibly strong. He takes care of himself and moderately grooms the things that need grooming.  He’s not effeminate; neither would I accuse him of such if he did want to wax his chest.  Although, I think I’d draw the line at him wearing my bra.

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