Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The feminization of the American male

Where's Pussy Galore?At what point did the standard for male sexuality switch from muscular, hairy men to androgynous, hairless ones? What am I talking about and what does this have to do with the environment? Well, bear with me and I'll 'splain.

Think back to the 1970s and before (I know, that far?) and, using the all important media as our meter of society, take a gander at the men who were considered sex symbols. The standard was tall, dark and hairy. Facial hair, hairy chests, the whole shebang.

Think of Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Dean Martin, Sean Connery, Tom Selleck or even (yikes!) Burt Reynolds. Sure there was the occasional boyish heartthrob thrown in to titillate the younger crowds, but for the most part the male sex symbols were men. Manly men.

The Dude abidesStarting in the 1980s, the male sex symbol started being neuterified. Yes, I made that word up. Can we blame Miami Vice and Don Johnson's hairless chest and preoccupation with looking good? That perpetual 5 o'clock shadow that screams "Yes! I'm a man, but not enough to have real facial hair"?

Fast forward to today and the list of sex symbols is more of a mix. Now, I'm not discounting the likes of Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman and the rest, but there's been a serious trend towards celebrities with elfin magic such as Jude Law, Justin Timberlake, Orlando Bloom and Leonardo DiCaprio (the early years).

Wait a minute, can we go back and think about Gerard Butler, Clive Owen and Hugh Jackman again. Ok. Anyway, I've been masturbating, I mean masticating over this for a few weeks now. Good lord, where was I going with this?

Damn, the research on this is excruciating!

Elfin magicNow, before you think I'm some Bonobo getting all hot and bothered over the hairy Pan paniscus in the crowd, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a big fan of body hair. But, I do like my men to look like men and not little boys.

So, what's the deal with the recent pressure on adult men to be metrosexual? There's nothing wrong with a little manscaping here and there, but men are being subjected to the same beauty pressures that women have had to endure for the last several hundred years and longer.

Aside from the personal pressure to live up to some standard of beauty and the self-doubt and criticism that follows, the impact of trying to achieve an unnatural state is no light matter. It's bad enough that half the population is condemned to rely on beauty products, haircare (coloring and hair products), body hair maintenance and the rest. Now men are feeling like they have to do the same. That means more waste in a number of ways.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking BarrelsI'm not suggesting that men don't take care of their appearances. Keeping the eyebrows, nose and ear hair under control is one thing. Plucking, waxing and altogether altering one's appearance to maintain a boyish look is another.

Not too surprising, even Brad Paisley is commenting on the trend in one of his latest songs, I'm Still a Guy:

These days there’s dudes gettin' facials
Manicured, waxed, and botoxed
But with deep spray on tans and creamy lotioney hands
You cain’t grip a tackle box
Yeah, with all of these men linin' up to get neutered
It’s hip now to be feminized
But, I don’t highlight my hair
I’ve still got a pair
Yeah, honey I’m still a guy

Oh, my eyebrows ain’t plucked
Theres a gun in my truck
Oh Thank God, I’m still a guy

What is the real opinion on the metrosexual trend. I want to hear from both men and women on how they feel about the pressure for men to focus so much on their appearance.

Men: Do you feel a pressure to get all "prettified" to meet a new standard?

Women: Do you prefer a more natural looking guy or one that's well manicured?

135 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, good observation Crunchy Chicken. I like natural men. Yes, I don't find a lot of the leading men in films desirable. I liked Sean Connery, too, especially in "Marnie".

aelfie said...

Bring on the Bears!

Men should have FUR. Lorenzo Lamas used to have a gorgeous, drool over, hairy chest...now he waxes it! Ewww!!!

I don't like this trend towards hairless...men should look like...men...not overgrown boys.

HomeandHearth said...

I'll admit, I prefer my guys to lean more on the side of "well manicured." On the other hand, the only grooming I expect/find attractive can be done with a razor, a comb, and some soap (not makeup or hair gel or the rest of that mess).

Anna said...

So you mean: Aragorn or Legolas? I'll take Aragorn, oooh yes I will....

Esta said...

oooohhh give me Hugh Jackman or Gerard Butler (I prefer Hugh though truth be told) any day over a man who looks 15!!! A bit of hair on the chest and the ability to grow a beard never hurt any man!

bri said...

i like well manicured guys...could you add me cause i'm new to the whole blog thing

K.C. said...

You did do a lot of 'splainning. Very funny, but very true! Great one...

Totally agree... we like our men with some hair on them chests! Kayce

Robj98168 said...

LOOKY what i found- I was perusing the racier pages and looky who was there Metrosexual farmer

Robj98168 said...

I would have to give my vote to the furrier guys being one, although I do know the value of a good pedicure and back waxing- no Crunchy- you cannot have my used body wax to make jewelery.

Karla Areli said...

I love a natural man. I love a well dressed, clean shaven, and good haircut kind of guy, but any guy that gets manicures, or spends more than 5min on appearance in the morning is not manly,

Odiyya said...

Funny enough, I stumbled on here on my way to email home right after getting a weeks worth of stumble scratched away with a straight razor shave at a ditchy barber here in Leh, India. The gist of the email was to be,

"Please tell me that in my 8 months away from Vancouver the local men have figured out that spending half their day and $200 getting exfoliated, manicured, and done up like a poodle, is NOT a masculine way to spend your time and money, and that I can come home to find a proper barber who will see to my properly masculine hygiene needs."

Needless to say, I totally agree with you Crunch.

E N Reinmuth said...

I like beards, though not so it's all over the place he-man style. A bit of maintenance here and there makes a man sexier than what they'll be after hours of pointless de-manification.

I'm not even sure I made any sense just now, but hey, it's not just the american males corrupting themselves. Here in Australia it's difficult to pick out an attractive guy. They're either metro's or bogan's... very sad...

Spacekitten said...

Manliness comes from attitude, not fur. As long as a man acts like a man it's okay with me if he's a pretty boy. I don't want to fight over the bathroom or share make-up but a clean shave and well dressed man is nice.

It's good to see men caring how they look. We shouldn't be the only ones to put out effort.. Show them pretty feathers boys!

Rachael said...

Oh come on. My husband never gripped a tackle box in his life, and he sure doesn't have a gun in his truck, but he definitely "has a pair". There's lot of different ways to be male these days. The old binary ways are done with.

Burbanmom said...

I already got me a guy who, to quote my sister "eats lightning and craps thunder". Why would I bother looking at those girly men?

That being said, I do occasionally go after him with the tweezers to get those crazy eyebrow hairs that grow over night!

Burbanmom said...

I already got me a guy who, to quote my sister "eats lightning and craps thunder". Why would I bother looking at those girly men?

That being said, I do occasionally go after him with the tweezers to get those crazy eyebrow hairs that grow over night!

Anonymous said...

Great name for a blog! mines just so normal: (jaye's jottings) Came in to be nosey, but will remember to add you to my faves later when I'm home.

BTW, I do like a nicely turned out man, but not too hairy!
Sorry to be 'anonymous' this keyboard's 'at' button doesn't work!
Jaye

Anonymous said...

natural all the way, my guy keeps his face shaved and hair cut, or rather I keep his hair cut, but that is it. He showers daily and is a rugged athelete, and has a lovely furry chest that warms my cocklettes! Jenny

Ani said...

Count me in for the hairy chests and beards..... although regular showers and basic grooming are a must! ;-). Haven't figured out this androngynous look-seems kinda pre-pubescent or something- passed that stage a while ago.....men are supposed to well- look like men......

Tara said...

I have to say I don't go for the hairy beast look, but I don't want some guy with a Farrah Fawcett hairdo either. A little manscaping... a pluck here or there... it's all good. Much, much better than Andy Rooney eyebrows and tufts of ear or nose hair, anyway.

Modern said...

I love my men to be somewhat hairy and MANLY! My bf was like "You don't want me to shave my chest or stomach?" O_O and I had to explain to him that what I find so wonderful about men is that they feel and look like men, they have hair, they sweat and they have nice rough hands. He seems to be happy since it's chopped his bathroom time down a lot.

The only thing he's allowed to trim are his nether regions and that's just a courtesy to me. :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Bathing daily is a must but otherwise, I like a normal looking guy. My first husband spent WAY more time in the bathroom than I did. That's messed up!

Personally, I love the look of chest hair coming up out of a buttoned shirt. Super sexy!

Anonymous said...

I would far rather a decent haircut, a clean shaven face or a tidy beard than this five o'clock business. It amuses me that so much can be spent in time and money and then the male walks out the door looking unkempt. Male hair doesn't bother me but the scruffy look does.

Personally I feel we have become way to obsessed and vain about something that is there for a reason. Certainly a lady may wish to tidy herself and a man may too. But there are other things that are so more important.

debby said...

Count me in as a fan of men. Real men.

And did you notice that in your picture, you are in the same pose as Sean Connery? Except you aren't showing any chest hair. Thanks for that.

maryann said...

I'm a work boots, blue jeans, body hair kind a girl, none of the sissy boys for me. Any guy that spends more time in the bathroom getting ready than me is out, and believe me I've known a few. I have nothing against a good suit now and then and prefer clean shaven to beards but I like men who look like men.

Jacki said...

I am sorta in the middle. I like when my husband is clean-shaven, smells good and has nice clothes on. But facials and mani-pedis? No thank you!!

Segwyne said...

I like manly men, myself. Once I turned 17 or so, nearly every man I dated had facial hair. My husband is one of the furriest men I have met. I love to run my fingers through a hairy chest. The little boy look is for little girls, in my opinion.

Don't tell anyone, but I like the smell of a locker room. Real man smells.

illuminant-love said...

my man likes to whine that he's too hairy, but maybe if he had some famous role models, he wouldn't feel that way :-P ok, half-serious about that. but there is a big difference between the musky smell of a hairy guy and the froo-froo smell of a hairless one!

The Purloined Letter said...

I like gentle cerebral mature "feminization" in men--and I think of Gregory Peck and Cary Grant as perfect examples. They didn't polish their fingernails or wax their chests, but they are not not gruff gun-toting muscle-bound hunks, either. That look is every bit as constructed an unnatural as the "feminized" look, IMHO.

And yes, I prefer that women use no makeup, have a real hair color, keep their legs unshaven, and wear no heels. In other words, I like REAL women, not people who spend a lot of time to appear to be something they are not.

To rift on Karla, any woman who spends more than about 5 minutes on appearance is using her brain for less than it is worth.

Robin said...

I like a manly man, someone who looks like he put in a good day's labor. I don't truck with a man who is prettier than I am, or spends more time on his appearance than I do (which is to say, hardly any time at all).

Shakespere said...

Interesting blog. Lots of nice information and excellent writing.

anna banana said...

i think androgeny is hot, regardless of whether we're talking about men or women. i like to see the rules bent... but don't hog my bathroom ;)

Anonymous said...

I am a woman that prefers to see both men and women in natural states. Hairy people (including women with unshaven legs and/or pits) with a hint of BO and no makeup or annoying perfume scream "I'm confident and don't buy into all those fake consumerist standards!" to me. I'm serious - I automatically make judgments about a person's intelligence and self-esteem if they have put tons of effort into making themselves look like something they're not.

Anonymous said...

What about women? We don't want our men looking pre-pubescent, but trends have made that the standard for women in the past century. Before the safety razor women didn't shave legs or armpits. Now we have brazilians, shaved arms, and remove every single hair from the neck down. These days men have the amount of hair women used to have and women have none at all.

Rachel said...

Ugh, I really hate this generalization that men can only be "manly" if they're hairy and don't pay any attention to personal grooming. It's as bad saying you're only a woman if you wear skirts and paint your nails! Can't we all have our own ideas of what is attractive and sexy without attaching value judgements to it?

Michelle said...

My husband is definitly all man, hairy chest and all. I agree with you Crunchy that a bit of grooming (no unibrows or hair in the ears) is called for, but my husband's "products" include soap, toothpaste, floss, and shaving cream (he has male patterned baldness, so he shaves his head). I love Brad Paisley by the way!

Laura said...

Just the other day, I caught 2 straight guys sitting twith their legs crossed tighter than I can cross my own. What's the world coming to? Whatever happened to let 'em breath?

knittingwoman said...

I personally like "natural men" too. I am amazed at what my macho 20 year old son does for personally grooming, he isn't waxing his chest or back yet but I bet he will. His girlfriend works at a beauty salon and my son had his eye brows waxed. His 2 younger brothers both pluck their eyebrows as well!!! However, my 22 year old tattooed, dreadlocks and dirt punk son is a natural man:)

Rev Jeremy Horus said...

Hello Crunchy... Just stumbled across your blog. You bring up a very good point and I thank you for doing so because I wondered what w omen's opinion on the matter was.

In some circles these androgynous men seem to be more popular than others especially in the Gothic culture.

Personally I like to look good but not that good. I've always tried to use James Bond as a reference especially Sean Connery and Pierce Bronson.

I think a man should shave with a razor the parts that need it... I wear a Goatee.. have a good haircut and wear a bit of aftershave... but that's about it.. I trim my own damn fingernails.

And you are right the more men primp and pamper the more wasted plastic and cardboard there is on the environment.

Great Blog!

koolchicken said...

I have mixed feelings on the subject. On one hand I've been subjected to the girly looking guys in the media, but my dad's 100% Italian so that's not what I saw at home. I'm pretty sure you would have to kill my father to wax him, or any of my uncles for that matter.

I always kinda liked the guys who were fuzzy on T.V., but when I tried it in real life it had some undesirable effects. I have crazy delicate skin and a couple of scratchy kisses (and I'm talking casual, no make-out style kisses) and my skin was gone. After the first time we really went at it I had to stop him and go slather myself in aloe. I had huge burns on my face and neck that took three to four days to heal. My new, better boyfriend is asian! He doesn't have facial hair (well only a teeny, tiny bit he has to shave every couple of days), and body hair is minimal. He has hair where you'd expect on most men, but just not his chest or back. I think if I only ever had to look at him I'de prefer him hairy, but I prefer to look with my hands and not with my eyes so it wouldn't work out.

eco 'burban mom said...

My husband is truly a guy-guy. He's good at keeping the nose hair and back hair in check, but other than that, his idea of getting ready for the day is to shave, slap on deodorant and sunscreen. Voila! Done!

I could not be married to a man that took longer in the bathroom than I do...

KatieB said...

As long as a guy is clean, I don't care if he has a beard, or not, chest hair or not, head hair or not. As long as he showers, brushes his teeth, and wears clean clothes, I'm happy.
He can smell like a man, but for goodness sake don't stink.
Can you tell I had run in's with one's who did?

Miley Cyrus said...

I am all good with men with or without hair looks do matter tho ;)

Strange Days said...

I am definitely a fan of a manly man.. I always say if his hands are softer than mine there's no way. I want to see shirtless sweaty hard working grunting men.
Hmm am I objectifying? lol

Gaurav Jha said...

Interesting post there. I kinda looked at it from an Indian perspective. Trying to put your thought in the Indian scenario. Truth be told, men ARE moving towards a more metrosexual look, the whole "shebang" you know. You can see it in our movies, fashion shows, everywhere. However, somehow it turns out that men are doing it to look more attractive to the opposite sex. Off course there's always a difference in opinion. But the fact remains, there are certain things that a MAN must do to look attractive. Metrosexual or otherwise, cleanliness is something most pursue, but a complete clean shaven chest is only for some.I can't really say whether it's the right thing to do or otherwise, but I do say this, to each his own. movies as a socially inspiring medium show the quintissential desirable man and somehow moviemakers got a thought that the masses want to see more bare chested men that the "furrier" one's. :)

Anna Banana said...

This is Anna Banana the elder. I like what Rachel and Anna Banana the younger said about Individuality. I'm surprised this site has attracted so much "Men should look like Men" talk. What does that even mean?

LimeSarah said...

I tend to prefer pretty long-haired folkdance boys in skirts, but only if they come that way naturally. I have no problem with prettifying for special occasions or because someone enjoys it, but making either gender conform to any appearance standard, macho or feminine, is annoying and demoralizing.

Anonymous said...

Considering my hubby went most of his 40 plus years w/out a hair on his chest now that the hair is finding it way there I'm finding it way more sexy! Of course a little manscaping for excessive back hair is okay otherwise I'm all for the chest hair and more manly look!

Watari said...

I lean more toward, what you call the "well-manicured" side, and what I call the clean side. A little scruff never hurt anyone, in fact, it looks mighty fine! But go beyond that and I get turned off really fast.

To each their own, I suppose!

Carol said...

I've never thought of it that way! Brilliant. Honestly though, and I feel a little stupid, but I like those "manicured" guys you're talking about... I mean, it might just be because I'm young, but I don't know. It's the just the colossal chest hair, hairy arms...yeah...no.

However -- when guys start tweezing and waxing the eyebrows, dyeing the hair and wearing eyeliner, that may be taking it too far!!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Anna - Aragorn, most definitely.

Erin - "Eats lightening and craps thunder"? I'd hate to follow him after he's used the bathroom. No, really, that's the funniest thing.

One clarification that may have gotten lost in all my man-swooning... I'm not suggesting that men need to fulfill the other image of "manliness", in other words be hairy, especially if they are not.

I meant to focus mostly on the amount of upkeep men feel they must undergo instead of just general hygiene and maintenance.

scifichick said...

I don't like men that are overly feminine either. If the guy's chest is not hairy naturally, that's one thing. But if the guy actually waxes his chest, I think that would be a major turn off. I would not like a guy to spend more time grooming than I do, and look in the mirror more. I think Crunchy you should do a poll by age, to see which generation prefers what kind of man. I think that younger generation has been raised with expectation that men need to groom themselves as much as women. It would be interesting to see if I'm right.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Waxing-NYET! Interestingly enough, the first time I shaved my head was because a woman wanted me to do it. But since it was mostly gone on top anyway, I figured why not! Glad you clarified there Crunchola, cause I was going to point out the Eurocentricity of a hairy chest as a standard of masculinity. But now it is a moot point(love that word,'moot' it sounds so made up by a four year old!)

Jan Bowers said...

Perfect timing - I just got materials from a presentation about the feminization of men!

Biologically, some holistic health care practitioners believe that the widespread use of birth control pills, hormonal treatments, and other similar practices over the last several decades has led to prevalent, irreversible hormonal imbalances that women pass on to their children, resulting in males who are literally more feminine due to differing hormonal balances from men of other generations.

Personally, I do "buy in" to this theory - it passes the common sense test, in my opinion, and there is data to back it up.

I also wonder - is this one of the reasons why the number of homosexuals/transexuals/bisexuals is on the rise, or it simply due to cultural revolution?

Anonymous said...

Natural guys are hot! (But then again, I think natural girls are really pretty too!) At the same time however, isn't it kind of imposing a "manly" standard on guys when we say they've gotta be hairy, rugged, etc. My husband is a very natural hotty, but can't grow a huge bushy ZZ Top style beard. . . does that mean he's not "manly". . I don't think so. I think natural hotness can look different, and still be equally appealing. Hey, and what about the flip side of hairy, what about the pressures bald(ing)men feel to get hair replacements. . . does anyone else think that is a little corny, to make them feel like that. Plus bald guys are hot too (think the captain from Star Trek. . OK. . maybe my nerd roots are showing . . ).

allaboutattitude said...

Totally agree ...
Men in our mum's time have more macho-ness

pleintexas said...

ooooohhhh Sweet Mother Mary, my man has to have the man hair. The hair tease out of the top button of the shirt, the hair tease that swirls around the chest and trails down past the waist. Gosh, it is hot up here at work. Anyway, I keep a pair of small scissors to trim the nose and ear hair on my man. I love it. My grown daughter prefers the slick-as-baby's ass look and I find it appalling. I want to SEE testosterone, and my man has it...Thank you Crunchy Chicken for the hot Sean Connery post. I can make it through the day here at my computer.

Kelsie said...

What I took away from this is that it's okay (and expected) for women to wax, pluck, shave, and slather on the makeup in order to be attractive because it's something we've been doing for a long time now, but that it's NOT okay for men to jump on board, because it's something they've never done.

*scratches head*

The only time I pluck my brows is when I visit my mother and she does it for me out of frustration. I stopped shaving anything months ago and the most make-up I wear is lip balm when my lips are chapped. My partner, on the other hand, is naturally devoid of chest and facial hair and, with his long hair, is often mistaken for a girl (from the side).

He's no less of a man for not being covered in thick, dark hair, and I'm no less of a woman for refusing to buy into the hassle of maintaining some impossible standard of beauty.

With that said, though, one does wonder where the trend towards boyish men is coming from. I think it's probably just a natural response to the trend towards girlish women, and most likely has a lot to do with our culture's obsession with youth. The increase in cosmetic surgery alone is staggering, not to mention all of the potions and lotions being marketed to keep you looking younger, longer. For years, these products and procedures were marketed mainly to women. I suppose it was inevitable that the "forever 16" look spread eventually to the male sector.

I love my man with or without hair, but as someone so aptly stated in a previous comment, I'd take Aragorn over Legolas any old day, for what it's worth. :)

-Kelsie

amy j said...

I just found your blog...love it. This post is so true, lol, and I nearly died of laughter when I scrolled down to that pic of Orlando Bloom.

And yeah, I'd take Aragorn ANY day over Legolas. :D

zfolwick said...

Crunchy, that's what started the website t-nation.com.



So. . . is THIS why almost every woman I know loves to listen to Nine Inch Nails "I want to f--- you like an Animal"?

Anonymous said...

I think we are getting girly looking men becuase someone in advertising said, look, we've saturaged the female market place, so lets make a buck out of the male.

As long as a guy's clean (in every sense of the word) I really don't care, except that I don't like kissing men (or women) with beard, which gives some men of certain ethic groups a leg up in the cuteness Derby for me.

MEA

Just trying to be green said...

Well, not to be crude or anything, but I like my man hairy, and I'm the same way myself!

I don't pluck, wear make-up, dye my hair, or spend oodles of money or time on my appearance, either. I have better things to do.

Motleyangel said...

I kinda like both but not too far in the extreme of either, and definitely being 'manly' is about individuality and attitude rather than appearance anyway :)

Sara said...

I find too much hair icky. I've always been attracted to a clean shaved military look - crew cut, no beard, lots of lean muscles. Dirty and sweaty is entirely OK as long as it hasn't gone on for more than a day.

Maggie said...

@Rachael AND Rachel: I agree with your sentiments. This is such a strangely judgemental post from a blog with which I so often agree. Just because a man is thin and not-too-hairy doesn't mean he's self-centered or hogging resources. There are plenty of beautiful men out there who naturally land on the more "feminine" side of the beauty scale, and I love it! Do we really want men to feel pressure to conform to standards of "manliness" as stringent as those of "femininity" that puts the pressure on us?

Harper said...

Mmm. I want Aragorn AND Legolas. However, the point of waste - time and chemical - is a good one. I like men who look the way they look without unreasonable effort and groomed appropriately for the circumstances. Hairy, not hairy, bald, long locks, boyish, hard-edged -- whatever. Working too hard to achieve a look not natural for you rarely works for me. I don't think hairy men are more manly than non-hairy, either can be manly. Behavior is more determinative than appearance. A guy with two days of beard growth looks manly if he's just in from backpacking and looks like a self-involved loser if he has it everyday -- which after all means he has to very carefully maintain that 'unmaintained' look, yikes.

Wendy Girl said...

Hairy unmanaged men are the best.
As long as they shower, brush teeth, put deoderant on and weed wack around the old pole. We are good...

Debbie Cakes said...

I've been married to a retro sex symbol. Hairy in all the right places. I need a man with some hair on his chest. It's too pre-pubescent (sp?) without.

Nice blog, hairy, but not too hairy.

deb

Jennifer said...

I prefer my au natural man... but he is not "traditionally masculine". He carries a purse, can't fill in facial hair yet at 28, and doesn't have THAT much body hair (he's part Scottish).

I do love the body hair he DOES have... I would laugh him out of the house if he appeared with waxed eyebrows or chest. As he would me if I showed up with smooth hairless legs...

There is a line... I think WELL GROOMED covers it. I want my husband to cut his hair, shave or trim his facial hair, and to keep showered as needed. Ear hair/nose hair isn't an issue yet... but I think that falls under "well groomed".

Tara said...

I agree with Kelsie - I think this is about our obsession with youth. Not only are men becoming more feminine in appearance, it's apparently verboten to have wrinkles or gray hairs unless you're over 60. I'm 36 and have wrinkles and gray hairs aplenty right now! I have no preferences for hairy/not hairy, but I do appreciate a "minimal upkeep" man. I just want him to look like himself. And as far as what I find attractive generally - I want to see a forty-year-old man that LOOKS forty, not twenty-five or thirty. I think that illustrates the Aragorn vs. Legolas debate. I'd take Aragorn, but not because he's rougher or more hairy, but because he looks more like an adult.

Jennifer said...

I'll echo everyone above about FEMALE body hair, too! I like my women with hair, too. Again, you may trim as necessary and/or shave anything that is uncomfortable (armpit hair for me)... but my god... do we NEED to look like 12 year olds? REALLY?

My husband finds my hair legs and elsewhere attractive. :) Not into 12 year olds I guess.

Crunchy Chicken said...

maggie - I think you misunderstood the point of my post.

"Just because a man is thin and not-too-hairy doesn't mean he's self-centered or hogging resources."

The point was about men trying to achieve that look at odds against what they "naturally" have.

"Do we really want men to feel pressure to conform to standards of "manliness" as stringent as those of "femininity" that puts the pressure on us?"

Absolutely not! That was what I was trying to clarify in my comment above.

Molly said...

If I wanted to get all paranoid I'd say that "they" are trying to make feminized men more attractive because with all the pseudo-estrogens in our food supply, that's the only kind of men there will be in a few years. Of course the body hair isn't the only thing that's going to disappear. And then hairy guys will be sexy again as women figure out that that they're the only ones with the goods.

Anonymous said...

ATTN MEN: I love men, men that act and look like men. Nothing is more creepy than cuddling with a guy that shaves his legs, because then it feels like girl legs, and that's not my thing. lol I am a totally girly girl, and nothing makes me feel more that way than being with a guy that has a little bit of scruff and some chest hair.

jennconspiracy said...

hey anonymous, what's wrong with the way shaved girl legs feel? mmmm....

Seriously though - being a "man" has little to do with fur or grooming habits.

I like people who are groomed but not excessively obsessed with product(s), labels, cosmetics and maintaining a particular "look."

I like people who are fit and strong -- male or female -- under or overweight is not attractive.

You have to be able to use what you've got and make the most of it.

As for men shaving or waxing areas other than their faces... I have known some men who waxed their backs. It's a hugely sensual thing for some guys -- you go from skin that is protected and buffered to suddenly smooth and electrifyingly sensitive.

Same thing with Brazilians - though I don't bother with depilation on a regular basis, I wouldn't turn my nose up at waxing (and OMG - getting your armpits waxed is like one ZIP! doesn't hurt and then you don't have stinky armpit hairs in the summer).

Kitty Girl said...

I dont mind my men to have a lil bit of chest hair to none at all... some facial hair is cool too... but the overgrown bushy hair men are just not my thing... if i wanted that... i would sleep with a dog.
(but then again... it all depends on the man and his personality...)

arduous said...

Hmmm. I think in many ways it's wonderful that men are more in touch with their feminine sides. The metrosexuals I've met aren't just well groomed. They also often like to cook, they often support an equal split of chores. One of the most metro guys I knew (he occasionally gets manicures) recently got married, and took his wife's last name. That's awesome!

So while I don't think anyone should be overly hung up on looks (I'm a pretty low maintenance chick) I think it's great that men are finding it socially acceptable to be more "feminine" as it were.

Now I understand this isn't exactly what you were talking about, and you were mostly talking about the societal pressure to look well-manicured. But the thing is, it's all sort of part in parcel. There are the bad effects of metrosexuality (ie the rise of manorexia) and the good. And I would love to see just the good, without the bad, but ... it's not always easy.

Besides, I love pedicures and massages and stuff. I don't get them very often, but they are a fun treat. Who am I to deny that pampering to the other sex?

Christine F. said...

I like my men with their fur intact. Years ago when we were first married my husband randomly shaved off all of his chest & belly hair on a whim. Ewwww. Not only did he look deranged all hairless like that I was really not a big fan of the prickles and "beard burn" type chafing I got anytime I brushed against his body. I'm not a big beard fan but a little manly subble is nice. Good thing since my husband usually has 5:00 shadow by about 9am.

Katharina van Seethinbottom said...

Such immodest photo-graphic images! Dear Beulah, fetch the smelling salts! I haven't felt this way since my betrothed last serenaded me with his euphonium...

C said...

I'm going to have to go with an in between guy. I don't like the whole mountain man look with the beard/large amount of facial hair. Facial shaving is all fine and good but I refuse to date a guy who shaves his chest/back/arms/legs/other inventive places.
And FORGET about manicures! I don't even do the whole mani/pedi thing!

Christine said...

I really enjoyed your blog! I love the humorous take on life you have. I completely agree with your observations about men and think the same is true of women. Remember when Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe were considered the sexiest women alive? Now they would be considered overweight! When did 0 become a size?

Erika said...

Like many have already mentioned, Whatever he feels like (within reason) is fine, just 1. don't hog the bathroom and 2. don't use more beauty products than I do.

:-)
Erika

Beany said...

Death to male manicures. I love the hairy men. Not too crazy about the hair on the back...but I could have dealt with it if I had to. Thank heavens my husband doesn't have the shoulder blade hair. When I was dating, I dated older men and had a preference for them (it worked out since old men tend to prefer young women). Now that I think about it its because they looked like men and not like girls. In fact I was the only one amongst my friends who hated boy bands (and Leonardo Di Caprio) when I was a teen. I wanted my male singers to look and sing like men. Thank god the big hair days were out of fashion by the time I came of age. I prefer the skin head look on the head. Good thing husband is bald.

My husband's brother is a manicure lover. He even paints his nails!! I found it very embarassing.

And who can forget the voice. A masculine voice is a must. If there is no hair and the voice is feminine...its a bit dissapointing. I saw a really punk looking guy with the most feminized voice. It seemed a bit wrong.

blondeoverboard said...

over the weekend i read an essay by nora ephron that follows a similar vein. when feminie hyigene sprays were introduced there was no market for them. the cosmetics industry insisted that there was an issue 'down there' that wasn't being addressed. advertising fell along the lines of shame and fear; afterall a 'real woman', a 'feminine woman' shouldn't smell like anything other than a rainy spring afternoon or wild cherry blossoms. unfortunately the hexaclorophene that was used in these products was shown to cause seizures and other neurologic upsets in children and adults (anyone remember pHisoHex soap?) by looking at the beauty(and i use the term lightly) industry you might believe that a woman isn't a woman if she's not wrinkle free, underfed and top heavy or that men are well on their way to androgeny. metrosexuals and the feminization of men are just further examples of industry dictating acceptable standards. the way to break the trend is to stop swallowing the lines we're all fed.

Bham Meg said...

Gimli ftw! I like them on the shorter side, manly, luscious-lipped and hairy. Preferably Italian.

Okay, maybe a little more like Aragorn. I'm not that into full beards. But I like looking at Legolas too ... I just want some fur to keep me warm at night. hehe. I agree that naturally hairless is sexier than maintained hairlessness in guys. You are spot on with Gerard Butler, Crunchy. He's my fave.

Rosa said...

I prefer people who rock what they've got - if they are naturally hairy, or not, if their head hair grows out into an afro or down into a waterfall, if the bottom of their bare feet is flat and smooth or high and arched.

That said, the only thing that bothers me (since I'm not a man) about the beautifying pressure being put on men is that it seems to be part of a trend toward making the pressure on women even *worse* - I can not believe how much time some of the women I know spend depilating their every surface and monitoring everything that goes into their mouths. I'm with whoever said this "trend" is a result of marketers realizing every woman in North America has as much beauty crap as she's ever likely to buy.

abbie said...

My husband is all natural, tall dark and hairy. He's also a builder and constantly dirty, just like my dad and all of the other men I grew up around. I don't see metrosexuals as sexy, and I don't even think of them as men really. In fact, if my husband's hands were clean, that would be the closest he's gotten to metro in a long time.
I never thought about it from the environmental perspective, but in this case my husband is an environmentalist. A quick shower is all he needs to be ready to go to work or out to dinner.

Katie said...

Regarding Sean Connery and feminization...I remember reading about how the producers of the James Bond films wouldn't consider casting an American actor because most of them have too much of a "pretty boy" aspect for the 007 character. Daniel Craig definitely gets my stamp of approval!

Maybe I'm coming from out in left field with this, but I live in Manhattan and definitely get the impression that the heavy grooming of male actors, models, etc. is intended to appeal to the gay crowd. On that note (and tying into yet another of your movie references) my gay brother remarked that the Lord of the Rings movies had a HUGE gay following because the female characters were minor and rarely on screen, so it was a drool-inspiring man buffet for them.

I'm a massage therapist, and my male clients are ALWAYS asking how they rate on the hairiness scale and what I recommend. Before all this metrosexual stuff started a few years back, the only complaints I ever heard from women about male maintenance focused on untrimmed toenails and hairy backs. I wonder if women are getting more particular, or if this really is the influence of the media? I don't question it too much, since 90% of my clients who choose the exfoliating body scrub are men.

homebrewlibrarian said...

I'm with Katharina on the photos...

Crunchy, you're killing me with Sean Connor. Everytime I open up your site, there he is and oh. my. god.

Sheesh the man's older than my father. But still...

Hubba hubba!

Kerri in AK

homebrewlibrarian said...

Sean CONNERY. See how flustered I've gotten??

Kerri in AK

Jacqueline said...

I am a manicured-man woman. I love me some Topher Grace, Brad Pitt, and Hugh Jackman (not as Wolverine but more Boy from Oz or Kate and Leo).

I love happy trails and a little chest hair, but I hate facial hair.

Bring on the Armani men!

Grace said...

that is what makes me attracted to the opposite sex, being a man, a manly man! yeah if you were at that age of 16, you prefer boys, but at the age of quarter-life crisis, i'd like a man!

Chris F. said...

Well, if we all looked like Sean Connery or Clint Eastwood, it would be a dull world although I admit I wouldn't have minded looking like them. The "beauty" issue that women have faced for a long time have started making their way over to the other side for at least the past ten years now.
I have more of what one woman once told me, "a boyish look", but you can't change genetics you know. Not to mention I'm only 5'9" although I would love to be at least 6'. Again, I can't do anything about that.

As for me personally, I do have chest hair although I keep it trimmed down during summer months. I do not like the fact I've loss hair on my head and I intend to do something about it once I can save up a few thousand dollars for a hair grafts. I am usually clean shaven, but I do at times go a few days without shaving.

In a nutshell, be yourself. You can't please everyone unless you want to do insane.

jennconspiracy said...

I have to say - well manicured hands (with short fingernails) are a requirement for anyone, particularly lovers and massage therapists. Just sayin' -- nobody's putting their ragged, dirty fingernails anywhere near my skin. That's just gross.

I'm all FOR manicures of the smooth, file, trim type - not the glue-on/paint/lacquer type.

Baio-Dome said...

I draw the line at MANN-icures.

I draw the line, and then I CROSS the line--and get a nice, subtle, clear gloss at Diva Nails Spa.

And a mild, airbrush touch-up at Aloha Sun.

QSDH said...

this is funny, i think its about time for men to act like men, and not act like women. what i like about your blog is, you seem to point out all the problems we have in america. we need more people like you

pnwmom said...

Lots of traffic here again, Crunchy!

I prefer the naturally hairy, outdoorsy type man. Aragorn any day!

However, we enjoy asian movies and anime where many of the males are femanized. There, it is oddly appealing.

Finally, in talking with a swinger couple, I was surprised to learn that the subculture had a preferance for ZERO body hair. I don't even wax my eyebrows- I cannot imagine being a guy and waxing everything below the belt!
-KimK

Walking Green said...

Goodness! Make me think tonight and drool....if my monitor shorts out--I am blaming the pervy thoughts you have brought forth into my overworked brain.

I like manly men. I married a psuedo-metrosexual, but manly men. Hockey players like Eric Lindros, Mark Messier and Mario Lemieux. Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Howard Keel, Rock Hudson, Cary Grant (he was suave, not metro!)...I mean, there is nothing like a clean face, or a man who can pull off some serious stubble. Yumm-o.

I can go on and on, but I might have to veer over to purely obscene thoughts and I shall spare you this evening!

lemontee333 said...

Oooooooooh, give Gerard Butler than Orlando Bloom anytime. Natural men is my thing. I admit though there are times when I go ga-ga for "feminized" man. But that was like ... eons ago (or to be exact when I was still in junior high).
I guess the preference depends mostly on our age. Maybe the older we are, the more we want someone who exudes this stability and down-to-earth-ness.

Scripter said...

It really should not matter; each person, man or woman, should decide on the level of grooming he/she feels comfortable with. If a man decides to invest more in his personal appearance and that results in less hair on his body, I do not think that this makes him less masculine. Masculine is defined as "pertaining to or characteristic of a man or men;" this can also mean that the standards of what is considered masculine can change if the characteristics of the majority of the male population change as well.

Carrie at NaturalMomsTalkRadio said...

You mean I have to give up my crush on Chris Martin of Coldplay? Although, he is pretty darn hairy at times.

http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog/miso-happy/

Maybe all this girliness of guys comes from the excess estrogen in our food and stuff? Maybe it's an environmental concern. Drinking out of plastic bottles, and all the estrogen in the food supply. And a lot of them are vegetarians so they're eating soy products.

Something to ponder. I like guys with less hair, but I don't want him to be the pretty one, know what I mean?

Verde said...

Huh, what was the question? I didn't read much past that first photo... the others didn't do so much for me.

Anonymous said...

Have to say, I like 'em both. When I was younger I drooled over Sean Connery, especially when he grew the beard and went salt-and-pepper. Now I'm older, gosh, Orlando Bloom looks pretty darn good. But going out of one's way to look like that...? Meh. Spouse is a furry bear, I like I like.

Waman Parulekar said...

Nice blog ...

keep it up..

Two Flights Down said...

Times and fashions change. Men becoming more groomed can be seen as exploring a little of what the feminine world has to offer, but either way, harry or not, there is still a line that can't be crossed. Men often have a fear of appearing too feminine--when seen on TV, an overly feminine man is often viewed as being funny or having something wrong with him (and the manly man has to save the day). Guys are getting "prettier" but there's still an issue of the guy's masculinity being taken into question, which leads the media and public to continue defining feminine and masculine. The way I see it, styles and trends change, but the line is still there. Until it's gone, neither women nor men can ever truly be free from those definitions that society has put before us.

Julia said...

You know, I wasn't expecting to have my hormones boogied with when I scrolled down to this entry. Then you have to go and post a photo of Mr. Connery right at the top and, even better, Mr. Butler (looking oh-so-nice in his disheveld tux) at the end, and, well, now I'm all hot and bothered.

Bring on the rugged men. Not too furry, but with some hair on the chest, and some hair on the face, and more muscle than I have. Aragorn, Wolverine, the Phantom... They are the stuff of *my* dreams.

angeljoy said...

Amazing... my husband has been preaching this sermon for months. He will be thrilled to hear that a woman has picked up the song.
Definitely love my hubby's hairy chest!

The Cat's Pajamas said...

DEFINATELY love the men of yesteryear. Perhaps that's why I married a strapping military man.

Squrrl said...

My husband has hair EVERYWHERE. He's grown a beard since high school. His father has always grown a beard. His grandfather was a minister, and so felt obligated to shave...twice a day, and grandpa kisses were always prickly. Thank god he doesn't feel obligated to match the modern standard. I love me some hairy viking man!! Most other men just look...bland...to me now.

stilllearning said...

I have noticed this trend; especially in women's magazine ads. Now you see many ads with a woman in some sort of "in charge" position, with one or maybe two hairless pretty men in the picture. No more damsels in distress, or at least that's not the fantasy that sells perfume or purses to chicks. It must be tough to market to women; they have to look cool, sexy, competent, but feminine, and no guy can appear to be getting the best of them, or they won't buy your Prada!

I think the whole thing is hilarious, really, and has little to do with real life.

Kathryn said...

Leaving aside the fact that I just love me a hairy man (shout out to the furry husband there)... I've always been put off by men who spend too much time grooming. Especially when it involves products of any kind... hairspray, COLOGNE, lotions and potions. Vanity ain't pretty in men or women, and too much time spent in front of the mirror equals not enough time living.

About The Cowgirl said...

Its funny,

I either like a manly man, hair the whole kit and kaboodle, or cute very feminine featured men with no hair and big eyes. I have a hard time with the in between boys. I find it funny that you used Orlando Bloom as your example, he is exactly what I mean by the in between.

EcoDea said...

I just scrolled down the comments and noticed that there weren't many comments from, uh, the men! What do the guys think about all this?? :)

prettyladypink said...

i definitely think that men these days need to step up and be alot more manly! i really dont like the little boy look either. : (
but as a woman i do feel that to be attractive i need to be extremely well groomed and that i need to take very good care of myself and i really dont mind doing so...but i dont want my boyfriend and i going to get our nails done together that is such a turn off!! lol so to all the men out there who arent afraid to actually look like a man and not a 13 year old boy!! you GO!! : )

Anonymous said...

Yes, Crunchy, I do get the occasional "mani" and a massage
at the spa. But then I have to go
chew tobacco or blow up something
in order to feel macho again.
By the way, great blog. How long
did it take you to get this good?

httpL//rrantzz.blogspot.com

Beth said...

Amen, sister! I have to beg my husband not to shave his chest. Seriously.

kimberly said...

well, i prefer my man to look natural. i'm an iranian woman; i understand the realities of hair ;)
that being said, my guy has hardly any body hair. he grew 3 new chest hairs (out of the 10 already existing ones) and a 'pleasure trail' at one point, and i freaked out in celebration. we joke that i have the body hair for the two of us.... it's... sort of funny.

Sara Nassrine said...

I say, if they want pretty, well-manicured women, they better be keeping themselves up too. I don't want curly chest hairs falling over the bathroom any more than he wants to see my legs hairy, or, for that matter, any more than I want to be out at a bar without makeup. I'm not into a lot of hair product for my straight men, or guys who have to make sure every item of their outfits match, but a man with a great haircut, well groomed chest, a couple great pairs of jeans, and some hot tight t-shirts that match everything can go a long way.

Jamie said...

I just found your blog on the blogger site. I just wanted to say that I prefer some hair but no chewbaca please.

P.S. I love Brad Paisley's song! It's even better live I think!

Camille to a T said...

I have always been the type of woman who thinks that chest hair is completely disgusting. I just never have understood how any woman would want to rub her face into a man's chest rug. Sick!
But, since being in a long term relationship, I appreciate that my boyfriend has the ability to grow chest hair and is not a little girl, but I appreciate more that he does manscaping for me, since he knows that is what I prefer.
I guess, I just like my men well groomed.
I know that my boyfriend only manscapes for me, so that I will find him more attractive and feel more comfortable. If that is the same reason why celebrities are manscaping, then I say more power to 'em! They know what the majority of women want and what makes them feel their best so I respect that. It must make them feel more confident too because men are stubborn and I think that most won't do anything that they really don't want to do. Everyone wants to be found attractive by the opposite sex and if that is how male celebrities are choosing to go about it, then I support them

Chaotically Calm said...

I'm straddling the fence on this one....why don't we name the in btw catergory well maintained. I am not opposed to a little hair but if you look like the last time you saw scissors was in a kindergarden class there's gonna be some problems.

I don't think either hairy or hairless has anything to do with being masculine but I will say I never understood the obession with early Leo DiCaprio.

On a personal note I did make an ex shave his chest before considering the do so I guess I'm not straddling the fence but in my defense when I was a little girl a hairy man picked up from behind when I was wearing a bathing suit and I thought I was being attacked by a bear. These kinds of things leave lasting impressions :-D

b0s_ said...

Men should keep themselves clean and that doesn't necessarily mean shaved. But a man should be physically/mentally healthy and have good hygiene like brushing their teeth, taking baths. Keep themselves decent enough to wanna be near them.

Tia said...

Oh I am just so happy that somebody else noticed and had the balls *ehem* to speak up about it. I have been bothered by this since the day I saw an add with David Beckham. The man was in his underwear but other than the package he was selling *ehem* he looked feminine. No freaking body hair. Highlighted hair on his head, clearly manicured hands & feet.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ALL OUR MEN!?!

Christy B said...

Sean Connerythinks women should be slapped when they "can't leave it alone" and "want to have the last word" - not so sexy.

Here's something I have noticed in my own "surveys". Men with more hair, especially on their back - um, have, um, larger, um "abilities". I am still "surveying" so I'll let you know if I come up with a different outcome!

I love me some hairy men (see above of course!), but I do I have to say I see hair on a man and I am happy! Of course my standards have changed since I was 20 and had a 3 page requirement list! Now, I only have one "must have" and 3 "must be's" in order for me to date them (1. Must have a penis 2. Must be single 3. Must be straight - my nephew once overheard me and asked, with teenage glee, if I was looking for a guy with just one single not curved penis!)

I agree, I think that that our adulterated food supply has something to do with men landing on the feminine looking side "naturally". I also have my own theory but I am afraid it won't come across right as a comment - I think it needs a dissertation!

Oh, and along with the hairy men I have often said I like the man smell. Give me a guy that's been digging a ditch all day and he'll be happy all night!

Allie said...

My TED video this week talks about guys shaving down there to combat body heat so they don't cook their goods as fast while using laptops. I guess there is a practical use to all this body hair removal, but that doesn't mean anyone is doing it for practical reasons.

Honestly, I like it when my husband hasn't shaved in several days. I like that he's not overly concerned with his appearance. I like that he looks like a guy.

I wonder how much of this is about what people like or what the media wants us to like. Because I would think that from a biological perspective, women would be more attracted to a "robust" looking man. And I wonder how much of this is about hooking the teenage girl market, because they have a lot of disposable income. I remember when Leo D. was so popular, a lot of people said it was because he wasn't sexually threatening. Little girls felt comfortable with him, and mom's felt okay about their little girls liking him.

Anonymous said...

It is not in every man's nature to be "manly." Just like it is not in my nature to be traditionally "feminine," and I don't like it when people assume I am somehow intentionally acting out against my femininity to cut my hair short and wear men's cargo pants. I actually feel pretty this way, even if other people - men and women - like to tell me I should grow out my hair and wear skirts because I'd look better. I don't feel better that way so why bother?

I think if it makes a man feel good to get his nails done and wax his chest, there is no reason to assume he's doing it because he's trying to change his masculinity or anything...maybe he's just doing it because he likes himself that way and actually feels more manly that way. I have the right to get my nails done or not, shave my armpits or not, wear makeup or not, get a facial or not (and yes, I do all those things) - why shouldn't men? We don't need to make such a big deal out of these things. Everyone in this country has the freedom to look how they want to look; I just don't think we should always assume that those who engage in grooming practices we don't like are victims of the culture. Many of us are quite aware of why we do what we do and it makes us happy, both men and women.

Jamie said...

May I just say that this may be my favorite Crunchy Chicken post of all time? Sean Connery, Clive Owen, and Gerard Butler in one post? Yum. :-)

xoxoxo,
Jamie

fhe said...

Hi Crunchy,

Have you noticed that, as the American male becomes more androgynous, his toys -esp. cars- become ever bigger and more aggressive looking? Apparently, the more aggressive a car's "face" (i.e. the headlights and the grille) looks the better it sells these days.

Anonymous said...

and this guys FRENCH :) so what's becoming of the American male?!

http://hipstersbeware.blogspot.com/2008/05/models-patrick-petitijean.html

emily said...

Bring on the beards!

Becca said...

Love your blog. Um, and definitely LOVE LOVE LOVE Hugh Jackman... Hottest man ever. So, I guess I'm a fan of the "real manly men."

But somehow I always end up dating the skinny hairless types. Go figure.

Joanna said...

It's not just the american male and I'm so glad someone else is thinking how strange this is. I was having a conversation with a friend who is 21 (I'm 30) about this trend last month and she was getting all hot under the collar about men who look like girls. I personally detest a man who looks like he is thinking too much about his hair- think about my hair!!! **THANK YOU!**
I don't believe it is generational as this friend and I are very similar in other tastes, but just the natural pendulum swing of men femminised by the strength of the femminest movement. I believe men do not- and cannot fit into modern society in the macho cave-man guise of historical romance heros and thus become more like women claim to want- they become more like women.

Willy-Nilly said...

Sam Elliott, the epitome of maleness...

Alex said...

Someone that doesn't look like a hairy bear. Thats gross!
Orlando all the way.

Lawrence Newman said...

Loved this post. You raise a very interesting point. I've been saying this for absolutely ages, that men seem to be becoming more feminine. However, in so many ways, women are becoming more masculine!!

I like feminine women. Not so feminine that they're like giggly schoolgirls. I mean, I like intelligence and someone who has opinions, etc. However, women nowadays - and I live in Scotland - seem to be so crude and vulgar in the way they speak! Nothing is a bigger turn-off!

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