Introduction: For a number of years I participated in the Half-Nekked Thursday self-photography meme. About a year or so ago I began winding down and I can't even remember the last time I participated. Maybe because it's finally spring here (even if an unusually cold and wet one even for the Pacific Northwest) or maybe it's because I've really started perking up since beginning a course of Welbutrin about a month ago, or maybe it's because I don't think I'll ever shake the "NSFW" designation for my poor politics and sociology of sex, gender, and relationships, or maybe it's just for the heck of it. But I was thinking about it the other day took a few experimental over-the-shoulder photos. And made a surprise discovery about my physical apperance that I thought was worth bringing up.
So we're all aware that there's, um, controversy about whether or not people in general, and women in particular, should remove their pubic hair. All fine and fair enough -- there's considerable differences of opinion, much involving appearance-related pressure, others involving "pre-pubescence," others involving other esthetics such as sensation, texture, conformity, and even cleanliness.
So! Not much agreement there.
There's another, stealthier area where agreement about body-hair removal appears to be much closer to universal. It's in an unusual place. And it appears almost exclusively on only one biological sex.
Check out the following keyword searches (from Google, May 11, 2011.)
Image captured by Figleaf (hey that's me) Posted under a Creative Commons license.
Wild, huh? Considering the controversy it's not surprising that there would be more than million hits on the key phrase "hair removal pubic." One million hits!
Wilder, and perhaps weirder, there are seventeen million hits on the key phrase "hair removal back."
You can mix and match key phrases, adding for instance waxing, shaving, laser, and other removal-related terms to the base terms "pubic" and "back" and get fairly consistent results. Back hair -- typically an age-related development that tends to signal middle age in men (along with ear and nose hair) has very, very few advocates, adherents, or aficionados.
Sigh. Which means it's very likely that instead of spending time contemplating my cute but manly butt in the photo below (c'mon, it looks cute!) your attention may instead be drawn in more of a shoulder-ly direction. And if it does your attention may further be drawn to a not-quite-lush but growing dusting of back and shoulder hair.
Based on Google's results I'm guessing odds are about 17 to 1 that if you do notice the back hair you won't find it very appealing. But I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.
"Image captured by Figleaf (hey that's me) Posted under a Creative Commons license.
Happy HNT (or Half-nekkid Thursday!)