XY to GQ
The Journey from simply male to super-attractive
asked if she prefers men with hairy bodies or smooth bodies, a 31-year-old
political science major responded emphatically, "No hair! Body hair
is so gross. No body hair is a definite requirement for me, preferably
every body part should have no hair, but you can't always get what
you want," she said, while shopping for scarves at a kiosk on Ram
women on campus had similar responses.
Danielle said she did not like hairy chests, "hairy backs or hairy
butts. Hair should only be where it's supposed to be," she finished.
herein lies the question. Just where is hair 'supposed' to be?
theorists, anthropologists and archaeologists alike have tried to
answer the question of why humans lost most of the thick body hair
that once covered us.
1.2 million years ago, according to evolutionary theorists David
Itlis and Stephen Wooding, our hominid ancestors sported thick coats
why fur coats of the past were replaced by the relatively smooth
skin of today, making humans the only land dwelling mammals without
fur, is a question as yet unanswered, though theories on the topic
theory goes that our hominid ancestors departed from their arboreal
life-style and moved onto the African savannah about 1.7 million
years ago, according to Richard Klein, archaeologist at Stanford
move out of forests and onto the semi-arid savannah exposed early
hominids to direct sunlight for long periods of the day.
order to cope with the savannah heat, certain biological adaptations
occurred, including the loss of fur and the development of the thermo-regulatorydevice
known as sweating.
sweating, according to Bernard Cambell and James Loy, authors of
'Humankind Emerging', "requires as little hair cover as possible,
as it needs air contact (particularly moving air) over the skin
in order to remove heated sweat." In other words, hairy people get
hotter faster because the heated sweat stays on the skin longer
than it does on non-hairy people, therefore hairlessness is a good
way to keep cool.
and Coy go on to say, "heat loss through sweating was an extremely
important adaptation in the relatively large-bodied ancestors of
humans in the warm climate of Africa."
theory, however, begs one question.
sweating is such a productive heat-loss mechanism, why is the African
savannah teeming with furry animals? If temperature and thermo-regulation
dictate hair loss, why, for instance, haven't the lion and bison
lost their fur in favor of skin with sweat glands? The image of
a bald lion isn't exactly pleasant, but the question is a valid
fur-loss theory proposed by Mark Pagel and Walter Bodman says fur
loss was a way for our ancestors to rid themselves of ticks, fleas,
and blood-sucking lice, which apparently flourished in their fur
only was fur a great place for parasites to live, a lack of fur
was a great way to advertise a lack of parasites. This, according
to Pagel and Bodman, is why hairlessness was sexually selected for
and passed down.
other words, bare skin says "I am bug-free! Mate with me and your
kids will be bug free too!"
theory also leaves some questions unanswered, such as didn't the
loss of fur subject the newly exposed skin to countless other stinging
plants that it was previously protected from by fur?
theorists, scientists and anthropologists search for the origin
of fur loss in our ancestors, modern-day humans grapple with the
problem of hair to this day.
wax and shave every unwanted strand from their bodies, while a booming
industry pumps out hair loss treatments for men: Propecia, Rogaine,
Revivogen, HairSoReal and Fabao 101, to name a few.
seems we want hair in some places, but not in others, like 20-year-old
philosophy major Rebecca, who said she prefers a man with a "silky-smooth
chest, and long hair on his head."
men may feel the sting of discrimination after reading this article.
As my best friend Colin, a pretty hairy guy said the other night,
"Hairy is just how men are!"
according to the article 'Real Men Are Back' by Jane Mulkerins and
Roger Dobson, "what women really want is a man with a mat of chest
hair planted on a mesomorph, a lithe athlete with broad shoulders
and a slim waist."
from Cambridge University surveyed 700 women age 19-65 to find out
what male body-type they found most attractive.
body hair spanning the chest area and reaching the naval was added
to the image of the mesomorph", said Mulkerins and Dobson, "women
were twice as likely to rank it more sexually attractive than they
would have without hair."
hairy guys, don't fret.
androgynous image of Leonardo Di Caprio appears to be losing ground
in favor of guys like Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery in all their
magazines are asking specifically for male [models] with chest hair,"
said Heidi Corkrum of Select Modeling Agency.
we are returning to the styles of a few decades ago when Tom Sellick
was the uber hunk. Now if we could just get the fashion industry
to embrace the natural appearance of a healthy woman.