Because body hair removal has long played an essential role
in the construction of the ideal feminine body, it is normally connected with
girls and women. Nevertheless, there is growing evidence to suggest that hair
removal is increasingly the domain of men as well as women. Visual imagery in
print advertisements, reports from aestheticians, and other sources suggest
that men, in growing numbers are removing hair from their chest backs and
stomachs. While the development of this apparent trend is over determined by a
number of interesting factors, it is generally linked to the body building and
fitness craze of the 1980´s and the emergence of gay aesthetics into the
The practice of body by men has obvious differences from the practice by women:
different areas of the body are targeted, and men´s body hair removal is
nowhere near as pervasive as the same practice by women. It is also important
to note that men´s body hair removal has cultural meaning that is significantly
different from that of women. Especially in relation to gender construction and
the crisis of masculinity. However, for our purposes here, what is significant
is that the history related to the public display of the body- female or male.
While men´s body hair removal does not correlate to increased exposure of the
male body through changing fashion, the practice does emerge in the context of
the increased exhibition or display of the male body through changing fashion,
the practice does emerge in the context of the increased exhibition or display
of the male body.
In the past two decades, in advertisements and in popular culture at large, the
male body has increasingly been presented as the object of an appraising- and
critical- gaze. Coinciding with this increased visibility has been a rapidly
growing industry of products and services related to the improvement of the
male body. The emerging practice of hair removal by men is thus one of a number
of significant cultural changes regarding the treatment of the male body.
Together, these changes reflect the growing problematization of the male body.
Thus, as the male body is increasingly displayed, it is also increasingly
scrutinized and problematized .
Larry Thomsan is author of Hair Removal Information.For more information about , visit