Friday, 4 October 2013

Back off hair! You're hurting my eyes

Things were getting a little hairy down at the pool

I took my eldest son back to swimming lessons last Sunday after a six month hiatus caused by his previously incessant toddler meltdowns in the pool. He thankfully got right back into the swing of it and had a ball which was a huge relief (fun times are here again). I used to take him early on a Friday before my husband went to work, and my other son I take mid-week when the eldest is at kindy, so the weekend swim was a new thing for me. The first thing I noticed was that I was one of the only mums (being a Sunday obviously more dads are able to get involved). And the second? Hairy backs. Everywhere.

Now, I've seen a lot of male hairy backs and shoulders in my time, but usually on overweight, older gentlemen on the beaches in the Greek Islands - not belonging to youngish, good looking, fit guys down at the local swimming pool. I was immediately distracted by this apparent wookie invasion and my head started buzzing with questions.

Do these guys know their backs are really hairy? Of course they do - they're all married or have partners who would surely tell them...wouldn't they? So why don't they care - do they think it's sexy?  And most importantly, why haven't they done anything about it?!

Luckily my husband doesn't grow unsightly hair on his back, but after seeing these chewbaccas in the pool I was curious as to what he would do if he did have a back rug thing going on.

"Get rid of it" was the reply - ah, just what I wanted to hear. We didn't discuss exact methods of hair removal, given there was no actual need to get de-fuzzing. I was just glad my husband was up for it, if and when the need arose, because if not I sure as hell would have been sorting out that situation myself. The Midnight Waxer has kind of a nice ring to it don't you think?

Given the amount of hair removal women are required to do in order not to frighten small children or be repulsive to the opposite sex (not to mention all of the other beauty regimes), I don't think it's much to ask that men keep at least one area of their bodies neat and tidy.

So why all the hairy backs then? Maybe these guys were between waxes, or being working dads have no time to get to the salon, but let me put it this way - if I sauntered into the pool with more bush spilling out of my cossie than a 70s porn star and Leo Sayer's head tucked under each armpit, you can be sure people would have something to say about it.

As a mum I know how hard it is to stay on top of personal grooming, but almost all beauty salons are open on weekends and Thursday nights. That's when I have to go so why can't dads? Or if that's too hard, get some wax strips from the supermarket and let your partner go all Karate Kid on you.

All of this back hair musing got me wondering if society had decided male hair removal was a thing of the past and I just didn't know it, so I asked my mate Caroline Maine from Laser Clinics Australia to get to the bottom of my hairy questions. Here's what she had to say:

"We do actually get quite a few men coming in to treat their back and shoulders. A lot come in of their own accord, but we also see many first-timers initially accompanied by their partners - so perhaps they're dragged here by them!"

Ok, so far so good. Tell me more.

"Laser is so quick and easy, and not as girly as say waxing is (certainly isn't as painful), and I think guys feel quite comfortable being treated in our clinics as they're not as 'pretty' or 'fluffy' as traditional beauty parlours."

Yep I know, it's too easy. Keep it coming.

"So in short I would say that back hair is most definitely out, and since it's now possible and affordable to remove it permanently, there's no excuse to sprout any back fur this summer."

Ah, my fears put to rest. You heard it here fellas - smooth backs are where it's at. Now go and get rid of that hair! 

Are you or the male in your life a chewie?

photo credit: Courtarro via photopin cc

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