For The Pretty Boy In You

The real bone of contention for me is the hair thing.

For centuries (or at least since the 70’s) women have been tending to their unsightly body hair on a weekly, if not daily, basis. We wax our legs way past the knee, thread our eyebrows, laser our happy trails and bleach anything else we can find blond ( which at the end of the day is a pretty futile investment considering the cost per treatment and the fact that it always grows back). We do this not because we are bored and seeking entertainment, but because in the grand scheme of things our lack of hair is a major characteristic in defining us as women. Women are smooth, soft, supple–not quivering masses of fuzz!

Similarly, hair (having it, not shaving it) is a defining characteristic for men.

Let me take you back three years to a conversation with Lauren Hardie. Three years ago I was afflicted with a common (but not fatal) disease known as ‘pretty-boy syndrome’. (Yes, that is the clinical term). Being a thespian, I was thoroughly inundated by gay men who, as we all know, are the most beautiful creatures on earth. These men would pluck their eyebrows, wax their chests and pour their chiseled bodies into well-fitting brand name apparel. They would literally look like ken dolls with their evenly-separated eyelashes and lightly glossed lips, and because I was such a fan of dolls at such an early age, I swooned over it. I thought: this is how all men should be. Luckily, when I graduated college, Metro-sexuality had suddenly swept the western hemisphere.

For me, it was like Oreo cookies had suddenly become a ‘diet food’.

At this time–the height of man-pruning– Lauren Hardie made a declaration that all-out turned my stomach. One cold winter in New York she confessed that she LOVED hairy men. Curly chest hair, thick arm hair–even back hair if carried off correctly–was attractive to her.

At the time I was coming out of a relationship with an adonis who spent three times longer getting ready for a date than I did. His nails were always manicured and his shirts were always pressed. Sometimes I had more stubble than him–that’s how pruned he was. The straight man, I thought, had evolved so much in such a short time, how could it be that Lauren Hardie–a woman also in the world of theater–could still hold on to this caveman-esque ideal of manhood?

I continued on my metro-sexual highway, cruising along at full speed. I dated actors, lawyers, investment bankers–all of which spent as much on beauty products as I did. We’d go for couple’s pedicures. He’d pop into the spa for a facial before dinner. I’d smile coyly for a pre-partyr picture worrying that my eyebrows weren’t as even as his. In all these men I felt something missing. I’d get self-conscious around them, the way I’d feel in the locker room next to a naked, well-toned blond. Something was wrong with these men and I couldn’t quite find it with a pair of tweezers. (Ha ha…corny, I know, moving on).

Then I met a different kind of man. A hairy one. After that, all felt right in the world. When we’d go out, I’d be the pretty one. During sex–I never mistook his leg for my own. It was like the last three years I had been rolling around with nymphs, mythical creatures, and finally now I was with a man. After that there was no going back.

Since moving back to Jamaica I’ve clarified what I find desirable in the opposite sex and (surprising to my college-self) top of the list is hair. Hair to me is the pinnacle of masculinity. It represents this rugged, rootsy male that can ride, drive and fly anything. I like men who like sports–I like men who are into doing stuff outdoors–I like men who can physically keep up with me and go hiking in the middle of the day in between meetings. All these men–the men that I like–have hair. And. I. LOVE IT!

Yes, I said it Lauren, LOVE, not like, LOVE.

So for all those men who are carving a chunk out of their chests in anticipation of the summer, really, don’t. Your hair isn’t ugly, it’s what makes you different from me. The hairier you are, the softer I feel. I like your two-day stubble and your calloused finger tips. Don’t pretty it up for me, because the pretty boy syndrome has passed. Leave the being sexy part to the women, men, because no girl likes a guy who is more high maintenance than them.

For more fun stuff to read, check out my novels, The Red Rock Cafe & The New York Catch.

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