Who remembers Teenwolf? It is an awesome movie, in the rubbish way that so many ’80s movies are. Luckily for Michael J Fox he was able to take the hair off when the director yelled ‘cut’, but for some of us that isn’t possible, we have to live with a visual eyesore sprouting from our chests like the devil’s own cress.
I have to be honest here, I feel bloody cheated! I had older brothers and grew up watching bastions of the chest toupee fighting and ‘tearing shit up’ in movies as a kid. Programmes like Magnum PI nurtured in me the belief that hair was good; it was the sign of a man. Grrrr. Rugged. Hair was a signal to all that a massive membrum swung pendulously between the legs of a manly man who took what he wanted and damn the consequences. All the ladies swooned at the sight of the white jacket (with rolled up sleeves) and gratuitously open Hawaiian shirt that said ‘I’m here, I’m hairy and there is enough of me to keep you all warm on a chilly night.’ But now? Hair is seen as a sign that you’ve got an extra gene, probably from incest.
Luckily, I don’t have a hairy back… but time is no friend of the hairy man – it’s going to happen. My current girlfriend was a little shocked by what she refers to as ‘my condition’, as being a Californian she was mainly used to waxed or naturally hairless Baywatch types. I don’t know if there is something in the water in California but a lot of guys are really hair-less over there.
In any conversation I’ve ever had on the topic of body hair (and I have had a few, usually initiated when somebody sees for the first time that I have hair) most people – especially the girls – conclude that hair is grim and should be removed at all costs. I’ve had various reactions to my chest-tinder; thankfully nobody has reacted with utter disgust despite my general chat above. However I have had shock and a few ‘OMG (laugh) you’re so hairy…ooh its soft like dog’s fur,’ which is great for the personal confidence. However, I have on the whole noticed a difference between the hair-hating rhetoric and my own experiences with the opposite sex. Perhaps they were just being nice and trying not to hurt my feelings, but nearly every girlfriend I’ve had comes to love it. After the visual shock of the devil cress has passed, it’s always head on my shoulder while a snaking arm starts rubbing the chest and stomach – I guess there is something tactile about it.
While I wouldn’t class myself as a metrosexual (I don’t fuck free newspapers – boom boom) I’m no stranger to trying to remove the hair. I’ve tried the cream stuff, but that just burns like napalm and gives me a nasty red skin colouring for days; by the time the redness has gone the hair is growing back. Totally useless! I remember somebody once saying to me, “don’t worry about it, Ron Jeremy is covered in hair,” I am pretty sure that it wasn’t Ron’s hair that gave him a triple decade career in porn but more likely the fact he can suck his own nob.
When I was about 19, I fell asleep drunk and some friends decided it would be funny to wax a strip out of my chest. The shock of it (and the fact I had inhaled two bottles of Jack Daniels) made me throw up – ruining the coat of the person who’d waxed me. Payback’s a vomit-coloured bitch. So with summer dawning, I was left with a ridiculous looking strip running from my ribs up over my nipple. So I bought some Veet strips and then – pencil between the teeth – attempted to finish the job. Fucking hell. The stomach was the worst part, the process took me three days and the bruising I caused myself was epic. I looked like a jaundice sufferer who’d been attacked by an acupuncturist.
So there we go. I’m boyfriend and furry fire hazard all rolled into one. They say that fashion rolls around in a circle which means the time of the ware-man will come again – no doubt I will be 70 by then and in no safe state to wear a white suit. Crap.