Welcome to “Stupid Advice,” a column in which we point out stupid advice for men and explain why it’s stupid. After all, there’s enough stupidity out there already.
This week’s “Stupid Advice” award goes to Greg Melville for his Men’s Life Today article, “Manscaping: The Art of the Body Shave.”
If there’s one thing we women know about men, it’s this: You guys are hairy. Unfortunately, women, who never make sense anyway, are not of one hive mind a la the Borg when it comes to male body hair.
Some women like their teddy bears furry. The more hair the merrier. After all, why do you think Alec Baldwin’s so famous? His acting talents? No, it’s because, as one writer put it, you could lose a cell phone in all that chest hair.
Other women, on the other hand, want their men as hair-free as one of those terrifying hairless cats. For these ladies, ideally you’re naturally less of a hairball than a Yeti, and if you’re not, you better shave, wax and tweeze your chest, brows and back.
So, what’s a guy to do when it comes to manscaping? According to Melville, who, rather than having written a classic book about a famous whale, has written extensively on the fine art of male grooming, “being clean and tidy is definitely in.”
Stupid Advice begs to differ. If we were looking for “clean and tidy,” we’d hire a maid. Here’s our do’s and don’ts on manscaping from the female perspective.
“Always manscape after or during a shower so the skin and hair is completely softened,” reports Melville.
Unless you’re shaving your face, go to a professional. Do not shave your chest in the shower. Do not ask your bro to shave your back. Do not tweeze your brows yourself, under any circumstances.
Other than your jawline, hair removal should be done by a pro, and better yet with something other than a razor blade. Women are picky when it comes to results of hair removals—we’re practiced amateurs, after all—and there’s nothing that makes us want to say, “I am not going to sleep with you again,” like back razor burn.
We understand some guys may have so much back hair they can shave their favorite player’s jersey number into it, but you don’t need to be shaving your armpits. Guys have hairy armpits. This is what women expect. Two exceptions: you’re in drag for Halloween or you’re in a body building competition.
The other day, Stupid Advice saw an MMA fighter raise his arms in victory in the ring after pounding in the other guy’s head, and, lo and behold, Mr. Tough Guy’s pits were shaved. Stupid Advice was not impressed. Smooth armpits are not macho. Women like macho armpits.
If you’re shaving your chest, Melville says: “Glide the razor mostly downhill except around the nipples.” Otherwise, you might remove a nipple accidentally. And after that, all the other guys in the locker room will call you The Guy with One Nipple, but not to your face. Embarrassing.
This is exactly why when you’re venturing into hair removal in larger body zones, you need to pay a pro to do it. Fact: Most people who remove hair at upscale salons are attractive women. Stupid Advice has done the research and knows. So, you pay a hot girl to fondle your body? This is not a bad thing.
Personally, we don’t get why dudes are so obsessed with getting rid of their back hair these days. Seriously, WTF? It’s not like you have to look at it, and who cares what anyone else thinks. Also, this is the second trickiest hair removal situation. Someone else must be brought in to do the deed.
True fact: your bros don’t want to do it and neither do we. If you blend in with the rug when you’re lying face down on the floor, you may want to consider laser hair removal, which is totally painful and expensive, but permanent.
This is a touchy subject. For men and for women. Speaking for women, or at least this woman, we don’t understand why you would want to place a sharp object near your penis. This just seems unwise. For a wide variety of reasons. We love you, but if you accidentally hack off your phallus with a razor, we may have to seek out romantic relations elsewhere. That is how we roll.
If you insist upon weed-wacking your wang: a) let a professional do it, b) wax, never shave, and c) keep DIY hair-down-there treatments to a trim with a pair of scissors. Be careful there, big fella.
Susannah Breslin is a freelance journalist and blogger. Go here to read more.