While it’s not likely that the readers of this blog are overly concerned with the popular vis-a-vis what they simply enjoy, it’s worth noting that after two decades of smooth-shaven male models (anyone remember the Calvin Klein Obsession ads from the mid 80s?), it’s now officially okay to display chest hair.
From the pop culture blog Gawker:
Men do not have breasts. But our chests are beautiful creatures in their own right, which is probably why the man-cleavage, or heavage, is taking America by storm. We are apparently in a new “golden age of male chest hair.”
Referencing an article from no less than The Wall Street Journal:
“We wanted to go back to a more natural body, a more ’70s body with the models, getting away from the super skinny,” says [New York fashion designer]Mr. Bastian.
But what about those of us with a more hirsute nature?
The latest resurrection of man cleavage does raise a not-so insignificant issue: to wax or not? For a number of years, any male chest hair was considered a fashion don’t, but very recently a thin thatch has become quite acceptable. The low-cut look “is better if you have a little chest hair,” says Tyler Thoreson, a New York-based men’s style consultant. “It’s not about showing off chest hair, it’s about it peeking out a little bit.”
Robert Caponi, a 32-year-old musician in Greensboro, N.C., isn’t taking any chances. In order to get the hair-to-skin ratio just right, he shaves his chest every two weeks or so — a regimen that helps him to feel comfortable in one of the six deep V-neck shirts he owns. Not all styles fit the bill. After purchasing a wide scoop neck recently, he declared it simply too revealing. “I looked in the mirror and I was disgusted,” he says.
Some women share the sentiment. Posting on her blog earlier this year, Ketty Colom, a 22-year-old college student in Orlando, Fla., vented about the burst of men sporting heavage. “Leave it to the bedroom,” she said. “I don’t want to see your chest.”
Well, Ms. Colom – and you, too, Mr. Caponi – now would be a good time to click over to some other website. Those of us who kept our chest hair, letting it insulate our manly pecs, are tired of being in the closet.