We live in a post-metrosexual and a post-manscaped society. Modern men are grooming themselves like never before—and society is barely batting an eye.
It wasn’t long ago that “metrosexual” was a hipster, stereotyped, and outlier term of early adoption related to the notion that men should pay attention to grooming (rather than that be a women’s job to dress and groom her man). The term was coined in 1994, but as the behavior became more mainstream, the term became useless and outdated. It is a term hardly ever invoked today. Guys who once might be called “metrosexuals” are simply called “guys” today. We are post-metrosexual.
And in the same way that we are now post-metrosexual, we are also heading toward a post-manscaped world as well. The habit of trimming, shaving and sculpting one’s body hair was once a taboo topic—a habit few men would openly admit. “Manscaping” was still a “girly” thing. But we have now crossed the chasm of manscaping in which the term is now useless in that it is what we do as norm, rather than exception. “Manscaping” has become as common as getting a haircut or trimming your nails.
I came to this conclusion the other morning, as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, clippers in hand—heading towards my most private regions.
It is a common routine, repeated in front of mirrors from coast to coast. Whether it is trimming a beard, moustache, chest or privates, or eliminating all body hair entirely (except for the head and eyebrows), most modern men now seek control of their body hair unlike generations before us. And more and more sexual partners expect men to be well groomed—from head to toe, and every crevice in between. Oh, and remember guys--when there's no underbrush, the tree looks taller.
The last time men paid this much attention to public hair was when the Ancient Egyptians shaved to stave off fleas and lice. Or when 16th century Romans were of the habit to remove adolescent boys’ body hair as an initiation into adulthood.
While little scientific research exists on male hair-removal habits, the sheer number of body-grooming products flooding the men’s market in recent years is a pretty good indicator of the trend. And, in a 2008 study conducted by researchers at Flinders University in Australia the conclusion was that “hairlessness is rapidly becoming a component of the ideal male body.” Of the 228 heterosexual males who participated in the anonymous survey, 66 percent said they had removed their pubic hair at least once.
So the next time you grab a shaver, trimmer, or a pair of scissors—and head down there, know that you are not alone.