According to a recent survey, one in five men wax their chestsAnother study suggested that 66% of women prefer a smooth look
Experts say rugby players can gain a sporting advantage by waxing
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They emerged, Adonis-like, from the ocean, their rugby-honed bodies every bit as slick as the promotional shots they were posing for.
Each member of the British and Irish Lions — now on tour in Australia — boasts biceps that could crack walnuts and stomach muscles as solid as the tightest scrum. And when photos of them frolicking on the beach were released this week, the first response of the women of Britain was to emit a collective: Phwoar!
Nonetheless, a closer look tells us something curious is afoot among these handsome specimens: namely a stark and complete absence of any chest hair.
They are not the first famous men — sporting or otherwise — to bare suspiciously bald torsos. But they are by far the most disconcerting, given that rugby players aren’t supposed to have pectorals as smooth as polished glass.
They are supposed to look like Neanderthal brutes; calloused, hairy and muscular beings who’ve never been inside the perfumed interior of a beauty salon, and couldn’t even spell the word ‘depilation’.
In a recent survey, one in five men claimed to pluck, shave or wax their chest hair. And a recent report suggested 66 per cent of women preferred a man with little or no chest hair. Which begs the question: where have all the real men gone?
Back in the Seventies, a hairy chest was de rigueur for any discerning celebrity. Stars from Ted Danson to Tom Selleck wooed leading ladies with chests as bushy as a fox’s tail. Sean Connery’s 007 wouldn’t have been the same without the slightly forbidding eruption of chest hair peaking out from his open-necked shirt.
So WHERE did this trend for men to want bodies as smooth as babies’ bottoms come from? According to male grooming expert Jason Shankey, it started in the Eighties.
‘Body builders began getting hair removed to show off their muscle definition,’ he says. ‘More men started going to the gym, seeing others with waxed chests and thinking it looked better.’
Then, in the Nineties, came the rise of the ‘metrosexual’. Film stars Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey were more catwalk than caveman. Losing your chest hair became cool.
When a silken-skinned Daniel Craig took over as James Bond that very same year, his hairy predecessors suddenly looked positively archaic.
The trend has now been embraced by ordinary middle-class men. According to John Lewis, sales of male grooming products increased by 31 per cent during April and May.
Shane Suragh, 50, a web designer from Lakeside in Essex, confesses to waxing his chest for two years. ‘It is cleaner and more manageable and shows muscle definition more clearly,’ he says. ‘A lot of my friends are doing it now.’
He admits it took a while to get the hang of. Like most men, his pain threshold is perilously low and, until recently, waxing — like childbirth — was one of the few physical ordeals that women alone endured. ‘I started with Veet home wax strips and screamed the house down,’ says Shane. ‘It was awful.’
Now he visits a beautician once a month for waxing and whisks away stubble with a razor in between. He claims a smooth chest has helped his romantic life: ‘Women find it more attractive. It shows you take pride in yourself.’
But shouldn’t women be put off by the prospect of their other halves having smoother bodies than them? And shouldn’t men have more important things to think about than the length of their chest hair?
Not according to Imogen Hope Simpson, a beautician at Groom Beauty in London, which charges £48 for a chest wax. A third of her waxing clients are men and she thinks it is women leading the march against male body hair.
‘Women find their men sexier without hair,’ she says. ‘They prefer their men nice and smooth.
But grooming-mad males should beware. They are at risk of developing folliculitis — an ugly inflammation that occurs after waxing when hair follicles get infected.
Source: Daily Mail