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No Country for Hairy Men

11. August 2009

Columns, God's Word in Your World,


I can just imagine that marketing meeting at the Gillette Company. A group of well-dressed young urban professionals are seated around a mahogany conference-room table wrestling with the issue of the declining sales of their razors.

“How are we going to raise sales of our razors?” one male executive asks.

“We’ve done triple blades, quadruple blades and battery-power shavers. What else can we possibly do?” questions another male executive.

There is a long pause in the room. Then a female executive floats a risky trial balloon: “Hey, let’s convince men to shave their entire bodies! They’ll go through razors like crazy!”

“That will never work,” replies one of the men dismissively, “Men will never buy into such a thing.”

But another male executive, with bushy eyebrows and chest hairs protruding from his shirt collar, sounds forth, “You know that just might work. Men are shallow, vain and not that bright. Let’s give it a try!” And thus “manscaping” was born and quickly took root among a new class of “men.”

This trend has resulted in hairy men becoming the Hester Prynne of our culture, forced to wear a scarlet letter “H” for their sin. Whereas T. S. Eliot was concerned about hollow men, our culture is concerned about hairy men. Whereas C. S. Lewis was concerned about men without chests, our culture is concerned about men without chest hair. We live in a culture obsessed with male ...

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