There’s been a growing trend towards male TV and movie stars who look boyish rather than manly. Leonardo DiCaprio is typical, a fine and wildly popular actor but a perennial babyface who appeared, in most of his early roles, to have been unable to get a beard going if his life depended on it (although now that he’s entering middle age, he seems to have developed the ability to coax out a modest amount of facial hair). I don’t get his sex appeal; I thought that in “Titanic” the lovely Kate Winslett looked as though she could have chewed him up and spit him out for breakfast—or at least told him to go out on the deck and play with the other kids.
One could also say that this is part of a general trend towards androgyny and away from sexual dimorphism, and perhaps one would be correct. But I’m not at all sure; I think the more basic trend is away from age (or even adulthood) and towards youth. It’s not so much that sexuality or even sexual dimorphism are being spurned, it’s growing old—or growing up.
This probably explains why the appeal of the lampiños escapes me. I’ve always liked men, not boys.
Purposeful and self-inflicted chest hairlessness is also an example of the general tendency to tinker with the human body. Body-building, body-piercing, liposection, plastic surgery—every inch seem to be fair game for transformation and supposed improvement. Throughout history and across the world, people have always been willing to suffer for the sake of attractiveness; the only things that keeps morphing are the details. And if you think about it, shaving or waxing are a whole lot less traumatic than foot-binding or neck-stretching with rings, or so many of the manifold torments to which human beings have subjected themselves in the vain (in every sense of the word) pursuit of beauty.
And best yet, Neo has a photo of Giles Marini, a very fine-looking (albeit hairless) gentleman (and yet another opportunity for Rule #5 blogging),
Check out Neo’s tango video while you’re at it.
To the reader that asked,
No, I don’t like hairy backs.
UPDATE, Saturday 11 April
Ziva, commenting in FaceBook,
Fausta I’m with you. I don’t get it either. If a man is naturally smooth, that’s fine. Personally, I’ve always preferred hairy men. My husband (I hope he doesn’t see this!) is hairy. I don’t understand the sex appeal of these “boys.” I can’t help but think that it has something to do with the feminist agenda of marginalizing men in society. Look at how men are portrayed on TV shows now compared to the old days of say, Father Knows Best. In their fem world, they don’t need or want husbands, and children don’t need fathers. Boys are no longer permitted to be boys, especially in school, but are expected to behave like emasculated versions of their former selves. In their feminized world what could be more offensive than a macho hairy guy?