Courting Disaster

Beard Is the New Black: Why I Love Facial and Chest Hair

Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

My editor recently forwarded me a press release titled "The Rise of the Beard Transplant: And Other Ways to Be More High Maintenance Than Your Girlfriend."

Hold up. Why would you want to be more high-maintenance than your girlfriend? The only reason I can think of is to give said girlfriend a taste of her own medicine after having forced you to waste countless minutes -- nay, hours -- on the couch playing with her dog, helping yourself to light beer in the fridge, while she spends "just five more minutes" coloring in that hormonal pimple to look like a beauty mark.

Not that we do that or anything . . .

But I digress.

See also: Phoenix Is a Great City for Single Women, Apparently

The press release, stupid as it was, got me thinking about hair. On the body, on the chest, and down under. I know I said I would never delve into the topic of maintaining your lady hedges and I won't. Except to say that you should never show up to a waxing appointment late, ladies -- 'less you want your vagina to have a Hitler mustache. Worst. Haircut. Ever. But we'll save my Nazi Vagina story for another day.

I will however comb through the controversial topic of man brush. I have been pro-facial since the days of Disney's Beauty and Beast. Words cannot express the immediate disappointment I felt as a prepubescent girl when the once hairy and masculine beast transformed into a hairless blond pretty boy.

I'm alone here, people. Look at Belle's face around 1:20 mark. Even she's thinking, "The fuck...?"

When it comes to being physically attracted to a man, I ask for three simple things: to not be heavier, hairier, or taller than the opposite sex. Obviously, this is just a personal preference, and Lord knows I've deviated it from it from time to time (when you run cross-country with boys who have less body fat than you and shave their legs more often, you take what you can get).

But as a 5-foot-5 Greek woman of normal proportions, I prefer not to feel like the beast in the relationship. For women of certain descent -- Mediterranean, Eastern European, Hispanic, etc. -- five o'clock armpit shadows and hot wax on the face are just par for the course. We're like hairy Chia Pets, who, with the right amount of time, could probably grow out our eyebrows and donate them to Locks of Love.

It's for reasons like this I have gravitated toward the barbarian and hipster types. The ones with hair on the face and heads that hit the ceiling, because -- what can I say? -- I like a man I can look up to, even if it is just physically.

And while men don't have much say in how tall they grow, they do have a say in how much hair they cut. So here's my advice to you, gentlemen:

If you have been blessed with a full chest of hair, embrace it. Don't shave your chest tresses into prickly cactus pecks or wax yourself some bald baby abs. It makes women like myself feel like hairy pedophiles and it make your nipples look ginormous. Seriously, I didn't know men could have pepperoni nipples until I dated a man with a hairless chest.

If you just want to show off your muscles, trust me, we'll still see them. And if you're really lucky, we'll feel them. But don't shave yourself like an Abercrombie model. It's too much work for you to do and too much work for us to imagine you hadn't.

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Katie Johnson
Contact: Katie Johnson