Sunday, June 26, 2011

Manscaping tips from my guest hunk

Glitterfish Studio
Guest hunk X debuted on this blog with a treatise on kissing styles. He returns with a vengeance...
It struck me recently how much our society EXPECTS personal grooming. It struck me at a moment when I was hypnotized by a wayward nose hair protruding like a spider leg from the small cave of the nostril of the person to whom I was speaking. It vibrated a little with every exhale and it hung there, just one snip away from allowing the words he spoke to reach my ears. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, but I know I said, “uh huh” a lot.
I went home that day and examined my own caves so I didn’t inadvertently distract from the words I so carefully choose in my conversations. Whew! No spider legs, I was okay…for now.
I began to take inventory. Anonymity allows me complete freedom to disclose my regular manscaping and skin cleaning routines. It surprises me to think that many have no regular routine (made apparent by Mr. Spiderleg). I am reminded of a New Testament verse (paraphrased): “It is a fool who looks into the mirror and takes inventory of himself and changes nothing (James 1:23).” No one can ever call me a fool. I speak of the following from the male point of view, but I know that some things will apply to my female friends too. 
Miss Betty's Bungalow
Grooming from the neck up: Haircuts are an obvious starting place. Most people take a little time every morning to comb, curl, gel, mousse, or at least tie or pin back their hair (scrunchies are so eighties). I can pretty much accept any haircut. Any effort to show that someone actually cares about their hair is fine with me. 
Quick side note: One haircut rubs me the wrong way: the Justin Bieber. Maybe it’s because I’m in my forties now (though just barely), but it’s the whip back of his head as a way of getting his hair reset that really annoys. I imagine that the young lad will end up with the older version someday and things will cosmically balance out again. The Bieber will eventually give way to the Trump. 
Much of my grooming takes place from the neck up (below the neck grooming will be addressed later). As I became older I was amazed at the fact that certain hair areas became more unruly and some areas where hair did not exist before suddenly began to sprout like the avocado pit my grandmother used to put in a water glass on the kitchen sill. 
This brings me back to Mr. Spiderleg. Maybe he didn’t realize that his hair growth spurt had begun in his right nostril. I’d love to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m just glad I had noticed my own growth many years ago. 

Stephanis Cherry On Top
The first time I had trimmed my own spiderlegs was when I was getting ready for a date when I was in my early twenties. I was performing my final face inspection before my date and there it was, poking out of my nostril. 

I retrieved a pair of tweezers and grabbed it firmly and…well, let me just say that sometimes young, grown men DO cry. I needed a new approach. I retrieved a pair of professional haircutting scissors and carefully trimmed away. When I was finally done, I felt like I could breathe better than I ever could before—like I had Superman’s olfactory capabilities. 
Art by Alejandra Oseguera
Hmmm, what else can I trim? I began to search. “My eyebrows look a little bushy,” I thought. I blame some of it on my Latin roots, but I could manage and maintain my brows. Plucking? Uh, no! I’ll trim them up just like the spiderlegs. I carefully snipped and made certain that I had two SEPARATE brows. This was easy now. I think I had it all handled. 
Now as I have become a little older, I have noticed that hair in the general ear area needs a little attention. It wasn’t growing out of my ears, but on my ear lobes. I have a set of electric clippers (more on those later) and all it took was a gentle pass over both lobes to rid myself of the Middle-earth look. 
I found myself becoming a little addicted to the idea of manscaping. I would work from the neck down now. I’d prune away any unruliness. I hadn’t planned on walking around naked, but if I CHOSE to, I’d not get a complaint about looking like an extra from the original Planet of the Apes. I was relieved that I didn’t have any chest hair to contend with, nor shoulder or back hair for that matter. 
Pretty Girl Prints
I have a friend, Magilla (not his real name), who has so much back and chest hair that his shirts float over his body. I gave him a bro hug once and felt his hair vest under his shirt. I declined a future visit to the lake so I didn’t see his full hirsute condition. By the way, here’s an easy way to remember the definition of hirsute, just think of it like two words: HAIR SUIT. You’re welcome. 
Now, manscaping would not be complete without a discussion about the bikini area. I know women generally maintain their lower garden. There are a bunch of terms that describe their hairstyle of choice: landing strip, triangle, heart, floating V, and the Brazilian. There's even a name for a wig a woman would wear down there: a MIRKEN. Apparently it is some sort of pubic toupee. Who knew that there was even a demand for such a thing. I had no idea that pattern baldness even struck that area of a woman.

Men, however, do not have any special names for their own shrubbery. We need to trim our stuff up, too (in my opinion). They risk looking like the Koit Tower in San Francisco surrounded by a Brillo pad. I do believe that men should trim things up, but should avoid looking prepubescent. I’d recommend leaving something behind, though I’d stop short at giving it a cute name like, the goatee, the fu Manchu, the mohawk, or Mr. T. I made up those names — feel free to use them if you like. Again, You’re welcome.  
I should add that there are benefits to manscaping. First, things just look neat. You’ll want to walk around naked and accidently catch yourself in the mirror. With the shrubbery trimmed back, the tree looks much larger (even if it was a redwood to begin with). What man doesn’t want that? The long and the short of it (no pun intended) is that regular maintenance in this area is something that must be regularly maintained so you don't look like a day three Chia pet. 
Chia Hats
One cruel thing that I was not entirely prepared for was ALL hair has the possibility of turning grey. I’ll let you fill in the blanks, but let me just say that I was a bit surprised when I discovered this fact. “Out of sight, out of mind,” I guess. If I didn’t see it regularly, then it couldn’t turn grey, could it? It could. It did. They don’t sell hair dye kits for that. It’s just one of those things we have to accept. I’m working on that. I guess the desire to look young doesn’t end with a receding hairline. I guess we want to look young all over.
ArtyChick Studios
Electric clippers are a great investment. Just be careful out there (or down there), and make sure you go slow. The truly brave may even try a razor. At the very least though, make sure you start from the top and look out for those spider legs—I really want to give our conversation my undivided attention.
Thank you, X. And now we'll be taking questions from the audience. I'll get the ball rolling: How do they make sure your mirken matches your natural hair color—would you need to send in a sample from the denuded area? But how could you, given the reason you need a mirken in the first place?