This post was originally published on Young Men’s Nation.
Guys, I’m not one to criticize too much how people choose to make a living, especially women, who’ve been trained for many years to believe they can’t utilize their bodies to make a living without negative consequences on their reputation (See: prostitute, porn actress, bikini modeling). As long as the activities they’re being asked to do in exchange for the money is able to be done without coercion, then I think it’s time we let go of putting them in the “slut” box if they want to leverage their looks to make a living.
But I do take issue when women who have gained status as a result of their physical beauty are seen as being some kind of automatic authority on how men should live their lives. As in, just because we’re trained to believe that to end up with the hottest girl on our arm is a reflection of our manliness, then therefore, hot girls are the ones who decide whether we’re worthy or not.
This is something we, as men, have to push back against with conscious effort, and always, always try to remember that women’s opinions of us are the last place we should look for a core sense of self-worth.
It’s the ultimate attraction killer, ironically enough, for us to put women on this kind of pedestal and give them that broad power to dictate how we feel about ourselves. Meaning, the more we do this, the less women will want to get in our pants. Let that sink in for a while.
Things get even worse when marketing companies exploit this tendency in men to let hot women dictate how we feel about ourselves as a way to make us buy their stuff. Take for example this recent Gillette advertisement I found prominently displayed at the entrance to my local CVS pharmacy:
As stated above, I’m not faulting Kate Upton for choosing to become rich as a result of her good looks, but seriously folks, she is famous for one thing: how her boobs looked bouncing all over the place in a viral video of her doing a dance at a sporting event. All else flowed from that one video, viewed millions of times. She could also be intelligent and definitely has much more to offer the world than her boobs, but we must remember that the sole reason she is on that Gilette placard is because: 1) her boobs are big, 2) she has a pretty face, 3) she’s skinny, and 4) we have an unhealthy fascination with women who have this rare combination of things in the Western world.
So, my point is, why the hell should we care what Kate Upton thinks about men’s body hair? Granted, it’s clear she probably had little to do with how this ad was created. I’m sure the Gillette company ad executives just told her what would be on the billboard and she said “Sure.” And I’m not saying we should throw everything women have to say out the window, same way that girls and women would be smart to listen to some of the things we like, but just don’t take it too far.
Is letting all of your hair grow all over the place and never trimming it a good idea? Probably not. Some women actually really like it, but most modern women don’t. Also, remember that 99% of us guys have been conditioned to believe that women should shave all of their body hair to be attractive, so for us to not do any of it as well is kind of ridiculous.
Ground yourself first in your own understanding of your strengths, values, passions and preferences, then go out and see what girls and women think. Then find a balance that doesn’t risk giving up your sense of self-worth to them.