Archive for September, 2010

In my continuing quest to avoid doing anything productive during those times when I should be writing, I wander aimlessly through the Internet, following vague trails and traveling down dark alleys into inane byways of our twisted little cyber-world.  The things I find there are often funny, sometimes sad, occasionally interesting, and every now and then a gem of rare proportions.  I recently came across one of those rare gems on YouTube, that bastion of all things video, and it caused me to have one of those epiphanies that so rarely eludes me most days (no, it didn’t hurt, but it did scare me).

The video was a badly shot cell phone recording of a convention visit actor Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate: SG-1) did several years ago.  One of those boyishly handsome kind of guys with a pair of ice-blue peepers that could melt the heart of even the most jaded among us, Mr. Browder could have just shown up in jeans and t-shirt and every woman in the place would have been a puddle at his feet.  However, apparently not one to leave well enough alone, he decided to add a little to the visit, and appeared on stage in a full white bunny suit – ears, tail and all (inside joke for Farscape fans – if you haven’t seen the series, it’ll take too long to explain…).  Worth the price of admission in and of itself, and then he’s devilishly funny on top of that.

But that’s not what caught my attention.  I lived in Hollywood proper for several years during and after film school, and white bunny suits would have been mild compared to some things I saw there, so seeing an actor on stage in one just didn’t rate.  No, what caught my attention is a comment he made about his chest hair, a comment that came across as being somewhat embarrassed by the fact he’s got a healthy patch of brown fuzz across his pectorals.  He claimed that one of his fellow actors on Stargate teased him about his hirsute status, and talked about how the others would shave their chests but that he wasn’t about to submit himself to such things. (You can see the video here).

And that’s when that epiphany thang hit me upside the head – there is no hair out there.

Look around and see for yourself.  All those stylishly hip ads in magazines and on TV are rife with gaunt, pouty, eight-packed, chest-hairless boys.  Body builders have been shaving for decades, using the argument that you can see the muscular definition better, which might be true, but since Arnold they’ve just turned into comic-book mutants as far as I’m concerned, so I don’t look anymore anyway.  Back in the days BH (before husband) I used to pick up the occasional Playgirl, and not to read the articles because they were largely trite party-girl stuff I wasn’t interested in, but to browse the merchandise, as it were. (Side note:  yes, women are just as interested in looking at the opposite sex as men are.  We just keep our eyeballs in our heads and our mouths shut when we do it.  And married doesn’t mean dead!)  With issue after issue filled with nicely built, but smooth men who looked barely old enough to be there, I finally stopped buying it because I got bored.

Men everywhere and not a chest hair in sight.  My husband, during one of his more redneck moments, postulated a correlation between hairless boy-men and the sexual proclivities of the production people around them, a theory I found difficult to debate, having been exposed to The Business and its quirks.  Sometimes that Kansas boy is right, but don’t tell him I said that – his ego’s big enough as it is.

So I started thinking about the guys I did like, the men I could look at all day long, sighing wistfully and thinking thoughts that really can’t be posted here.  The obvious first one on the list would be my husband, a big, strapping Midwesterner who uses a four pound hammer when he blacksmiths on the weekends and has been described as an Albino Gorilla (I was told that I’m not supposed to take them home from the zoo…).  The only blond on the list, it’s probably better that way ‘cause if he were brunette, some guy from Alabama with a shotgun would try to claim his carcass to sell off as a Bigfoot.

The afore-mentioned Mr. Browder is on the list, of course, and not just ‘cause he’s pretty to look at, but he’s one helluvan actor, too.  They always seem sexier when they’re good at what they do.  Tom Selleck is there, too, because I was a young, impressionable college co-ed when he hit the airwaves as Magnum, P.I., often romping through Hawaii showing off his own manly chest carpet (and thankfully back on TV again with a new series).  As I recall, there was actually a bit of a controversy about it, because there just hadn’t been a lot of bare-chested he-men on the telly prior to that.  It was considered just a little too raunchy.  There’s a story from the days of the original Star Trek that told how William Shatner could only have his shirt off if he was smooth-chested, but it was okay for Leonard Nimoy to go au-natural because his character was an alien.  That and twin beds for married couples and you have the Hollywood standard back in the day.  No, I didn’t say it made sense.

Gerard Butler joins our team, representing the European contingent, and no, maybe not as thickly forested as some of our entries, (and not at all in 300, but with all that beef on the hoof, who cares?!?), but he makes up for it in shear smoldering machismo.  Backed up by Clive Owen, who’s acting versatility equals his plain ol’ hotness, it makes me think of other reasons to visit the Continent besides prowling through museums looking at embroidered coifs from the Middle Ages.

And lately there’s been a growing wave of real men arriving from Australia, Hugh Jackman and Alex O’Loughlin being my first picks for Team Drool.  I watched the movie Australia just to see Hugh’s nicely defined … acting style.  And the new Hawaii Five-O is definitely on the viewing list just because Alex is romping in the water shirtless (it helps that it seems to be pretty good otherwise, too).  Something about those Aussies just screams…, well, let’s just leave it at that, shall we?

So, Ben – relax.  Real women want real men, and real men have chest hair.  My thanks to you, Tom, Gerard, Clive, Hugh, Alex and all those other real men out there who have shared your fuzzy torsos with the world, and given women everywhere something to hold on to, in more ways than one.

Speaking of which, I should go thank my husband, too…

©  2010   Cheri K. Endsley  All Rights Reserved.

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