Senior advertising major Ryan Billings prefers to look like he did when he was 12-years-old – bald. At least for his chest, anyway.
But in many cultures, chest hair on men is considered highly desirable and very sexy (Austin Powers may come to mind). For some cultures, having a clean-shaven chest is ideal. In the United States, opinions vary on the hairy subject. Forget about the national discourse (or lack thereof) regarding chest hair. What do Temple students think about men who may or may not decide on that close shave? Among Temple students there is no overwhelming consensus regarding the subject.
In fact, students are pretty lackadaisical when it comes to hairy chests, although a few interested students were willing to share their opinions on the matter.
Freshman nursing major Matthew Scherr prefers to keep it simple.
“I just let it grow,” he said casually, referring to his chest hair. However, some men aren’t as lax when it comes to a close shave. “I happen to not be a big fan of chest hair,” said freshman psychology major Travis Vaughn, adding that there was “no reason, just a preference.”
It turns out that quite a few Temple men prefer to shave more than just their faces.
Some of the men who do shave were willing to provide insight to a few grooming methods. Billings prefers not to use razors at all when he goes for the clean look.
“I actually [use] Nair. I think it’s easier. I prefer to be clean-shaven, but I think it depends on the person.” Sophomore film and media arts major Marc Pontelandolfo, also uses an entirely different approach to the conventional razor.
“I shave it with a buzzer, not like a BIC [razor],” he said. Of course a look at chest hair, figuratively speaking, wouldn’t be complete without the input of the opposite sex. Temple women view chest hair in a different light when it comes to their men. When interviewed, few female students seemed bothered by the thought of chest hair. In fact, many prefer chest hair to the completely clean-shaven look. “I prefer chest hair, but as long as he doesn’t look like a beast,” junior art major Sherry Janes said.
“I don’t like a clean chest because it doesn’t seem manly. But I don’t like it the other way either. [It] makes me know that he’s a man, but not an animal.”
Sophomore political science major Samantha
Foss had similar sentiments.
“I think guys should go natural,” Foss said. “If they have hair and things, that’s OK.” However, she remained open to the idea of a clean chest. “And if they want to shave it, I think that’s up to them.”
Nicole Tann, a senior therapeutic recreation major had a slightly different take on the whole matter. “The chest can be shaved, but other than that – legs and arms, no – keep them hairy. Underarms as well,” she said. “That’s too feminine for me.”
Angela Moseley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org