Today has been dubbed the first annual #BodyHairDay.
Writing for Bustle, Erin McKelle Fischer, who coined the holiday, notes:
If you’re a woman who has ever had hairy legs or not shaved your underarms for a month, you know how much stigma exists around women who have body hair... So I decided to talk back to this stigma once and for all by creating the first annual #BodyHairDay, which is going to be a celebration of body hair for all of those who are marginalized or shamed for having something so natural.
But women aren't the only ones who feel stigma and shame when it comes to their body hair. Last year in a blog entitled "Why Isn't Anyone Talking About Nick Jonas' Hairy Ass?," I explored our society's reaction to men with body hair, writing in part:
An appreciation of body hair in our culture has waxed and waned over the years. Today the male bodies presented to us (and especially to young men and women) as enviable and desirable are often hairless. I can't remember the last time I saw a contestant on "The Bachelorette" with a full chest of hair (not that I watch that show). Even the werewolves on "Teen Wolf" are hairless (not that I watch that show either).
And when we do see body hair in magazines or movies, it's always controlled and coiffed and constrained to the chest and stomach. Remember the funniest scene in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"? It was when Steve Carell got his torso waxed. Whenever that scene plays, we hold our collective breath as Carell undergoes his metamorphosis, mesmerized by the agony (and his hilarious reaction to it) but also relieved by the taming of the beast before our eyes and his implied transformation from wild man into gentleman.
Hairy backs and asses are even bigger jokes. If you have one (and many, many men do), you can't be the leading man; you're someone's gross dad or lecherous bad date.
At the same time, some men feel shame because they don't have more body hair.
Which brings us back to #BodyHairDay. With so many cultural forces fighting over our bodies -- women, men and everyone who falls in between and outside of the two ends of the gender spectrum -- and attempting to convince us of how we should or shouldn't tend to them, we want to hear from you about your thoughts on body hair and grooming.
Participate in the polls below and then sound off in the comments section.