I am hairy. More so, in fact, than any other higher order primate. I imagine this quality is some sort of a Darwinian response to the harsh climate, or I would, were it not that the majority of my countrymen are without body hair. In any case, I have body hair, and body hair is a mess to work with when it comes to fashion.
Until you’ve had a full body wax treatment, you will never fully appreciate the horrendous pain involved in proper manly grooming. I’m not here to one-up the Brazilian Bikini Wax, but from ear to pinky toe, I deal with 45 minute power-waxing sessions on a regular basis. The nipples are extremely sensitive, I’ll tell you that much. Interestingly enough, though, having hair removed from you buttocks is not so much painful as it is awkward.
Yet, this is something that society calls for. Just as the rules of thirty years ago pronounced a faux pas on white linen suits after labour day, it is impossible to wear a white wife beater with bodily hair bulging underneath it like shoulder pads. Even an Oxford button-down is indecent when the natural turtleneck appears at the top. This is to say nothing of exercise gear: if Ketill had a krona for every time he’s been asked about his lopa peysa while rollerblading shirtless, he would be a rich man.
Most importantly, bodily hair significantly impairs my tribal tattoo designs.
I have tried other ways in my battle against bodily hair. For a while, I amused myself and (mostly) others by shaping different forms by trimming and combing the hair on my chest. In an episode of Queer Eye For A Straight Guy, Kyan, the grooming specialist – and my hero – offered the advice that correct trimming of bodily hair could be used to accentuate, or even give the illusion of a more muscular body. Being a big fan of Kyan’s, I’ve followed his advise, with mixed results. A mix of Bed Head hair mud and standard issue mouse gave me pecs that rivalled Arnold in his Mr. Universe days, but, overall, I’d have to say that trimming and gelling is not a good option. It only keeps the hair at bay for short period of time, and the more you trim it the faster it grows.
Trimming also does weird things for my tan. The thicker hair acts like a sunscreen when I visit a solarium, and sort of like an umbrella when I get a spray tan. The effect is that I get these weird streaks in my tanning. Streaks are very uncool.
Which leaves us with waxing as the only realistic option.
It seems so long ago, but once a hairy chest was actually thought to be manly AND fashionable. Sean Connery was a sex symbol, despite the hair on his shoulders. Burt Reynolds in a buttoned down shirt with his chest hairs poking out used to make women shiver.
Instead, my generation has Brad Pitt and David Beckham. And that guy who does the gardening for Eva Longoria’s character on Desperate Housewives. I really wish that guy would just keep his shirt on.
Fashion always moves in cycles though. I realise that one day, bodily hair will not be a burden to me, but an actual fashion accessory. Lord knows that facial hair has taken off – as demonstrated by my own impeccably groomed beard, which I grew in a long weekend. Still, even when stranded on an island, hunks like Matthew Fox are allowed stubble on the chin, but the chest is all but bare.
Still, I have hope that one day chest hair will come ‘round, and this hope makes my trips to the beauty salon to get waxed seem worth it. Because when that day comes, I will have the upper hand. It is a lot easier for me to have bodily hair removed than it will be for guys with no hair on their chest to have it surgically implanted once they make a comeback. Take that Brad Pitt.
The Modern Viking Food Tips
Summer is for Carbs
Summer is the only season that Ketill dares to indulge in the wheat products, but I have to admit, in the hot summer sun, Ketill goes for the carbs.
All you protein freaks, you know you miss the sandwich, or just the roll or croissant. A piece of fish simply feels indecent when snacking at a cosy café, or when chatting with friends over a fresh, fruity wine.
So Ketill recommends carbs yes, fat no. You can still go with lean cuts of meat, but dodge the Atkins influence.
The Modern Viking Fashion Tips
Summer is around the corner, so it is time to bring out the shorts. This summer it is all about cut-offs, Tobias Fünke style. Keep them short (they are called shorts for a reason) as to reveal more of that muscular and finely tanned thigh, and carefully trim the loose end at the hems. This is no longer the age of the boxer shorts, and you should demonstrate that your boys are with it, and well housed.
A V-neck T-Shirt will also go well with shorts. It is nicely underscores you hairless chest and allows you to reveal the obligatory dog-tag necklace.