Hairless wonders

Okay, being a decent human being (well, sorta) I spent a couple hours today shelving books in a friend’s soon-to-be-opened used book store.

The romance novel section. My. <fans self>

What struck me most were cover after cover of the brawny hero, his shirt either ripped open to the waist or entirely gone, so there he is, in all his magnificent male glory. Prime historical alpha males, bulging biceps, pecs so large he could model for Maidenform, six-pack abs…and not a hair on his chest! Or his arms! Or even his arm pits! (Yes, several covers made this perfectly clear, for example this one. )

Of course, perhaps to compensate, it seemed these guys always had long flowing locks of head hair…

Anyway, what gives with that? Why do all these guys – pirates and cowboys and viking warriors and whatever – look like weight lifters freshly shorn for a flex off?

Is there some taboo on showing a well-adorned chest that I’ve never heard of? Or are women supposed to be repulsed by any man hairier than a prepubescent boy?

Or what?

I asume, it’s because a hairless chest looks more naked. I’m not picky, myself. As long as it’s not in little randomly placed tufts.

One comment from an artist, body hair is so sparse that drawing it and having it look proper is a pain in the ass. Armpit hair could probably be done, but due to a lack of light in the area, there will generally not be much contrast for the patch (and similarly, it will be less-bleached hair), so it will just end up as this black splot all of a sudden. If the pit is open as in your link, it probably wouldn’t be hard to spruce it up and give it some color, but:
After a few centuries of the difficulties of body hair being true, drawing beautiful people has generally come down to the conclusion that beautiful people (of both sexes) just aren’t allowed to have body hair. …Except pubic hair, which actually can be drawn quite nicely on either sex. Pic with pubes.

One, as Sage Rat said, it probably just looks better. I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of marketing research that indicates people prefer the bald body.

Two, as a corollary to One, it’s easier to have none than try to realisitically add it.

Three, it’s important that an unrealistic expectation be placed on normal dudes to have pecs as wide as Arkansas without a blemish. Otherwise we wouldn’t feel inadequate enough.

This coming from Hung Mung. Are you sure you didn’t mean to say, “otherwise everyone else wouldn’t feel inadequate enough”

I thought this thread was going to be about this article about the oh so cute hairless dog.

Oh, of course! Yes, let’s see if we can get bulemia and anorexia rates as high in males as females.
Sage Rat I expect your answer is the right one: ease of drawing and then it becoming customary.

Dang. Me, I like men with a bit o’fur on them. :smiley: