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?