If you're interested in male body shaving, also known as "manscaping," or just want to know why men should do it, men offer several reasons. Shaving has benefits for competitive swimmers and bodybuilders, and can also reduce perspiration. You may also want to take a razor to the fuzzier parts of your body to keep up with current trends, or because your girlfriend likes it.
If you're a swimmer, shaving your body may prove beneficial. According to a 1992 study conducted at the Human Performance Laboratory at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, shaving increases a swimmer's distance per stroke by approximately 5 percent. Because of this, the majority of competitive swimmers shave their bodies, and many male swimmers also shave their heads. James Reardon, a sports psychologist for the U.S. track and field team at the 1996 Olympics, says that for swimmers, shaving has both physical and psychological benefits. The lack of body hair makes them feel faster, and drives them to perform better. Swimmers also shave as a sign of commitment to the team.
Bodybuilders and weightlifters often shave their bodies to show off the definition and contours of their muscles. In competitive bodybuilding tournaments, a smooth and hairless body highlights a bodybuilder's physique. Having excess hair obscures muscle definition, and may affect how well bodybuilders do in professional competitions.
Significantly hairy men may find that their body hair generates a lot of heat, which can lead to excess perspiration and body odor. Shaving armpit hair, chest hair or even hair around the genitals can reduce sweating, and make men feel cleaner, especially in the summer heat.
If you feel unattractive or embarrassed because of your body hair, you can always shave it off. Also, you may simply prefer the way your body looks when you shave. Getting rid of back and chest hair before going to the beach, for example, may make you feel more presentable and attractive, and allow you to show off your abs.
Roberto Olivardia, a clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of the book “Adonis Complex,” contends that marketing influences cultural trends, and vice-verse. Advertisements from shaving companies, such as Gillette, Nivea for Men and Braun, tout the benefits of male body grooming, and male models and celebrities frequently pose shirtless and hairless in popular magazines. These and other factors, says Olivardia, have increased the popularity of male shaving and body grooming.
Shaving also helps men appear physically attractive to their mates. If your girlfriend or boyfriend likes the way you look without all that hair, maybe that's all the reason you need.
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Jessica Taylor has been writing professionally since 2007. She has contributed a number of articles online on topics ranging from fashion to technology to travel. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of South Florida.