Just read this piece, loved it, and am desperately hoping it's true bc I've been obsessing about this the past couple days.
Do men under 35 really not care? Even men outside a feminist sphere? Like not MRAs obviously, but just guys in general?
@tether I'm over 40 so out of the generations you were asking, but fwiw I think it's a matter of habit: first time it happened to me I was just surprised. Then I appreciated the "not just following the herd" idea, while from an aesthetic/sensory point of view it really didn't matter, just part of the natural and beautiful variation of humans. Maybe for other people (of any gender) there is a culturally imposed perception of lack of hygiene or personal care associated to that, hence the expectations/reaction. Once this aspect is clear I think this can be easily overcome but for the inflexible habituated ones. Or fetishes of course.
The tricky cases is younger people who might still be stuck with some expectation... and the article surprised me a little, and made me wonder. When I was in my 20s the expectation was shaved, often for all genders, bc that was en vogue.
And I wonder if this has in fact changed.
@tether my understanding of local (southern Italy) young population is that feminine is associated with smooth skin, while recently for masculine it is tolerated, but mostly if applied to high aestetical attention in general, i.e. lean/athletic body and fashion dress and hairdo included. Always with the doubt of some homosex tendencies, as a common lament is that the most good looking guys are more often than not gay. Never met local girls that are not sorely hateful of their body hair since they go through puberty (it is a common rite of passage to have the right to shave the legs, and my little sisters had to fight to achieve that right). Deep entrenched social construct, I guess.
@4somecurious LOL.. I think I tried that once in my early 20s, and it didnt work to stop me. Oh well.
As for southern Italy etc, I think this smooth/feminine, coarse/masculine idea is common throughout the global west, which is why we have this dilemma. The only friends I have from Southern Italy are feminists and most decidedly neither Catholic nor shaved :D