Well, you all can blame seton for this blog. Her post the other day (and I shan’t even link directly to it, because it is most definitely not safe for work, children, or perhaps even hi-def computer monitors. Scroll, and you’ll find it.) was certainly Too Much Something. Or maybe Just Enough of it. Anyhow, it sparked an interesting conversation about body hair.

Romance heroes’ chests seem to cover a wide spectrum, in the hair department. (Although, the cover models are nearly always waxed and oiled to a hairless sheen.) There’s the chests “sprinkled” with hair, the “dusted” with hair, the “lightly furred” – and if you read paranormals, there are the truly furred. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Mayne, the hairless wonder – my kind of guy.

I’ll admit, when I used to just read romance, I always hated reading about the chest hair. Then when I started writing romance, I really resisted going there. I don’t know why. Eventually, I begrudgingly gave my dark-haired hero some dark chest hair to match – but I remember kind of squinting at the monitor and typing real fast, just to get it over with.

Then there are the girls – not that they have chest hair, of course. But in a historical, you’d think they’d have to have leg hair and underarm hair that curiously never gets mentioned.

And I don’t remember ever reading about anyone, male or female, with a unibrow.

What are your preferences, in life and fiction? Do you like ’em sprinkled? Dusted? Lightly furred? Would you just rather not hear about it? And aren’t you glad to live in the days of safe and inexpensive waxing treatments?

Oh, and is there anything you prefer to squint and type real fast, just to get it over with?

Don’t forget, there’s a contest going on below this post – Enter by tomorrow; you may already be a winner!

14 comments to “TMI Tuesday – Hair Apparent”

  1. Maggie Robinson
    · August 21st, 2007 at 6:03 am · Link

    Judith Ivory did a book (I don’t remember which) where the heroine had “downy” golden blond hair everywhere. I kept thinking of her as a chick.My current heroine Eden has to be ruthlessly plucked before she knocks ’em dead.

    I confess I’m not crazy about chest hair, altho the references to the thin line of hair on the hero going down-down-down is a bit of a turn-on. My online friend RevMelinda mocks the phrase “crisp hair,” as it reminds her of salad!

    The Word Wenches did a whole post about this, and the gist was that northern European men (i.e., our Regency bucks) were probably pretty hairless, so it’s okay to have those hairless chests on the covers.

  2. terrio
    · August 21st, 2007 at 6:37 am · Link

    For some reason I prefer a light dusting both in reading and RL. But I have wondered about the heroines. I guess if they never shaved then at least the hair was soft and not that porcupine (sp?) stuff we get. But I can’t imagine the underarm hair. *shudders* I’d rather not even think about it.

    Oh, and I like the happy trails too, Maggie. That is sexy.

  3. seton
    · August 21st, 2007 at 7:07 am · Link

    Heh, blame as much as you wanna 😛

    I love this subject because this is one of the few cases where my real life preference doesnt match my reading preference. (Probably because I dont have to see the visuals.) In real life, I am attracted to only hairless men; I even find balding men like Sting or Jude Law hella sexy, but in romance novels, pelts are hawt to me for some reason. I think I even looked up some Diana Palmers when someone mentioned that her heroes are usually pretty hairy and have a habit of rubbing the chest hair against the heroine. Never found that in any of the Palmers I read though 🙁

    Steve Carrell was a pretty brave man to do that scene in TYOV. That scene was excruciating to watch. Ouch!

  4. Ericka Scott
    · August 21st, 2007 at 10:51 am · Link

    I like ’em furry…guess I read entirely too much paranormal!

    And I’m shuddering to think of the underarm hair on those historical women! Ewwww!

  5. Alice Audrey
    · August 21st, 2007 at 1:21 pm · Link

    I don’t really pay much attention to hair, unless it’s very unusual. Pit hairs down to the waist would turn me off. 😀

  6. Lenora Bell
    · August 21st, 2007 at 9:48 pm · Link

    Pit hair down to the waist, Alice? Good lord! That wouldn’t just turn me off, it would send me screaming for industrial strength Nair.

    I’ve never dated anyone with an Austin Powers chest pelt, so I can’t really say how I feel about it. But lightly dusted is nice.

  7. Kelly
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 5:17 am · Link

    So funny that you should post this now, Eve, since I just got to the description of my hero’s chest hair last night! I had to stop for quite a while and debate just how much chest hair, if any, he really had, since it’s not something I generally think about my preferences for in real life.

    As for the women, I wondered about that for a long time, and even did some research on it at one point. Apparently ladies of the upper classes have been shaving for about a thousand years. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, that including shaving the front of their heads to make their foreheads appear larger, but leg shaving has been going on for quite some time as well.

    I’m not sure of the specifics, and I can’t seem to find my link to the research, but if I remember correctly, the ladies of the ton during the Regency might have avoided the whole hairy-leg thing. And one would hope they didn’t neglect their pits as well.

  8. Tessa Dare
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 9:08 am · Link

    I’m loving these comments!

    Maggie, what an interesting idea, that Northern European men being hairless, therefore cover art is accurate. So were all Regency bucks ripped and tanned, too? 😉

    Terri – LOL at happy trails. Yep, I’m kinda fond of those, too.

    seton – I’m kind of the opposite. I can go either way in RL, but in fiction, I’m not a fan. But I don’t know – Jeremy just seemed like a guy who would have chest hair, so I caved. Next time, I may just leave it out.

    Ericka – with the women, I kinda figure, whatever they had it would have seemed ‘normal’ to them, so it’s not necessary to really mention. But yeah, it makes me glad I don’t live in a historical.

    AA – ewwwwwwwwwwwww.

    Kelly – how interesting, the shaving of foreheads! It’s all so culturally relative, isn’t it? Whatever the aesthetic preferences of the time. Perhaps 19th century English would be disgusted by our hairy, diminutive foreheads! Bangs … *shudder*

  9. Tessa Dare
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 9:10 am · Link

    Oh, and Lenore –

    I haven’t experienced a RL “pelt” of those proportions, either. Can’t say I’m sorry. But in moderation, I agree it can be sexy.

  10. ERiCA
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 1:27 pm · Link

    LOL. I actually was just working on a scene yesterday wherein I mentioned my hero’s chest hair.

    (The current iteration fails to mention whether it’s sprinkled or peltish, just that it tickles against her nipples. TMI?)

  11. Darcy Burke
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 7:38 pm · Link

    Oooh, oooh, my heroine’s dad has a unibrow! Or at least two very bushy eyebrows that form a large piece of shrubbery over his eyes when he’s mad.

    Not sure about the Northern European man theory. I’m married to a very blond man of German/Prussian descent and he is not, er, hairless. Probablt TMI, but that’s the name of the game, right?

  12. Tessa Dare
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 10:23 pm · Link

    LOL at your unibrow, Darcy! Well, not YOUR unibrow, but yanno…

    Erica – nipple-tickling chest hair, hmmm?

    It makes me think… the times I really get into these descriptions is when the heroine’s pondering how different the guy’s body is from hers. The strength, the texture of his skin, the hair – in that context, I kinda like it. Something to think about for next book, I guess.

  13. India Carolina
    · August 22nd, 2007 at 11:41 pm · Link

    So happens I love chest hair in real life and in fiction.

    In fact, I get squicked out when a certain romance author who shall remain unamed but is truly, truly, fabulous, and best-selling, and worthy of emulation in every way (except this), describes her hero’s lack of chest hair.

    BTW. Congratulations!

  14. lacey kaye
    · August 27th, 2007 at 9:03 pm · Link

    is there anything you prefer to squint and type real fast, just to get it over with?

    Uh, the mushy parts? And I don’t mean mush fun parts…