2011/02/07

Confessions of a Hairy Arab

“Arabs are Hairy”

Without any doubt, this stereotype serves Lebanon's brand equity very well on the meat markets abroad.

What better place to admire bear chested
Lebanese dudes... than the ski slopes in Faraya?!
…if only these admirers who swoon over our body hair, had any idea about the secret struggle of Lebanese guys with their hair, I bet they would find it less sexy!

A struggle that is becoming more obvious by the day: Just looking around at the beach, you can tell two things about Lebanese guys and their hair: One is the demystifying fact that not all Lebanese are hairy, as there are many naturally smooth guys.

And Two, that the concept of shaving and trimming body hair has become commonplace in Lebanon, much as it has abroad, both among gay and straight guys. At last, it is no longer just another superfluous bodily care to label as “gay”, merely as “metro”.

Though one thing that gay guys still love to do much more than others, is to delineate their beard with millimetric precision (tezyi7): This one hair must stay, this one must go, this one I take off with the “string” or the “mousse”, that other one I try to get rid of permanently with laser – There, the perfect beard to go with the perfect eyebrows.

My own experience with body hair reached new heights recently, when I came across an old photo of mine taken at the beach when I was around 22. Taking a closer look at the photo, I could not believe my eyes how little hair I had on my chest at the time: only a few soft little hairs in the center. Little did I know back then what the twenties had in store for me in the hair department: Today, a few years later, I carry a chestful of hair!

Digging more into the issue, I went back to my childhood’s “secret drawer” where I found, along many other weird things from my past, a little plastic jewelry box. Inside it, not your average baby name bracelet: far from it. It contains…

My first pubic hairs!

I must have been in my early teens when I got them, carefully pulled out a few of them, and decided to keep them as a relic, a souvenir. This screams “What the F***?!” and I hear you, but I guess it tells a lot about the fascination of young men with their changing hairiness.

Apparently the teen years and early twenties go by with more of this kind of good surprises, enforced by compliments from hairy men’s lovers.

It’s only later on that things start to take a bad turn. One day around the mid-twenties, the horror happens: You notice you’re starting to grow hair “in the wrong places”. In places where hair simply doesn’t belong. Is it the 21st century way of life, the electromagnetic waves of our cellular world, is it the pesticides, I have no idea what it is…

All I know is I’m not liking these little hairs growing undercover as “duvet” on my shoulders and on my back. And what is it with this incredibly long transparent hair that I busted coming out of my ear?

This brought on my all-out battle against unwanted hair. I was still naïve enough to think I was in power with my little metrosexual arsenal on hand: Costly laser hair removal sessions, torture-like waxing appointments, even these nasty depilatory creams and their most nauseating smell in the world. It’s only a matter of time before one has to capitulate: the time it takes to realize that the enemy hairs are only growing darker, thicker, unsexier.

And because bad news seldom come alone, on another horror day, you notice you haven’t just started to grow hair in the wrong places, but also to lose it “in the right places”. That’s when you look in despair at your dad’s hair – or your uncle’s on your mother’s side if you trust the saying, – trying to get a glimpse at your future baldness.

The Light from Above, the one you get in the elevator or from the bathroom mirror glass, becomes your biggest foe. Suddenly you find yourself paying more attention to the disgusting billboards from hair transplant centers, watching what shampoo you use and buying expensive Minoxidil hair preservation products.

And then one day, Life strikes again, ruthless… with the first white hair. The rebel white hair you dreaded comes out of the lot, you pull out in all self-confidence, telling yourself it must be due to the last horror movie you watched... yeah, right.

-post, pic by GiB#2

11 comments:

  1. shit...
    sing along
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vziUC1IT0wo

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  2. This is great! All this is just a teeny tiny glimpse of the lifelong battles of Arab women with their hair :)

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  3. hahah shax yes that's right! not an option in the case of a woman, more like a social duty! :)

    LOL ra'fat, you took me 20 years back in time...and by the way, not a single hair on those too-sexy bodies! is it the 80's who are to blame??

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  4. Agree, I am not Hairy Naturally :)

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  5. this article nails it.. Nice work : )

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  6. um- i didn't go all analytical on that one (a first) .. i'm just sharing my alltime denial anthem - when my shit hits the fan.. im just too sexy for your party~

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  7. Thanks Shax! Arab women and hair... akhhh a lifelong struggle!

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  8. Superb post. Jarring in all the funny ways. :)

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  9. as a hairless Asian gay man..I love hairy Lebanese :)

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  10. AnonymousMay 18, 2012

    This was wonderful to read, thank you

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