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Beardos vs. boyzilians

Does the rise of manscaping mark the end of the beard craze? Boyzilians hit the mainstream

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David's not shy — wonder what he thinks about manscaping. Photo via Blog.Naver.com

As the beard reigns supreme in male grooming habits, one would think the "natural look" was making a comeback, right? Well, not according to a recent article in The Daily Beast.

Manscaping — the full-on removal of male body hair — has worked its way from the adult entertainment industry into the bi-weekly routines of a growing number of young men across America.

That's right, the boyzilian, also known as the BSC, has gone mainstream. Even former New York state congressman Anthony Weiner is doing it. (Ahead of the curve, CultureMap's own Steven Thomson brought out the shears as early as spring 2010).

The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker looked to Cosmo for data on the new trend, examining 50 profiles of twenty-something men entered in the magazine's 2011 Bachelor of the Year contest.

Each entrant was subject to series of brief inquiries, ranging from "favorite female body part" to "hottest sext a woman could send." Towards the end of the list was the million-dollar question: "Do you manscape?"

Of the eligible men — for the record, Tennessee had twins listed and Washington state was replaced with Washington, D.C. — 27 proudly answered yes, while 22 managed to evade the question altogether.

 Manscaping has worked its way from the adult entertainment industry into the bi-weekly routines of a growing number of young men across America.

 More than half had their shirts undone and, aside from one or two people, none showed any signs of chest hair. Surely those waxing their upper bodies might be more willing to, um, take it to the next level. But the degree of enthusiasm about the new grooming fad was noteworthy.

Only one delegate dared to take the road less traveled, Will from Maine, the lone soul who declared "No, never!" to manscaping. There's something that sets this Portland resident apart from the competition, however; Will is the only bachelor with a beard. That's just two percent of Cosmo's worthy candidates.

But beards are still popular, right? One can't open a magazine or browse a clothing website without seeing a dude with some type of fashionable facial hair. A quick visit to several popular websites shows us a world of stately and stubbly male faces:

  • GQ: Beards
  • Men's Health: Beards
  • Land's End Canvas: Beards
  • J. Crew: Beards
  • American Apparel: Beards (and a handlebar moustache)
But one click into the Abercrombie/Hollister empire and it's all waxed chests and beardless faces. The general public is getting a lot of mixed messages here.
 
Phew, men's grooming hasn't been this divided since the late 60s. Tell us: What do you think of manscaping? 

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