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Should Men Shave Their Arms Or Legs?

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When you think about the culture of shaving, the first thing that comes to mind might be something along the lines of “this is a man’s job.” However, most men don’t shave their arms or legs. Some men don’t even wear shorts in the summer.

And there are many reasons for this: shaving can make your arms or legs look thinner and less appealing, growing stubble can be uncomfortable , it can take a lot of time, and it can be painful when you have to do it repeatedly at inconvenient times. So yes, shaving your limbs may not be for everyone.  But hear me out here.

Limb Shaving Is OK For Men When…

Every day, men across the globe shave not just their legs, but also parts of their bodies that are less commonly seen. There are two reasons this is generally acceptable:

  • A man’s body is a reflection of his character and upbringing;
  • Men are genetically predisposed to be hairy. They have skin pores that allow them to absorb sweat, which they then can transfer to the clothes they’re wearing. This means that most guys can shave off a little bit of their skin on their legs and arms without any problems (although it may still be uncomfortable).

A quick google search will turn up tons of sites that support shaving all over the body, but there are also plenty who advocate against it for various reasons (some reason going so far as to say it should be illegal). I did not set out to create a debate thread — such things tend to attract lots of trolls, etc., so I thought this would be a better forum in which to discuss this topic relatively reasonably amongst people who like the same sort of humor I do.

The first thing you need to know about this subtopic is that it comes almost exclusively from male voices. In other words, if you want to know what men think about shaving the legs or anywhere else for that matter, you need only find men who support shaving all over their bodies. This isn’t surprising given how many forums exist for women who have concerns about hair growing on their bodies; in fact these days you’ll probably find plenty more female-specific shaving sites as well (if you search with “shaving body hair” instead of “shaving legs” or “shaving pubic hair”). And here is where I diverge from the common view: shaving your legs isn’t just okay for men — it’s awesome! For one thing, this makes your legs look slimmer than they really are (which helps make them appear longer), but also because most people don’t realize how hairy your arms and legs really are when they look at them without a shirt on.

Limb Shaving Is Not OK For Men When…

Shaving legs is neither a good nor a bad thing. It depends on the context, and it depends on the guy. When I was in high school, I started shaving my legs. This wasn’t because I was trying to be “cool”, although I did have a certain desire to appear “cooler” than my friends (who were not allowed to do this). To be frank, shaving my legs was just something that has always felt natural for me. There are other reasons I started shaving — one of them is probably related to the fact that I had an unpleasant experience with growing up in a small town and wanted to toughen myself up somehow. It isn’t true that this was a sign of weakness or immaturity (though it certainly could have been).

What is true is that there isn’t much of anything that you can do about your body — there is no one thing you can do that will make yourself more attractive or more desirable than someone else. When you look at yourself in the mirror every day, what you see is what you get; it doesn’t matter if you look really great or really terrible — what matters is how you feel. People who seem strong may not actually be strong; people who aren’t outgoing may really want to be outgoing; people who are tall may not be tall because they are tall but rather because they have an extra centimetre below their height; and so on — these things don’t matter as much as how we feel when we look at ourselves in the mirror (which also means that there aren’t any things we can do about how we feel).

And there are plenty of ways how to feel good about our bodies: make sure your clothes fit properly, take care of your skin, eat well and exercise regularly, go for walks when it gets cold or hot outside and so on — but none of those things will make us look any better than someone else does. This doesn’t mean that these little habits don’t matter: if you want your clothes to fit properly and keep their shape for longer periods of time, for example, you should pay attention to them (and give them too much attention if possible). It also doesn’t mean that all those little things don’t matter: getting exercise every day and eating healthily are important in their own right but they’re not nearly as important as feeling good.

About The Author: Otto Wright is a budding author and traditional wet shaver.

Otto Wright

Otto Wright

I am a men's grooming enthusiast, particularly interested in traditional wet shaving, who also happens to be a freelance author.View Author posts


2 thoughts on “Should Men Shave Their Arms Or Legs?”

  1. When I think about it. Why is men shaving head/face different from legs/pits? Then I stop thinking, and just no, no, NO! I know swimmers/bikers do for better performance.

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

      Exactly. From the perspective of an old man (currently 66) the ONLY acceptable reasons for a man to shave anyplace on his body other than the face, is for very high level swimming/biking? competition (I’m talking Olympics/Pro level) and for surgery. Then again, I actually find face shaving a bit of a feminine affectation. Probably why I shave so rarely.

      But to each their own. I don’t judge. Well, not much anyway.

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