In Defense of the Smooth Legged Man

After receiving a comment on a post of mine earlier this week, I’ve been keeping an eye on The Superficial Plaza Chick. She’s got some hilarious stuff, but one post required a response…

In Fellas: Wax back hair, Not legs, she launches into this whole thing on guys shaving. The post itself sounds to me like the problem was more with the guy than the shaving of his legs.

I’ve also noticed that men who shave their legs are insanely perfectionistic about it.

Ok, I’ve noticed that too, but generally only amongst guys who just started shaving their legs. If it doesn’t wear off, then it’s probably because that person has that type of personality. Seeing as how her point of reference for men who shave their legs was a body-builder, I’m going to guess that he was the “perfectionistic” type. You would have thought the constant measuring of each item of food, the religious training schedule, and other such peculiarities of a “body builder” would have keyed her into this personality trait, but apparently it took the leg shaving…

At this point, I guess it would be good to fill you in on how I’d know so much about the topic of male leg shaving. I’m a cyclist, and at one point was a pretty fast mountain biker. Contrary to the popular belief that it makes you go faster, shaving your legs is done to speed the healing process. This is more of an issue in mountain biking, where falls can be a pretty common thing. Once you get competitive in racing, you’re pushing your body as hard as it can go and shutting your brain off except for the need-to-know stuff. From time to time, you’ll over or under estimate a rock, drop, corner, something… and you’re going down. I’ve seen it as all levels. Actually, beginners and the slower sports usually don’t get hurt because they’re so cautious. Part of being fast is taking risks that those starting out won’t. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Either way, when you’re picking rocks, thorns, and other things out of your legs, hair just gets in the way. I lived in the desert prior to KC, and one thing you constantly had to watch out for was cacti. The quickest way to get prickly pear thorns out of your legs (or other body parts) was to put some sort of tape (duct worked best) across it and pull. Sort of like waxing your legs. Try doing that with a leg full of hair… No thanks.

Back to the point about guys and shaving their legs. In cycling when someone starts they’re they tend to be pretty “perfectionistic” about it. To quote one of the girls I used to ride with while we were talking to another recent “convert” to the shaved leg cult, “I’ve never even used that much stuff…” He was listing all of the products he’d tried to keep his legs from burning. I think most women have used that much stuff, but they went through it so long ago they don’t even remember. If they think back to when they first started shaving their legs, I’ll bet they were just as obsessed with it getting it perfect. Guys that start shaving their legs seem so obsessed is just because of the newness of it. It wears off after a few months or so.

So girls, don’t freak out if your guy starts shaving his legs. If he rides a bike, there is a rhyme to the reason. Now if you’re just worried about “him emerg[ing] from the shower with legs smoother than [yours]”, well that might just be a personal problem.

Author’s note: Adjusted a few and added some missing words thanks to the work of my friendly editor…