People I will never have sex with, ever: creepy white-knighting body hair enthusiasts

Hairy girls, rejoice! We’re not smelly and unattractive after all. Let me introduce you to our hero, Jon-Jon Goulian who has written an article in Vice, explaining exactly why we’re sexy.

I am going to assume the best of Jon-Jon, as I am in a charitable mood this morning, and imagine that his intentions are kind. Unfortunately, the effect is nonetheless something that makes my minge cringe. The article is framed around a conversation that the author had with a friend, and how this friend finds body hair on women gross, and how Jon-Jon explained that actually body hair is OK.

The framing is in and of itself pretty problematic, and is a subtle form of negging. Jon-Jon is making it clear that while he finds body hair on women sexy, other men are disgusted by it. The outcome of his conversation makes this obvious: his friend remains unconvinced, despite Jon-Jon’s impassioned arguments. This is what the friend (who, again, I am going to charitably assume is real, and not an authorial wingman) concludes:

“The reason you believe that women don’t freely choose to be hairless, and have simply been brainwashed by advertisers into believing that hairlessness is what they really want, is that you don’t believe that hairlessness is sexy. And just about every other man in America disagrees with you.”

The message here is that Jon-Jon is the only man who can ever love a chick with a hairy bum. And we ought to be grateful, because he will ride to our rescue and defend us.

The thing is, Jon-Jon’s fascination with body hair on women is fairly creepy, and articulated in a way that is more than a little bit reminiscent of James Joyce’s love letters. Here is a sample:

A woman with a hairy body has essentially four vaginas—two armpits, the asshole, and the vagina itself.

Yeah, no. Biological improbabilities aside, ew. Just ew.

There is a certain level of squick in knowing that certain parts of your body are being fetishised: that you, yourself, are irrelevant, because all this guy is into is your pitfluff. It’s just objectification: there is a marked contrast between someone enjoying the smell of your furry bush because it’s your furry bush, and someone enjoying the smell of your furry bush because it’s furry bush. And, to be honest, Jon-Jon’s florid excitement over carpeting makes me want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction.

On top of all of this, there’s his presumption that we hairy chicks care what men think about us. He clearly believes his opinion on our bodies is important enough to pitch to a magazine. He clearly thinks we’re in need of defence, a much-maligned minority who need him to smite the unbelievers with his sword. In truth, we’ve got this. We really do. We’re not damsels in distress, in need of a man to protect us from patriarchy. And we don’t need validation from a man.

I get the feeling Jon-Jon wrote that piece in the hopes that suddenly all the fluffy ladies will drop their knickers, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The whole piece just feels gross, objectifying and patronising. It’s like journalistic bonerkill, and has taken me from not knowing who the hell Jon-Jon Goulian is to adding him to the list of people I will never have sex with, ever.

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8 responses to “People I will never have sex with, ever: creepy white-knighting body hair enthusiasts

  • Argon

    Personally, this is one of those areas where I have to say, “pro-choice” and therefore “none of my business”. I have no opinion on whether or not someone should shave or wax or anything. (OK, that’s a lie. I do think that most men look better with some nice facial hair.)

    And frankly, I find the idea of insisting that someone shaves (or otherwise removes hair) or not as a bit, well, fuck that idea. Even if you don’t like (or do like) hair in a particular place.

  • The Goldfish

    It did remind me a little of the Good Men Project’s piece on small-breasted women – although that was far worse, as it attributed a great number of personal qualities and life experiences (small-breasted women are all sporty intellectuals who are used to being ignored all the time) to women according to breast-size.

    I’ve come across a fair number of articles along the lines of “An ode to the people I fancy, who aren’t generally seen as fanciable” – especially disabled, fat and trans* folk (written by non-disabled, slim and cis folk, usually men). I think it is perfectly possible to write about attraction, but not if you start from a premise of “Other normal people think this is really freaky that I, Norman McNormal should actually like these weirdness.”

    Tolstoy was groovy about heterosexual attraction to women with moustaches – nothing explicit, but in War & Peace, the chaps keep falling in love with them having noticed how downy their upper-lips are and, in one case, when the woman is in fancy dress with a bushy false moustache on, rendering her suddenly adorable.

    • tinyorc

      This also reminded me of exactly that piece! It was so weirdly specific. Breast size determines your taste in literature apparently. Small boobs are Fitzgerald fans, because they are oh-so deep and intellectual!

      And yeah, all those “odes” invariably tend to come across as the author giving himself an extended back pat for being such a special snowflake, while simultaneously being condescending and Othering as fuck to supposed subject of the ode.

  • tinyorc

    Yeah, I mean if you’re a hairy lady, it’s safe to assume that you’ve already got a good handle on not giving a shit about what people – especially heterosexual men – think about your body. It’s not like all the hairy ladies of the world were cowering in the shadows, arms clamped firmly to our sides, waiting for a Jon-Jon to come a long and tell us it’s all ok. We know it’s ok. That’s why we grow it and that’s why we stopped apologising for it.

  • thecuriousalouette

    Let’s give this guy one of those “meets the standards of basic human decency” cookies. What a freakin hero.

    • stavvers

      Arguably, he hasn’t even managed that exceptionally low bar.

    • wendolen

      No such cookies exist (that’s kind of the point of talking about cookies), and wow, did you read the piece? The guy is revolting. The comparison to James Joyce’s love letters is fair, only Joyce was writing to someone who wanted to read them.

  • Reticent Mental Property

    I’m just flipping this over and taking this stance: I don’t care what men prefer, but I know what I prefer. I prefer my men bushless. Where are all the articles for men on how to lift and shift and not injure their bits with razors? Where are all the men lining up for a spring break Brazillian? Why does men’s swimwear cover them to their knees? I’d like to see more masculine thigh, perhaps clean shaven as well. Clearly women are not being asked our opinion on male manscaping and why is that?

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