sexy balding man with back hair

You know what’s a funny joke about a guy? That he has back hair. It’s hilarious! It’s funny because back hair is just inherently funny. It’s inherently gross. Because—because it’s HAIR! On someone’s BACK! EW! Hair is not supposed to be on a back, right? It’s supposed to be on a head! Obvi. Which is actually why it’s also funny when a guy doesn’t have enough hair to cover the top of his head. Because that is where the hair is supposed to be! And it looks ridiculous when it isn’t!

I think that’s how the logic goes, anyway. I’m trying to figure it out, because I definitely notice a lot of smirking, humorous references to men who are balding or men who have back hair, without any explanation for why these things are supposed to be so unappealing and ridiculous as to be amusing.

There are gleefully explicit scenes in movies where guys need to get their back hair waxed before they can even approach a woman. Because what self-respecting woman would ever even consider a man with hair growing on the wrong side of his body?

(hold up! you just crossed over to the wrong side of the tracks! source)

I admit it, I have giggled agreeably along with these observations about unfortunate, socially unpresentable men. You know, when one of my friends is relating a story about a guy she ended up deciding against, and she adds, lowering her voice secretively, but with a note of righteousness, “And…he had back hair!” Or, “He was totally going bald…” So that we can all understand exactly how bad it was. This was the sort of thing she was dealing with, so, you know, she did what had to be done.

Just like the nice guy I wrote about who made all those not-so-nice comments about women, I don’t think that making these comments about men necessarily makes women mean. I think when we do this, we’re often just employing the jargon. Like a tired comedian wrapping up her set, we’re just making the jokes we know will get a laugh. And when we do end up dating/loving/appreciating a guy with back hair, we simply don’t mention it. Why would we? We don’t want anyone to think poorly of him, or be grossed out by his body. No need to even get into it.

I remember the first time I ever saw Bear without his shirt. And there is a reason I call him Bear. He’s fantastically furry. And I didn’t know until then that I would like that sort of thing, but instead, I loved it.



Bashful, he said, “I know, I’m really hairy.”

I said, “It’s amazing!”

That was my reaction. I don’t exactly know why. Maybe because it’s hot and primal. Maybe because I was already a little in love with him. Maybe because he rocks the hairiness. Maybe because I knew that one day it would be winter, and the winters in NYC are long and depressing and they drain you and leave you a shivering, uninspired husk. I wanted a bear to snuggle with, to keep me warm. I wanted to curl up against his chest and hibernate.

I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter why.

I would’ve been surprised if Bear had all that hair on his front and none on his back. And when I was happily watching him sleep the next morning, I loved how furry his shoulders were. He looked sort of fantastical; a sweet, muscular, mythical being who had stepped through a silvery portal in the misty woods of Central Park and emerged, slightly bewildered, gently refraining from killing tourists with his massive strength, to find and love me.

I have been crazy about this man’s body from the beginning. I am crazy about it now. Not in spite of things, either, is my point. Because of everything. It is my favorite body in the world, and the hair, all of the hair, is an important component of that.

But allow me to continue to be shocking:

Bear is starting to go bald.

While the hair on his back is going strong, the hair on his head is thinning in the front a little, and I suspect it won’t hold out long. You have only to look at his father to know his fate. He has a big, handsome father with a big, white beard. His father was called “Hulk” in college, and still is by some. But unlike the smooth, green, amphibian skin of the comic book Hulk, Bear’s dad is unsurprising in pigmentation and fabulously hairy—he is a polar bear. And the top of his head is bold, bare and quite regal looking, I think.


Sometimes I notice that Bear is going bald, and often I am not really paying attention to that particular detail on that particular section of his head. It doesn’t seem incredibly relevant. Occasionally, I hope that he is OK with it, because sometimes he looks in the mirror and makes a rueful sound and says, “Pretty bald today!” Sometimes I know he is worried about it. And I don’t want him to feel badly about the way he looks. I want to somehow protect him from that, even though I know I can’t. After all, I know how it feels to look a way that other people poke fun at, that doesn’t fit inside the crushingly narrow parameters of Best, Most Acceptable, Most Successful Beauty. And I know the havoc that that knowledge can quietly, persistently wreak inside your head, even when, as we all tell ourselves, this stuff doesn’t really matter. 

Finding people you know in real life gorgeous is always an interesting lesson in a world with so many beauty restrictions. It doesn’t really solve anything, I guess, but it certainly points out how random and inaccurate a lot of the beauty rules are. If back hair isn’t really gross, then what is?

Maybe it depends on individual taste. Maybe it always did. If a balding man with back hair can be the most perfect-looking man I know, then what other possibilities are flung open?

People can explain this phenomenon. They say, “When you love someone, you perceive them as beautiful.”

They say this as though this explains how these people who we love are not actually, truly beautiful. As though there is some objective, impenetrable thing out there called true beauty.

But this is bullshit. There is no lockbox where absolute, unadulterated beauty is kept. People are beautiful on slippery, ever-changing spectrums, according to millions of points of reference, from every conceivable angle, according to the varying specifications of different cultures, according to the reactions of others around them, according to a moment in time, according to who is making the judgment. No one can ever really agree completely on beauty. It always depends on who you ask. It’s a reflective, transparent, changeable thing, even as we convince ourselves of its immutable permanence. Even as we figure that if we just lose ten lbs or get some botox we will finally, finally own it.

And in the end, and always, I have to be reasonable. I have to simplify. I’m busy! I have things to check off the endless to-do list on my phone. I don’t have time for this crap! If someone looks great to me, then there’s no need to figure out where they fit into some complicated equation of beauty. Instead, I’ll just let them be beautiful.

We could stand to do that more for ourselves, too, I think, when we look in the mirror. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “I look good” and then I catch myself quickly correcting that assumption. “No, no. I can’t really look good. See the distance between my nose and mouth? It’s all wrong. The proportions are off, and the neck—please. Would that neck ever appear in a magazine? Of course not! So clearly, I am mistaken. I look bad. ‘Bad’ was the word I was looking for. I said ‘good,’ because I was getting all mixed up and opposites-day about the whole thing. My god, I’m losing my mind. It’s this weather! I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Bad. Yes. There. Now that’s settled.”

In the end, though, rebelliously and empoweringly, whatever else gets mixed into it, beauty is always about whatever we—you know, you, and me, and this girl over here– find beautiful.

In my case, that sometimes involves myself. And it certainly always involves some back hair on a particular man who is starting to go bald. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Especially because, you know, winter is always coming…

*  *  *

Anyone else not have a problem with back hair? :-)

Unroast: Today I love the way I look in hot pink. I figure, why not? Which is what I figure about everything I wear these days, since I am now hugely pregnant.

Also, a little giveaway!  De Agostini’s, the publisher of the very popular Cake Decorating Magazine (23.8 million issues sold worldwide) is launching a new app, called Rate My Cake, for cake lovers who want to share pictures (yay!).  You can download it for free on iPhones here. And since they’re promoting the app, and since I encourage people to eat the damn cake, and also since my mom is a badass cake decorator herself (growing up, our birthdays were occasions for cakes in the shape of turtles, alligators, beloved literary protagonists, and one glorious time, a whole turreted castle!), I thought it’d be fun to do a gift basket giveaway. The gift basket comes with five issues of cake decorating magazine, and some baking utensils to get you started. If you want it, just let me know in the comments.



57 Responses to “sexy balding man with back hair”

  1. teegan responded on 02 May 2013 at 9:39 am #

    i love your descriptions of Bear and his dad – they’re so epic!

    mark has a very slowly receding hairline. and hair on his chest, his arms, his legs, which i think is super manly. he’s slightly bothered by the fact that he has very slender legs, even when he played soccer all of the time, but i think they’re adorable (and i’m grateful that hopefully, genetically, they’ll balance out my sizable muscle-y/large legs for our children). one day he’ll have a little old Italian man belly, too, which is pretty exciting.

    on the flip side, whenever i worry about going grey, mark reminds me of his love for jane goodall and how attractive he thinks she is.

    it’s really really exciting, i think, to know the supposedly negative things that will happen to your partner’s body and find them charming/handsome/whatever. it’s a sign of how much you’re still in love.

  2. Sheryl responded on 02 May 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I never understood the ideal of a hairless man. There’s definitely a primal reaction I have to body hair on a man and I always feel weird about it because there’s this idea floating around that it’s not supposed to be attractive. Baloney.

    As far as my husband’s back hair? I don’t really think about it all that much. It’s just a part of him.

  3. Sophie responded on 02 May 2013 at 9:54 am #

    What a stunning post!

  4. Rapunzel responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:18 am #

    Winter is coming!

    I always had a thing for red-headed or strawberry-blond guys with thinning hair. I don’t know why.

    Then I met my now-husband. He has a red goatee, but is nearly completely bald on top. A mixture of genetics and a history of cancer made him that way. I can’t imagine him with a full head of hair no matter how hard I try, and I don’t mind.

    He does have some back hair. Not “furry” though! But it’s funny how patchy it is. I just remarked on the humor of it the other day!

  5. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:19 am #


    Made me smile a lot

  6. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Thank you!!! I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while. Of course, I always want to write about Bear, and I try to refrain from constantly doing that. But I also like writing about guys and beauty.

  7. dustwindbun responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:31 am #

    This was really sweet. I love hairless girly-boys, but only if they are just naturally like that – I would never want to pressure someone to ruin a lovely pelt that the Kates and my moms of the world want to curl up next to! Probably why I like them non-furry – my dad is practically part Wookiee and it’s just too weird for me, I can’t deal with chest hair, mustaches, beards, anything on my partners. (My little brother could grow a better mustache at 15 than my partner can at 29. I APPROVE :) ) Your description of Bear sounds a lot like my dad, and is adorable. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  8. Rita Marie responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:47 am #

    You know? When I was a little girl, I used to tell my mom I would not marry someone with a lot of chest hair or back hair because it was gross. And then I met my husband. He is very hairy on his chest and quite a bit on his back. He is balding a little.

    But like you say, I don’t really think about it. It doesn’t seem consequiential- the balding.

    As for the hair on his body, he asks me to shave it or help him get rid of it somehow and I oblige him. But I really prefer him with it.

    I never thought I would. He was bashful about it at first, too, bashful about a lot of things, which I had never seen a man be so open about how concerned he was about his appearance.

    And I love him for that. For being real with me.

    I think he is the most attractive man I have ever met- and he is becoming sexier the more I get to know him.

  9. Ashley Boone responded on 02 May 2013 at 11:02 am #

    I think its interesting to put men on the other end of the spectrum. The focus is so often on what men say about women, but they are picked on to. Its challenging to think about how I judge someone, someone I like or don’t. Lately I focus in on little things with everyone I meet, like the shape of his nose, or the color of her hair, or even the shape of my eye brows, to remind myself that everyone has beauty and its not up to me to decide. :)

    Id like to be entered in the give away also, my mom is a huge cake decorator and would love it! :)

  10. Erin Lee responded on 02 May 2013 at 11:38 am #

    My hubby is also fantastically hairy all over, like an extra sweater. AND forming the soon-to-be horseshoe-style hair design that we saw inevitably coming from his father. I love it, and I love him. I just told him two days ago how WEIRD it would be if he had his back all waxed off. So unnatural, so not him. I have always admired how he has always had the confidence to wear it well: all through high school, in the showers at the gym, in the locker room at work. He’s got more self confidence than me, that’s for sure. He jokes with his friends about it, but it is so entirely HIM, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    And, with an imminent move to Montana in the next month… Winter is coming.

  11. Erin Lee responded on 02 May 2013 at 11:41 am #

    @Rapunzel, of COURSE you took the line before I realized. ;)
    Oh, our little Italians.

  12. onebreath responded on 02 May 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Yes to this!.. “If someone looks great to me, then there’s no need to figure out where they fit into some complicated equation of beauty.”

    I am completely guilty of this over-thinking in most every aspect of my life. Weighing the reasons, puzzling over the ramifications, judging the merit… it’s exhausting. And I’m glad you wrote about it so thoughtfully anyway, to spark the discussion.

    I worry that sometimes women think that comments like the ones about balding and hairiness and overall “boyfriend bashing” even the playing field since women deal with them so often. Yet, what they actually do is undermine men and open them up to much of the same self doubt that we endure.

    I wish we could all accept that differences are normal and good. Shannon over at “Awash with Wonder” ( wrote a post about “Don’t Yuck my Yum” – I think it fits with what you are saying.

  13. cari ellen responded on 02 May 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    I loved reading this. Just yesterday I heard someone commenting about a hairy bald guy. And it made me feel yucky. Reading this today made me feel sooooo much better. I love how you love Bear’s body. And I will never look at a wife of a hairy guy the same again!

    Now, my hubby happens to have the ‘culturally desirable’ lots of hair on his head and none on his back. But he also does not make a lot of money, which is for a man quite ‘culturally undesirable”. At least someone who is balding can’t help it, but, hey, if you’re not making ends meet then you’re not a real man, right? I know you focus mostly on body image, but would be very interesting to ponder this…

  14. Kathryn responded on 02 May 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I love that you find the unconventional parts of Bear beautiful. I never understood why people think everyone has to have the same opinions on what constitutes an “attractive person.” It’s so objective, and it’s wonderful that you called attention to this in such a personal way.

    Also, I absolutely love baking and would like to be considered for the giveaway. :)

  15. Liz responded on 02 May 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    What about when women have hairy backs? Am I the only one that sports a hairy lower back? I’m 1/2 Sicilian, therefore I really haven’t found one inch of skin that’s *not* covered in some kind of fuzz. Yet, somehow, that’s gross and I have to do my share of hair removal and I be nervous about it in our society. I HATE that.

  16. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Nope, you’re not. I have that, too. And the funny thing is, I have never really thought much about it. Maybe because I can’t see it unless I really crane my neck. And yes, it’s definitely supposed to be gross. I’ve written about body hair and women before, and this is definitely a topic I always find a little baffling, because I just don’t see what makes it so gross and bad. because, you know, it just isn’t! Maybe I should do a piece about the patch of hair on my lower back. But I think I have to wait a bit since I just wrote this one :-)

  17. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Thank you! I feel like a success with this post, reading your comment

  18. kelly responded on 02 May 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    My hubby is hairy and I like it. I love how hairy and muscular his legs are. So sexy. I notice that I feel awkward for him when we are at a pool because I know it bothers him. sad.

    Please enter me in the giveaway. I love to bake!

  19. Kimmy Sue Ruby Lou responded on 02 May 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I prefer a hairy man for the same reasons you mentioned. The only thing that really turns me off is bad manners.

  20. Kae responded on 02 May 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Love the post – and also some ‘fur’ on my man! For exactly the reasons that you explain.

    Is the ‘winter is coming’ thing a reference to Game of Thrones? :D

  21. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Yes…I read the books, although I can’t bring myself to see this latest season because it’s so brutal onscreen.

  22. Daphne responded on 02 May 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    My favorite person in the world is bald, furry (everywhere else!), with broad shoulders, an adorable belly, porn-star legs and the sexiest eyes ever. I love the fur. He sometimes trims the chest fur in the summer because it’s so warm… but I miss it when it’s not as thick!

    I’ve had the other extreme — almost-hairless (except on the head, where it’s “supposed” to be) — and while that was nice too, I MUCH prefer the fur.

    He’s the one who reminds me that he loves a little bit extra on women, so there’s “something to hold onto.” Love that!

  23. Jo B responded on 02 May 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    ‘according to the varying specifications of different cultures’

    YES. The spreading of the western beauty ideal over other cultures is so limiting! Homogenisation is one of the downsides of the global culture we have today.

    This made me think of when archaeologists identified an egyptian coin which they believed showed Cleopatra’s face, and made a big deal about how clearly she wasn’t beautiful because she had a large nose, and Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar were probably attracted to her power rather than her face – without considering that traditional Roman features include a large nose, and that maybe large noses were considered attractive by the Romans.

  24. Kate responded on 02 May 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    @Jo B
    That bothers me so much about the coin. Holy shit. I remember reading something about that. And of course there are always studies about how everyone in the world finds these five characteristics sexy, or something, which sociologists and anthropologists studying sexuality like to try to come up with. It is exhausting and narrow-minded and always ends up just being wrong.

  25. Sarah S responded on 02 May 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    This post gives me the warm-fuzzies. I’m in the best relationship of my life with a middle-aged, hairy-backed, receding-hairlined man, and I wouldn’t have him any other way (you are SO right about snuggling with a furry man in winter :) ). He’s beautiful just the way he is.

    I had always thought my “type” (what bullshit) was similar to my ex-husband: body-hairless, thick head of blond hair, and boyish charm (and all the cockiness that can go with it). Ha. My current partner has not only helped me to see the beauty in myself, but has also made me aware of the “innocuous” judgements we place on men’s looks as well (as you wrote). Beauty is intangible, subjective, and all around us, always.

  26. Emma responded on 02 May 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Oh, I do love this post! My husband is ridiculously hairy. It looks like he has two huge angel wings of hair flowing over his back. It is so soft and fluffy.
    My baby son is just learning to climb and pulls on Lee’s hair to scramble up his chest. Lee shrieks but secretly loves it.

  27. Elizabeth responded on 02 May 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Hooray! I love furry men! They just turn me on in this kind of primal way. I’ve dated guys who didn’t have much hair but I’m very glad that the man I fell in love with has Italian heritage… hairy and with a receding hairline. Why do I find a receding hairline to be sexy? I don’t know, but I always have. I would watch old James Bond movies and see Sean Connery and say to myself, “…Yes.”

    Something I love about humanity is that for every type of body there is, that body is somebody’s ‘type.’

  28. Leeanne responded on 02 May 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    LOL i LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs!

    My man is tall (liek a foot taller than me), full head of hair and a bizarre sprinkling of back hair – like its fallen off his head and just landed on his back but its connected!!

    He doesn’t think twice about it and i pluck them when i see them but the best bit is that he lets me pluck them!

    But he has the BEST BEST BEST chest hair – the very image of a strong robust, mans man…. couldn’t ever imagine him any other way.

    Would love the gift pack – my baking needs all the help it can get :-)

  29. Laurin responded on 03 May 2013 at 12:25 am #

    Kate, I connected so much with this post!

    I had an ex who was hairy and I used to hate it, but then I met my current partner, who is my the most amazing man ever and I am incredibly in love with him (I still havent gotten used to saying that seriously lol)

    … The cool (and funny) thing is that he is hairy (Chest, back, arms, legs), and I love it as well! I love his body because of these things, not despite it.

    And I was expecting to not like his hairiness, but it just isn’t a thing! I even find myself running my hands through it and loving it :)

    Also, @ Rita Mae, I loved this: “I think he is the most attractive man I have ever met- and he is becoming sexier the more I get to know him.”

    Just really resonated with me!

    Also, if your giveaway is open to international peeps, can you please enter me? :)

  30. Laurin responded on 03 May 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Edit to the above: sorry – Rita Marie :S

  31. Jessie responded on 03 May 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Winter is coming!! I assume that was a Game of Thrones reference? My husband’s the same, and I wouldn’t change a thing. My friend made a remark once about how hairy men are so gross and I felt a bit awkward, like I couldn’t say she was wrong because she said it as so much of a statement. Buuuut she’s single, and I’m super happy with my lovely hairy man :)

  32. Beatriz responded on 03 May 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Oh my, how I love this post! I have been following you for quite a while, and I cannot stop nodding whenever I read what you write. Being a beauty blogger (and journo) myself, I always try to present beauty from a different angle: a perspective in which anything that makes us unique is wonderful and beautiful. Cosmetics should be fun, not a pain in the ass!

    Regarding bald men, I have a wonderful boyfriend who is extremely worried about his aspect. He is thin with a belly (that makes him thin-fat at the same time, I suppose), he does not have a hairy chest (which I like by the way, he is the best hugger I have ever seen!), and he fears being bald. And I would never change him for another person. But he would rather have more hair where he is supposed to.

    I think being hairy or hairless doesn´t make a person gross. I kind of judge their level of grossness by how they treat other people, especially weak ones. So if my man had been hairy, I´d still would be in love with him!

    Also, if your giveaway is open to international readers, could I take part in it?

    Best wishes from Spain! And congrats on your great blog :)

  33. T.K. responded on 03 May 2013 at 10:04 am #

    awwww. i just love this. one of those posts that i want to reach out and wrap my arms around. i don’t have anything to say for the hair department, but I have been attracted to and dated men who were really short. I think if there is one thing that is more socially unacceptable for a man to be than bold/hairy is to be short. It’s like a woman would rather him be a total loser than THAT. At least we act that way. The first time I fell for a short guy it happened by accident (he was a friend), in spite of me, in spite of all I’ve been conditioned to desire. I was a little stunned, but yet – there it was. The second time around, I chose it. And I was very happy with my choice. The appeal of the “opposite” is an obvious one (as it is made perfectly clear to us from before we are even old enough to date) – the man/woman binary of big/small. And I still find that one sexy. However, I uncovered the less obvious appeal of “sameness”, of being the same size as your partner and being eye to eye with them at all times ( and having a wonderful excuse to not wear heals). And I’m so glad I did cause that too can be sexy. Down with the silly rules of attraction! Up with bears and hamsters and all the other sexy male creatures :)

  34. Claire responded on 03 May 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    “Up with bears and hamsters and all the other sexy male creatures !” : haha, best comment ever !

    I read all the comments before I wrote this, and the one about Cleopatra seriously hurt me too… I have a longer nose than average and even though most days I don’t even think about it, even though my boyfriend is head-over-heels for it, even though I really concentrate every day in front of the mirror on the things I like, and even though I really find myself ok the way I am….such things hurt so, so much. I remember a conversation with two male friends, two truly adorable people, about French singer Barbara. And they were both saying “she was really successful with men but certainly not because of her looks”. And then when I asked why they thought that (I was genuinely surprised as I find her incredibly beautiful even in the classical sense), they both answered with an ‘duh!’ look on their face : “Come on, her nose is MASSIVE !”. Both are educated, caring, kind people, as well as very dear friends. I felt so betrayed. No man, apart from my boyfriend, has ever told me I was attractive. Lots of men have picked up on my nose though.

    As for my boyfriend, like T.K’s (comment above) he’s a bit shorter than me. I didn’t chose it, it just happened. He’s incredibly hairy too, including a little bit on the back. And even though I find him seriously perfect the way he is (no, SERIOUSLY, he’s the hottest thing around ;P) and wouldn’t change anything even if I could, something dies in me every time my girlfriend make a joke about short men (and I swear they do that all the time). Yet I don’t try and justify and say it is beautiful, as I don’t try to vindicate my nose either, because people will think OF COURSE YOU WOULD DEFEND BIG NOSES/SHORT MEN, YOU’RE ONE OF THEM : YOU POOR DELUDED CREATURE HAHAHAHA.

    This is so depressing. You just can’t win.

  35. Claire responded on 03 May 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    also these two friends I was talking about, if they were to be judged by the standards they judge women with, would definetely be considered unattractive. Yet I find them both beautiful, because they’re great and they’re my friends. I wouldn’t even think anything bad about their appearance, let alone say anything. It’s the fact that they just didn’t have this generosity towards me really broke my heart.

  36. sarah responded on 03 May 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I just love hair. Long head hair, facial hair and all types of body hair, on both men and women!

  37. T.K. responded on 03 May 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Thanks Claire, re. my comment :)

    I think that you and I are kind of lucky to see what other women don’t (or perhaps not luck, but rather allowing ourselves to go against the status quo and to not allow social constructions to muddy or own desires. it’s a funny thing about traits that are “supposed” to be undesireable that if you ask someone why they are undesireable, they can’t really explain it). But hey, we can find those wonderful amazing shorter men that other women pass up on. It sounds to me like you already did :) . Same goes to the other ladies out there who are finding so-called unattractive qualities just right – let’s be glad we are not lusting after the same man that every woman in the world wants. Claire, let your friends make all the jokes they want – meanwhile you are the happy one with a man you think is perfect. How happy could someone be when the need to constantly make fun of something that other people have no control over ( like height)?

    P.S. Is it perhaps possible that your two guy friends don’t think that your nose is big at all and therefore didn’t think that their comments would feel personal and hurtful to you? It was still not a very nice comment to make about another woman, but I hope that this was their reasoning.

  38. Ashley responded on 04 May 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Thank you for this! My boyfriend is bald. He accepted the inevitable a few years back and started shaving his head (at 23 I think. His father is also bald. They look remarkably alike now.) He’s also short and stocky and has a great beard and a reasonable amount of body hair. People have definitely made comments to me about his appearance, as if his height and baldness should be a detriment to our relationship and I shouldn’t “settle”. And that bugs me! I’m with him (and moved to another state to be with him!) because he makes me feel secure; because he treats me well; because we can hold intellectual discussions; because he makes me feel great about my body and myself….all reasons that are the opposite of settling! Thankfully he couldn’t care much less about their criticisms, and clearly I couldn’t care less about his lack of hair and height.

  39. rachel responded on 04 May 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    You’re a brilliant writer!!!! Like a previous post stated, I find myself nodding in agreement to your blogs. I’m currently smitten with a man that I used to work with two decades ago and have reconnected with. He bashfully said the other night, “I know, I’m kind of hairy” and I said I loved it and meant it. He now has a balding spot in the back that I saw signs of 20 years ago that inevitably lost the battle. He’s sporting some back hair and I have to admit, I didn’t remember him being 5’9, as my cut off is mininum 5’10. He is also one of the most beautiful souls I ever encountered and I can’t help but fall in love with him. He’s handsome a hundred times over to me because he’s such an amazing human being.

  40. Johanna responded on 05 May 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Beautiful post. Bear is a lucky man to have a wife so deeply in love with him — many basically happy marriage exist without that level of adoration, although you probably have trouble imagining it. Still, it is pretty awesome how you feel about him, and how he feels about you. It’ll be great modeling for the baby as she grows up, too, and teach her what a fabulous marriage looks like.

    With regard to the hair-on-men issue, I hadn’t thought of it before but you are right that it is arguably *the* physical issue for men in our society’s sense of male beauty. Of course height, weight, etc. all play a role, but there is something about body hair that makes it the butt of those jokes you mention. And many women are happy to (or at least game to) date men who are kind of short, or a little heavy, but draw the line at bald. And would run shrieking from a pelt like you describe so poetically. Such a silly thing.

    I always liked men without chest hair (since that’s what’s always shown on t.v. as attractive — better to see the perfectly-chiseled musculature, I suppose). Then when my husband turned out to have a reasonable amount of chest hair, I thought that was just fine. :) I started to see those waxed t.v. chests as odd-looking. My husband also had one odd little patch of hair on his otherwise-hairless back. We used to joke about him getting it waxed off. He always said, “Well, if you’re not embarrassed to call the rabbi and ask if it’s permissible, and he okays it, I’ll do it.” And we always laughed together and I said, “That’s okay. Let’s keep it.”

    I would kind of liked to see how he would have handled the pain of waxing, though. He always said he should have given birth to our children, since I was so whiny about the labor contractions even though I was getting to lie down and he had to stand up through it. :)

    Although I can’t imagine getting remarried, I know body hair would not be an issue. In fact, on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart occasionally makes self-deprecating comments about his hairiness, but those tufts of hair on his hands are actually pretty sexy — kind of like ankles were to men in Victorian times. You know, a hint of what’s beneath the clothing. :)

    But I’m still a Vampire girl vs. a Werewolf girl. Can’t help it. Must be the fangs.

  41. SusanS responded on 05 May 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    My guy was super hairy-his chest hair was a big turn on, which is weird because my natal family is hairless. Only now am I feeling The Downside of Back and Shoulder Hair. Its getting LONG! and GREY! and WIREY! and it tickles my nose when I snuggle his back.
    Oh well.

  42. Welcome to Monday ~ 6 May 2013 | feminaust ~ for australian feminism responded on 05 May 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    [...] Eat the Damn Cake celebrates her sexy, balding man with back hair. [...]

  43. Eat the Damn Cake » the epic tale of how I stopped using shampoo responded on 06 May 2013 at 9:24 am #

    [...] If anyone else wants to enter the giveaway to win some cake baking swag, do it at the bottom of this post, just by commenting that you’re [...]

  44. spice responded on 06 May 2013 at 9:37 am #

    I would like to be in the contest, please! :)

  45. Jessica responded on 06 May 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    I want to bake (and eat) the damn cake! I’m in!

  46. R responded on 06 May 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I’m just about to decorate a cake. Like a mouse! I’m totally in.

  47. Mara responded on 06 May 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    I’d like to be entered in the giveaway, please.
    I get what you’re saying about guys’ body hair. So many girls I know are just like “HE HAS FUR EW GROSS GOD.”

  48. Emily responded on 06 May 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    I would love to bake a cake, and of course eat it, and then of course send you a photo!

  49. Emma responded on 06 May 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Yes! Would love to enter the giveaway.

  50. Diane in Md responded on 07 May 2013 at 9:22 am #

    I’m in! I love to bake…and eat!

  51. Marylou responded on 07 May 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    What a wonderful post. I couldn’t agree more. :) I’d love to be entered into the giveaway for the gift basket. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies.

  52. Erin responded on 07 May 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    I would love to win cake baking swag :) haha.

  53. Jodelle Brohard responded on 07 May 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    What a great blog entry. And I would love to win!

  54. sami responded on 07 May 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    My boyfriend has been balding for years (is 29 now) and has back hair. I still think he is the sexiest bloke ever though :D he is fuzzy everywhere and can grow an epic beard (he gets complimented on it) and I love him the way he is. Poor guy though- he not only has back hair but moles too, so will NEVER been seen shirtless in public because he is embarrassed :( it makes me sad for him. He wears a rashie to the beach and I’ve tried waxing his back hair for him (because he wanted me to, not cos I wanted him to) but I failed massively and he is too embarrassed by moles to go to a salon. So I feel so bad for him but also I try and make him feel good by reminding him that he isn’t gross at all. I gladly spoon him and snuggle him and tell him he looks a bit like Jason Statham (it’s true! And everyone knows Jason is a sexy balding hairy man) and I hope it makes him feel a bit better.
    I love him :)

  55. L responded on 08 May 2013 at 6:38 am #


  56. Alisa responded on 12 May 2013 at 11:58 am #

    My fiance has a happy little man trail and lower back hair, I like it because it’s his.

    I would like to enter the contest please, cake is amazing!

  57. Laura Gallegos responded on 29 May 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    love love love your blog, I also have a hairy beast and I LOVE him just the way he is!

    I would love to be entered for the basket if its still on! my daughter loves to bake ;)