One of the big concerns a male model has to deal with is the issue of body hair. Today, even non-models are doing a lot more manscaping as they call it — shaving chest hair for a well defined look, trimming pubic hair so their partners don’t get a mouth full of hair while going down on them. And then there’s the ‘optical inch’ — the idea that trimming the pubic hair makes the penis look longer. I’ve never been convinced that actually works.
(Warning! Nude photos after the jump!)
For models, body hair styling can give us versatility, especially when combined with facial and scalp hair styling. Going for that youthful innocence look? Try a clean-shaven face and body along with a youthful, androgynous hair style. Want that masculine look? Let the facial hair grow out for a day or two, get a buzz cut (think military, but slightly longer maybe).
Here’s a bold ad from a few years ago by the ad agency Tom Ford for a men’s fragrance. The French model is completly natural — no manscaping. Perhaps this was an effort to hide the genitals a little, without actually covering them with fabric.
Sometimes, manscaping is dictated by a particular outfit. If you’re doing underwear modeling, you might need to trim up around the genital area so stray hairs are not sticking out around the pouch. I’ve also had situations where I was a scantily clad cater-waiter at a party, and I was wearing only a bowtie and a little g-string with a tuxedo pouch thing. Obviously you want to shave your ass in this situation, but I also had the situation of the pouch being so small that I had to completely shave all my pubes off because the pouch ran so low in the front that it actually didn’t really completely cover the genitals — there was a quarter inch exposure of my shaft. And when you’re almost naked and serving people food, they don’t want to see body hair.
When I’m doing nude modeling for a figure drawing class, I try to keep most of my body hair shaved or trimmed very short (I have never liked to shave my legs. It is a real hassle, but I do trim them very, very short when the need arises and if really necessary, I will shave them.) In a drawing class, the students need to see all the muscle definition — that’s why you’re there, and why you’re naked. So, short or shaved body hair is a must.
One of the hassles of body shaving is that of ingrown hairs. A really hairy guy can get a lot of ‘razor bumps’ and ingrown hair. The key to controlling this is the use of lotion. I use a lotion that has oils in it. After I get out of the shower, I put it on all shaved parts. The oil-based lotion stays moist a long time, giving your skin long lasting protection from dryness. Keeping the skin moist makes it easier for those hairs to poke through the skin, rather than growing into it. Besides that, it makes the skin look healthier and is a must if you are tanning.
As a male model, it is important to experiment with different looks of body/facial/scalp hair. Know what it takes to make yourself fit a certain image. Try a style and get a friend to do some snaphots. Get friends to evaluate the pictures and tell you if the attempted look is working or not. Get these versatile looks into your portfolio also. Showing many different looks lets potential employers know that you can fit the bill for whatever they want. And that means more jobs and a more successful career.