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Should men shave their legs?

To shave or not to shave? That is the question.
To shave or not to shave? That is the question.
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As a self-proclaimed modern and sophisticated male, I embrace many things once reserved only for women. I've indulged in manicures, I've waxed my eyebrows and I exfoliate and moisturize regularly. Shaving my legs, however, is one step over the line.

It's not that I have anything against shaving. Not at all. I've been shaving my chest for years, because it serves a purpose. With a hairless chest, clothing feels more comfortable, and there's nothing more unsightly than chest hair poking through the buttonholes of your shirts. But when it comes to legs, I find it hard to believe that hairless legs would feel any more comfortable than legs with hair on them. Personally, my leg hair has never been a source of discomfort.

It is said that male swimmers shave their bodies because it makes them more aerodynamic. This is fine if your goal is to break the world record in the 500 meter freestyle, but for the average man it is unnecessary. Why would the typical American male need to be more aerodynamic anyway? So you can shave off 1/1000th of a second on your way to the office water cooler? Outside of competitive sports, there's no reason why being more aerodynamic would have any benefit in the real world.

Some men may argue that shaving the legs a matter of comfort. This argument may be true when it comes to shirts or underwear, but very few men out there find wearing pants uncomfortable because of leg hair. If this is the case, your legs must be extremely hairy or your pants must be extremely tight. Perhaps it is a combination of both.

Outside of Olympic swimming, I can see only a few reasons why it would be necessary for a man to shave his legs. If you are a bicyclist and your leg hair gets caught in your bike chain then, yes, it wouldn't be a bad idea to shave your legs. If your legs are so hairy that you trip over your own hair when you're wearing shorts, then you would be a good candidate for leg shaving. Outside of these rare circumstances, there is no reason for leg shaving.

My guess is that men who shave their legs do so because it was requested by a wife, girlfriend, or significant other. Throughout history, men have done downright stupid things in order to please a woman, but if your woman gets a thrill from seeing your hairless, knobby-kneed chickenlegs, there are obviously deeper issues that need to be resolved.

The decision to shave or not to shave the legs is one that should not be made lightly. If you opt to shave your legs and then decide that you made a terrible mistake, just remember that until the hair grows back in, you will be quite itchy. And that type of discomfort will easily outweigh any discomfort your hairy legs may have given you to begin with.