What defines one’s masculinity? This article is about what I learned about masculinity from shaving my legs. I know what you’re thinking: What?! Why would you shave your legs? Purely because it’s aesthetic, and it makes me feel cleaner and look better.
But shaving my legs isn’t the point of this article—it’s what it taught me about masculinity.
There’s a lot of different ideas as to what makes a man a man, and we’ve already covered tons of different articles on the topic.
Today I’m here to tell you what doesn’t make you a man.
1. Body hair
Some guys can’t grow chest hair for the life of them. I’m seventeen. I get some chest hair, my legs are absolutely ridiculous, and I’ve got a wearable amount of facial hair. But that doesn’t make the man, or make me one, either. It’s just a general male trait, but not all guys can grow a lot—if any—body hair.
I thought people would think less of me with bare legs. But no one notices, and no one cares, even in a Midwest state like Illinois. It doesn’t make you any less of a man if you don’t have body hair or shave your legs.
2. Your height
I’m not that tall, but I’m not that short (I’m about 5’10). I feel short because I’m always hanging out with people that are taller than me. All of my coworkers are taller than me.
Though I’m shorter, I’m not overlooked.
Height doesn’t make me a man. Not everyone can grow over 6′, and that’s not a bad thing. Just because other men tower over you doesn’t mean they’re more man than you are.
3. Your voice
I had lunch with one of my mentors and friends. As we parted, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I keep forgetting you’re really seventeen and not twenty-one!”
“It must be the facial hair,” I said as I stroke my beard, “because it’s definitely not my voice.”
My voice is relatively high, but just because my voice isn’t deep and makes me sound younger doesn’t mean I’m not a man. It just means I have a high voice. That’s it. It doesn’t take away from my manliness.
Appearance doesn’t define a man.
It also taught me not to be so concerned about physical traits or things we can’t ever change. Being a man means being confident in yourself and accepting your appearance.
But in the midst of accepting your appearance, if you find something you can change, like weight, being skinny, a bad hair style or terrible skin care, then by all means, take the time and change. Changes may have the ability to enhance your masculine appeal, but it will never define it.