Why I'll never be a smoothie

As a shaver for men's bodies is launched, James Brown explains why he's keeping his hairs close to his chest

The news that Phillips have brought out an all- over body shaver for men, the Bodygroom, will not, I believe, have lads sprinting into chemists and rioting in Boots like it's the new season at IKEA. But then I would say that - as one of my colleagues once kindly said: naked I look like a bloke who has been covered in glue and rolled around the floor of the barber's shop. I would no more consider getting my hair removed than I would consider having plastic surgery or liposuction, and, by God, do I need the latter.

The news that Phillips have brought out an all- over body shaver for men, the Bodygroom, will not, I believe, have lads sprinting into chemists and rioting in Boots like it's the new season at IKEA. But then I would say that - as one of my colleagues once kindly said: naked I look like a bloke who has been covered in glue and rolled around the floor of the barber's shop. I would no more consider getting my hair removed than I would consider having plastic surgery or liposuction, and, by God, do I need the latter.

I have nothing against men who shave, I just don't fancy it. As far as I'm concerned, by the time women get your clothes off they should already like you enough to not give a toss if you are sporting an extra human vest. As far as I'm concerned, grooming's for horses

If there genuinely is a debate among women about whether they prefer, hairy or smooth, I've no choice but to admit I sit squarely in the camp of David Bedford, Che Guevara and Sean Connery. The creators of Bodygroom might well argue that, now, I have a choice, but they are merely playing on men's insecurities and vanity, and tapping into the gay market where men are a lot more body conscious.

It's another little chess move in the commercial battle to turn men into women led by shopaholic footballers like Rio, Big John and Young Frank. There was a time when England centre halves were renowned for biting your legs and robbing your jewellery. Nowadays they've just become display cabinets for cosmetic and designer outlets.

Men have no choice about their chests - and I speak from experience. I tried it once while extremely drunk on holiday in France, and the results were disastrous. After accidentally hiring a villa in the middle of nowhere my mate Shakey and I got so drunk I decided it would be a good laugh to shave all my chest hair off. Alcoholic endeavour combined with boredom is the only sensible reason a man might shave his body hair off. While I was removing huge lanes of curls, he was trying hard not to choke on his own laughter. After about 10 minutes I'd gone half and half and he had whipped out his camera. There was no going back. Undoubtedly it was one of the most stupid things I've ever done. There was foam and hair everywhere: on the floor, in the sink, in the bath, down the bog and on the mirror.

The next day I was in agony. Mentally, it was a shocker because for the first time I noticed how fat I was. As each day passed, the feeling of hundreds of tiny pins jabbing into me every hour just got worse and worse. Nothing could convince me that doing this on a regular basis might make me more attractive to other people.

There is a certain truth in the fact that, the older we get, the more our hair disappears from our head and ends up on our backs, stopping only to loiter around our fingers, or stick out of our noses.

My mate Reece strikes a decent compromise which keeps him looking sleek and ready for the topless summer season without having the humiliation of asking a stranger to shave his chest and arse.

A couple of times a year Reece whips out the electric shears he does his number two suede head with and slides it around his chest. This allows him to look a bit like Lewis Collins out of The Professionals, a kind of prototype Robbie Williams. And he's quite happy with that. His chest looks like its covered in tiny splinters but he never suffers the pain of getting his body hair caught in the zip of his Prada cardigan.

Now that is painful.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor