Archive for February 12th, 2008

By Christine Swint

Whatever grows out of this pen, the ink, the spidery words trailing across the page, grow out of me like the hair sprouting from my scalp. The words are connected to my brain only in the instant the pen touches the paper, the same way that my hair is a part of my body only on the surface, at the follicle.

I often wonder why humans have so little hair covering their bodies, when our primate cousins have fur aplenty. In his book, The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris theorized that for a while, and I guess he meant a long while, humans became water mammals, losing most of their thicker body hair because it wasn’t needed, keeping only the hair on their head for warmth. But what about pubic hair? Why would that hair have stayed on the body while rest of our skin kept only peach fuzz?

Maybe hair in places other than the head is not as sexually attractive to humans, at least not on the female form. Think how much money women, and some men, spend on ridding their bodies of unwanted hair: laser removal, electrolysis, Persian threading, waxing, tweezing, chemicals that shrivel the hair at the root, and of course, time-honored shaving.

As I grow older, the faint down of a young man’s moustache has appeared above my lip, which I remove every six weeks or so. I also have my eyebrows waxed. I’m not going to reveal anything else here — I’m writing to the bone, but not the bikini line!

I’ve tried threading, because it’s such a clean, non-invasive way of removing hair. It works like a rotary lawn mower, gently swiping the hair off the skin.

Humans do love hair, but we’re selective about where we want to see it.


Christine Swint studied English and Spanish at the University of Georgia, and Spanish literature at Middlebury College in Spain. She writes poetry, fiction, and personal essays in Spanish and English. She lives in metro Atlanta with her husband, two teenage sons, and two dogs, Raf and Duffy. After teaching in the public high school for many years, she now teaches yoga in local community centers.

You can read more of Christine’s writing at her primary blog, mariacristina. Christine also keeps a blog — called Yoga Dreams — about her experiences as a teacher and practitioner of yoga.

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – HAIR

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