A fittingly furry post for Thursday, this is an ode to the hairy male form, those hirsute guys who have the confidence and taste not to shave off all their body hair. The hairless look is depressingly epidemic, with men under the mistaken belief that it enhances the appearance of muscle and definition. The truth is, properly maintained chest hair can do the same thing, and it often grows in along the most flattering contours. (Besides, if you don’t have much definition or a chiseled six-pack to begin with, no amount of follicle pruning is going to change that.)

I’m all for a bit of judicious trimming when it comes to body hair. There are some places where you just don’t want it – at least, not too much of it. (I’m thinking of the back and shoulders. Only one creature can pull off yeti, and mostly because we’ve never seen it.) Fortunately, most cultural indicators are pointing to the chest hair embargo coming to a desirable end. Leave it to the gays to bring chest hair back into vogue, and leave it to the straight guys to follow a few years later. It’s happening, and that’s a good thing.

One of the furriest guys ever requested here is Mark Ruffalo, whose thick mane merits mention again. Also of note is the thrillingly-thatched chest of male model Josh Wald.

Scott Caan should be in the Chest Hair Hall of Fame for his lovely carpet, while Matt Goss and his otter designation should be featured here simply for his appreciation of chest hair. Jon Hamm has mostly been noticed for his package, but his treasure trail is a thing of wonder as well.

There are those who vacillate between furry and fur-free. Henry Cavill, Jesse Metcalfe, Chris Evans, Matthew Morrison and Stephen Dorff for example. All four have had unfortunate moments when they’ve gotten rid of all their chest hair, and looked like plucked chickens for it. When it comes to manscaping, I always advise to err on the side of the hair. It’s easier to take more off than put it back on. Surely you have heard the horror stories of the drag queen who shaved off her eyebrows and they never grew back. It’s not a good look in the light of day. Chest hair is less apparent than eyebrows for those of us who don’t live on the beach, but you still don’t want to mess around with it too much.

For our final featured forest-thick chest of hair, I have but two words for you: Ben Cohen. He trimmed quite a bit of it off for his recent dancing contest, but I have faith he’ll let it return to all its former bushy glory – and long may he mane.

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