Split Ends

A Brush of Fresh Hair or How
Pubic Curls May Save Your Life

Few things resemble more our evolutionary pedigree than body hair. Culturally, having a ‘full head’ of it means being young, beautiful, healthy, even powerful. Until it departs on its own, we spent years combing it, cutting it, shaving it, dying it, and splitting it with aplomb.
It’s another story, though, with hair elsewhere but on top of the head. A reminder of how fast we went from furry animal to naked ape, we’ve set strict, and clearly gender-biased, social codes to dealing with its appearance. For ear and nose strays, though, antipathy is genderless.
The inconvenient truth about hair is that it’s easily matted with sexism, racial intolerance, and political and religious oppression. It can get greasy with prejudice, scorched dry with the dust of old traditions, and offensively malodorous, reeking of staled rites and bad blood.
In other cases, the way we look at hair or lack thereof reveals the huge gap between our general perception of what each gender is supposed to look like, and what evolution has determined was the best way to cope with changing climate and environmental conditions. We adapted and changed to survive, but often still carry the phantom of an obsolete, long discarded psychological association.
Chest hair, for example, long thought to be a symbol of manhood and testosterone dominance, has recently been found to actually be a deterrent for potential female mates. Scientists long knew that women’s preference for hairlessness may have been a way to avoid lice and other tiny mites that would enjoy the comfort of chest hair in unkempt males of yore (read, all males born some 10,000 years ago).
Even though that’s hopefully no longer the case (as hygiene habits have evolved), the pattern is still present: a paper, published on the Archives of Sexual Behavior journal, shows that women still prefer ‘relatively hair-free guys,’ over hirsute types, even in areas where that kind of parasite is not a realistic threat to humans. Would skinny Williamsburg hipsters chuckle at this notion too?

THE BRAZILIAN RAPUNZEL
For a while, Natasha Moraes de Andrade had one of the longest hairs in the world, which caught the skittish eye of international tabloids. But when the shantytown girl from Rio sold her most marketable asset at 12, she felt relieved. Easy to see why: some things can make anyone drunk with big dreams. Like her, there are many whose dreams haven’t yet been crushed, bless her souls.
China’s Xie Qiuping, for instance, whose hair measured at one point 18ft 5in – still far from Guinness Record material –  also sold it. With the proceeds, she got to do things many 12-year-olds take it for granted, like riding a bike, or not having to spend hours (more)
__________
Read Also:
* Neverlands
* Show it, Grow it

Continue reading

First Timers

Ah, to Be Young, Able
& Never Been Kissed

Many people have about only a few things in mind while living. There’s an entire multicultural, multilingual literature about at least two of them; we’re not getting into that, though. But most do think about their first kiss ever so often. As it turns out, they’re a dying breed.
Never Been Kissed, a study published on the Archives of Sexual Behavior, reveals that almost a hundred out of 700 college students, never touched the lips of another human with their own, which would startle any card-carrying Baby Boomer, other studies being considered.
Reportedly, the Sex Revolution old devils seem to be still pretty much at it, and what comes before and after it, even as they push their 70s. Not so for 14.2% of an already hyper-battered Millennials demographics, focus of the small sample. Is there something on their WiFi reception?
From time immemorial, the thrill of the first time at various initiation rites was a form of incentive for growing up. Generations born on the 20 century simply couldn’t wait to have their first driver’s license, for instance, or spending their first night away from their parents’ home.
Many a first baby born out of a Saturday’s night fever, regrettably or not, was also a result of a first, intense, passionate kiss. Does it mean that, without such tricky but irresistible first step, future population volumes are at risk? They seem to be concerned about that in Japan.
A few things about the Never Been Kissed, the study, not the movie: they are all excellent students, maybe because they drink less than others; have overbearing moms; are neurotic; and with lower self esteem. Truly a small sample of a very boring group of people, indeed.
Bias aside, to most people, memories from their first kiss, if it happened before maturity, tend to be sweet or, if not traumatic, served well to everything that came after. To us, it brought up that time at a certain front porch, and the story we wrote about it. Below, our humble contribution to such an endearing theme.

Laura & the
Many Kisses

At 12, he fell in love with Laura. She had braids and freckles, and he’d trace her soft step across the school. He’d follow her closely but without being noticed. Or so he thought. One day, he turned a corner and came face to face with her. He thought she’d never noticed him, but she was very aware of his existence.
He looked into those deep eyes, intensely black, and awkwardly, their faces blushed. A few Saturdays later, they met at the veranda of his house, as planned. Not knowing what to do of this magnet that had brought them together, at the sunset of their childhood, they talked a little. After a silent pause, they went down to the narrow hallway, between the house and the ivy-covered wall, and kissed.
Once. Twice. A few more times, then back to the porch, flushed and slightly moist. They tried to talk a bit, but had to go again, hands in hands and racing hearts. They kissed dozens of times. A record. He’d never kissed anyone in the mouth before. Still, those were innocent kisses, sweet, the kind you’d plant on a baby’s cheeks. Or that nannies place on the forehead of their zany grand kids.
Back at the porch, people passed by, workers headed home. Night was falling and a miracle was privy only to them. Everything was so new, hearts coming out of their mouths. Again and again, lip tastings below the ivy, but tongues asleep, resting quietly on their beds. Not yet time to open up curtains to the vertigo of lust. Little kisses. That was all.
They smiled goodbyes, each knowing that they’d found a precious gem, but unsure whether to tell the world about it or to keep it (more)
_______
Read Also:
* Late November
* Half Past Child
* Hot Lips

Continue reading

Split Ends

A Brush of Fresh Hair or How
Pubic Curls May Save Your Life

Few things resemble more our evolutionary pedigree than body hair. Culturally, having a ‘full head’ of it means being young, beautiful, healthy, even powerful. Until it departs on its own, we spent years combing it, cutting it, shaving it, dying it, and parting it with aplomb.
It’s another story with hair growing elsewhere but on top of our head. A reminder of how fast we went from furry animal to naked ape, we’ve set strict social codes to dealing with ‘excess’ in certain parts of the body. We’ve only got contempt, though, for ear and nose strays.
The inconvenient truth about hair is that it’s easily matted with sexism, racial intolerance, and political and religious oppression. It can get greasy with prejudice, scorched dry with the dust of old traditions, and offensively malodorous, reeking of staled rites and bad blood.
In other cases, the way we look at hair or lack thereof reveals the huge gap between our general perception of what each gender is supposed to be about, and what evolution has determined was the best way to cope with changing climate and environmental conditions. We adapted and changed to survive, but we often still carry the phantom of an obsolete, long discarded psychological association.
Chest hair, for example, long thought to be a symbol of manhood and testosterone dominance, has recently been found to actually be a deterrent for potential female mates. Scientists long knew that women’s preference for hairlessness may have been a way to avoid lice and other tiny mites that would enjoy the comfort of chest hair in unkempt males of yore (read, all males born some 10,000 years ago).
Even though that’s hopefully no longer the case (as hygiene habits have Continue reading