Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beards

The pubic hair serves other purposes as well. It traps and concentrates pelvic odors, which can be quite attractive to a mate if they are the odors of health, as I will discuss below. Moreover, the pubic hair is a useful visual clue for us primates, who are, after all, a visually oriented species. The hair showcases the genital area and allows it to stand out from the less significant landscape around it. If women wear lipstick as a subconscious way of evoking their pudenda in public, perhaps they are only following in men’s footsteps. By growing a beard, a man turns his face into an echo of his crotch; and the capacity to grow a beard very likely predates the use of cosmetics by a few thousand years.

- Natalie Angier
‘Woman: An Intimate Geography’ (1999: 49)

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