While spring has long been a favorite season to work outside in the yard sprucing up the landscape spring is also the season to “manscape” as hyper-conscious men go to unusual lengths to spruce up their own appearance. No longer do women have the market cornered on primping; the male gender has unabashedly entered the game. 

While wandering the aisles in a well-known department store I did a double take at a gadget that possessed a sort of space-age intrigue. It is called a Mangroomer and is as pretentious as it sounds. It is, in fact, a back razor for men. It features a telescoping handle angled at 135 degrees, for ease of use, and measures nearly two feet in length with a blade at one end to shave even the remotest areas of a man’s vertebral region. At the risk of sounding cliché, it looks so easy to use even a caveman could do it.    

I’ll admit I’ve seen some hairy men in my day but none that I’ve ever mistaken for a caveman. The concept of manscaping is a little over the top. It used to be that all a man needed was a blade to scrape the scruff off his chin and tweezers to yank the nose hairs that fluttered out from his nostrils like party ribbons. The twentieth century ushered in the practice of keeping men’s ear hair whacked to a manageable length as much for muffled hearing as aesthetics. But beyond that men are supposed to be hairy; it’s one of those things that set them apart from women and creepy Sphinx cats. 

One argument for back shaving is the amount of hair that clogs the shower drain. A few bucks and a trip to the hardware store will remedy that problem with a lint filter to place over the drain to catch any stray tresses before they disappear down the pipes. Other men believe that back hair is unsightly to women. It’s a slim argument at best; few women sit around appraising men to the extent that men evaluate the fairer sex. As a side note, any man with a steady job who isn’t tied to his mother by her apron strings is automatically in the running. Add a decent aptitude for conversation and a woman can even fall in love with man whose back could double as a bear skin rug. 

Still, some men are simply self-conscious about their furry shoulder blades. For these men a contraption like the Mangroomer, which retails for around $40, is a bridge to the chasm between beauty and beast. 

For those fastidious gents who can’t shake the notion that less is more, the operative word is stubble. Imagine ten times the stubbly surface area of a man’s face hanging up on a nylon blend shirt or silky sheets. Lying next to a giant sheet of sandpaper in definitely not something the ladies like.

 If an expanse of stubble isn’t deterrence enough then titanic razor burn might be. Shaving the posterior regions is a commitment to lengthy precision. No man wants to risk a hurried graze over the ole’ back only suffer the consequences of red bumps and itchy irritation later on. 

Finally, keep in mind that what one shaves one must keep lubricated. Scaly skin runs a close second to stubble. 

On the quest for a hairless back keep in mind that every grail comes with a price. Choose wisely.