• ‘When there's no underbrush the tree looks taller’: A discourse analytical examination of how men account for genital grooming

      Hall, Matthew; Arden University; University of Derby (Norton, 2019-01)
      It seems many men continue to be obsessed with their penis and especially its size and look. Two thirds of men in a recent UK study (Veale et al., 2013) reported some dissatisfaction with their genitals. Arguably much of this anxiety is perpetuated by the media and marketers, but may also follow more general trends in male body image consciousness (Grogan, 2010; Langridge et al., 2013). Marketers have been quick to offer both surgical and non-surgical remedies to help change the size, shape and image of the penis, especially online. Stepping aside from more traditional scholarly foci on culture (Lehman, 2006), media (Lehman, 2007), social (Davison, 200) and personal relationship issues (Lever et al., 2006), I focus instead on how men account for pubic hair shaving to enhance image. I discursively analyse online electronic talk in response to an advert promoting male groin grooming showing the complex ways in which men discursively negotiate their interest in this non-typical gender practice. The analysis shows charges of vanity are swept under the carpet in favour of heterosexual pleasure, cleanliness, self-respect and individuality. The implications for understanding traditional and contemporary masculinities are also discussed.