Warner Bros.

I have to get something off my chest, and no, it's not my luscious, curly chest hair.

As The Mary Sue point out in this enlightening article, Marvel apparently decides to shave almost all of their male superheroes' chests. As a dude sporting a pretty shaggy torso mat myself, I can't mince words here: Marvel's behavior is abhorrent, and I won't stand for it.

Everyone who's not a chud understands that body positivity––or at the very least, body acceptance––is, well, positive. In general, our media landscape has followed suit, if perhaps a little slowly. The cinematic landscape is far more diverse today than ever before, and a lot of that diversity centers around rejecting a uniform aesthetic of what is or is not attractive. And yet, as The Mary Sue illustrated, Marvel seems hellbent on telling hairy men that their chest hair is unwanted.

But here's where things get even worse for us forest-breasted lads: It's not just Marvel sending this message of hate.

Take Jason Momoa, for instance. Here's a man with some nice chest hair. Just look at his chest hair as Khal Drogo. That's the kind of chest hair one would expect from a barbarian warlord.

Khal DrogoHBO

Now look at him in DC's Aquaman.

Aquaman ShirtlessWarner Bros.

Undoubtedly, DC made a conscious decision to shave Jason Momoa's chest hair. But why? Is it because swimmers often shave their body hair in order to glide more easily through the water?

Okay, fine. Well, then explain this. Here's Joaquin Phoenix, a handsome man with some nice chest pubix, in You Were Never Really Here.

Joaquin Phoenix ShirtlessAmazon Studios

Now, here's Joaquin Phoenix shirtless in Joker. Can you tell what's missing?

Joker ShirtlessWarner Bros.

Yeah, that's right, no chest hair. Don't even try to tell me that Arthur Fleck just randomly decided to shave his chest during a mental episode, because I don't buy that for a second. The chest shaving of The Joker is an intentional effort by DC to show us that the ideal male body does not have an ounce of pec hair.

But I don't think Marvel, DC, and whatever other hairless superpowered smut purveyors are in it alone. No, I think the rabbit hole goes deeper.

Considering the fact that we live in a capitalist hellscape, what if (and this is just a theory) superhero movies were marketing all their male heroes as bare-chested in an attempt to sell razors? What if the true mastermind behind all these no-chest hair superheroes was Gillette?

Okay, I know that's crazy. It's not like there's…

Marvel GilletteGillette


DC Comics GilletteGillette

Oh boy. This is it. Not only has Gillette collaborated with both Marvel and DC on superhero-themed razors, but they also started #TheBestASuperHeroCanGet campaign in what can only be summed up as a hate crime against voluminously stranded men.

If we men take any pride in the strands around our nips, we cannot let this stand. No longer will we let Gillette and their cabal of superhero capitalists tell us that the only male beauty is the hairless kind. We must rise up and throw our razors in the trash. We must pinch our bountiful locks in our fingers and shout, "I'm a hairy man, and that makes me beautiful." Then, at last, we must throw our superhero Blu-rays in the trash. #HairyANDSuper


Why Demi Lovato Is Embracing Body Acceptance, Not Body Positivity

She's joining Jameela Jamil and Taylor Swift in the movement.

Demi Lovato Opens Up About Her Eating Disorder

One year after being hospitalized for a drug overdose, Demi Lovato is speaking out about her year of growth and change.

In her first interview in over a year, the star—who has been open about her struggles with body image and eating disorders—stated that though she still struggles to love her body, she's working towards appreciating her health.

"We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body," she said. "Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don't sit there and dwell on it. I also don't lie to myself, used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say 'I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made.'" But it's not always that simple, she said.

"I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is 'I'm healthy.' In that statement, I express gratitude. I am grateful for my strength and things I can do with my body. I am saying I'm healthy and I accept the way my body is today without changing anything," she added.

Lovato's new ideas about body image reflect the concept of body neutrality, which contrast the message of the popular body positivity movement. Body positivity (of the sort that consists of repeating positive affirmations to yourself) can actually lead to higher levels of anxiety and guilt when you don't feel positive about your body. It can also result in the opposite of its purpose: more fixation on the body, leading to more self-scrutiny and more time and energy wasted.

In contrast, the body neutrality movement is based on appreciating what your body can do rather than what it looks like. Body neutrality or body acceptance is about embracing the fact that your body allows you to move, travel, touch, and dance. It's not about how the body looks, but rather how it feels.

In addition, some say that since body positivity is a storied movement dedicated to carving out spaces and ensuring rights for people who face discrimination or stigma due to their weight, body neutrality is more appropriate for people who are not overtly discriminated against due to their appearances. This is part of why Jameela Jamil is an outspoken advocate for the body neutrality movement as opposed to body positivity. "The [body positivity] movement is not for me," she said. "That movement was designed for women who are discriminated against, like in front of doctors and in our society, because of their size. That is a must-have movement for those people. I am slender, so I'm not discriminated against, because of my size."

Instead, the Good Place star focuses on putting her energy into things other than her body. "Getting on with my day and trying to utilize the minutes I used to spend thinking about food and calories, and cellulite, is how I skate around that to preserve my mental health," she said.

Ultimately, both body positivity and body neutrality are different ways of countering an obsession with weight, either because of your own stigma or society's stigma against it. Obsessing over your body—either by hating it or feeling guilty when you don't love it—is generally a tremendous waste of time, a misuse of energy that could be poured into literally anything else. It's also exactly what brands and other systems that profit off your self-hatred want you to do.

In the interview in which she opened up about her newfound body neutrality, Lovato also emphasized the fact that her journey is ongoing. "What a lot of people don't realize is that I'm actually an extremely sensitive person," Lovato said. "I am human, so be easy on me. And I'm so tired of pretending like I'm not human. That's one thing that I won't do anymore. When you say stuff, it affects me. I'm human."

That sounds like the end goal of the body positivity and body neutrality movements, which are ultimately about remembering that you're not only defined by how your body looks, but who you really are.