Columnist bewildered by unnatural body alterations

Keith Brumley

Keith Brumley

It was early afternoon. I was walking toward my car after successfully renewing my driver’s license.

That’s when I decided to not get a Brazilian wax job.

It’s true. I’m not going through the expense and pain of having someone else pull my genital hairs out by their roots. Although one of my friends suggested I pay more attention to the chest hairs popping out from the open collar of my shirt, (“eye magnets”, he called them) I’m content to let my body be what it is.

I am – with no apologies – a bald, graying, pot-bellied, bow-legged man with knobby knees. I’ve worked through six calving seasons; scattered bulls through five breeding seasons; gathered, sorted and shipped cattle through ten shipping seasons; helped build a few houses; written and published some short stories, poems and columns; and have started and schooled a lot of horses. I mean a lot of horses.

I have scars from the top of my head down to the soles of my feet – and I come by each of them honestly. Furthermore, after surviving four cardiac “events” – one quadruple bypass and six stents – I’ve decided to forego appearances. Besides, I’d look like a damn fool in a Speedo.

I’m not bragging, mind you … well, I maybe I am, at least a little bit. Men, it seems, have to beat their chests from time to time and women, I suppose, have to poke fun at us when we do. Why this is so is like one of those impenetrable Zen k?ans. For example, there’s this joke that goes: “If a man says something in the forest and nobody hears him, is he still wrong?”

I’m still scratching my butt over that one.

Women, however, have their own issues, and I, fortunately, don’t have to worry about many of them. Come to think about it, I don’t think women should either.

Take, for example, Brazilian wax jobs. Just who are they doing this for? I know the trend stems from the ultra skinny Brazilian beach fashion scene but my God! I don’t mind a little pruning, but those opting for triple figure Brazilians should take a tip from the Forestry Department. Clear cutting has proven to be destructive to any ecosystem.

Gravity takes its toll on all of us. My once broad shoulders have dropped to my waist, but I’m not going to have someone cut me open and stick a vacuum cleaner inside me. I like my belly. It makes for a handy place to rest my arms or support a cup of coffee.

I’m furthermore bemused with breast augmentation. Who wants salt-water tooties? It seems to me that women should know better than to take their beauty and fashion cues from Hustler and Penthouse. That stuff has nothing to do with beauty, and everyone who gets off to it understands it. I can get as randy as the next person, but I much prefer to think with my brain. It’s the place where love, sex and imagination come together.

So … I’m also not going for spray painted suntans – and I’m not flying to the Gulf Coast, Vail, Daytona Beach, Aspen, Puerto Vallarta or anywhere else for Spring Break. I’m staying here … on the eastern edge of the Northern Plains, waiting for the Great Spring Thaw. It’s much better to be who you are than someone else instead.

As for the rest of it, I’ll close this week with a quote from Wellness Philosopher Mark Evans.

“I’ll take mine in low sodium, please.”

Keith Brumley is an SDSU alumnus and current journalism graduate student at SDSU.