I can't help being envious of men stripping off in the sun

This week, as the sun bravely showed its face, skin appeared everywhere.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 6:01 am
Fort Gilkicker

The landscape was dotted with the sheen of bright white torsos as men across the south gave in to their primal instinct of undressing in the sunshine, while most of the women fretted about when skin is ready to be seen.

We all want to do it, right? To bare skin and enjoy the sun’s silky caress, allowing us a glimpse of a bronzed future in the summer.

A time when we’re suddenly young again, thin and hairless and full of joyful energy splashing in sea water, roller skating and drinking Coca-cola like we did before we heard it worked as an industrial toilet cleaner.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Finding the prime moment to bare flesh is super tricky. If you wait too long and skimp on 20-minute sunny moments, you’re quickly left behind, destined to be off-blue for the summer weeks as you missed the tanning boat.

But if you bare before razor application? The fear of judgment is painful – even when the only ones who really give a damn are the craze-inducing beauty page writers and yourself.

While all this is running through my head, I can’t help but be envious of the men who strip off and parade their chests and tummies as if they didn’t have a care in the world.

But if they thought like women, let’s see how that’d work out.

Obviously number one is colour. Is it really okay for men to bare if they’re funereal white, glowing like a ghostly presence beside the beach? If women need to aim for the sun-kissed look, shouldn’t men too?

And if women are judged for emulating baked goods, surely men and their muffins should be weighed and measured too?

Should we be expecting a six-pack to be packed? And don’t even get me started on the hair – or not.

Personally I’m all for chest hair in a decent proportion. But not too hairy and not too sparse. Clear with that boys?

We women have to navigate a complex path when it comes to revealing skin.

How boys manage it for themselves I’ll never know. Poor dears.