982 Getting Groomed

Tom talks a little about what men are willing to do and pay to look good.


Jess: OK, so Tom, I've told you all about my beauty regime. You look very well groomed. Could you tell me what do you do to keep yourself looking good?

Tom: Well, thank you Jess. I mean this look is the product of many stages of evolution. When I was a teenager, I had long hair pulled back in a pony-tail, but at that time I wasn't growing a beard yet so I did get mistaken for a girl, so since then I've had short hair. There have been some periods when I've been traveling and when I'm traveling I don't like to bother too much about grooming, and my beard has started to grow, and it was a couple of years back that I went back to my job after traveling. I didn't have time to shave, and my colleagues and students saw me with a full beard, and to be honest they weren't as rude as I thought there were going to be, and I thought well maybe this looks good, so I thought I'd keep that. The beard lasted perhaps a year and then it began disappearing and appearing according to my whim and now I've settled on a goatee which is where I shave my cheeks and underneath my chin, but I keep the mustache and and beard around my mouth. I've never grown sideburns because I'm a little embarrassed to say, I've never managed to get the connection between my beard and my hair. There's a little gap just by my ears which never has quite grown hair, so that's where we got to where we are today.

Jess: And have you ever removed hair from, waxed or shaved or any other part method from any other part of your body?

Tom: Do you mean my legs? No, I have never shaved my legs. I'm not a very hairy guy, but I just don't feel comfortable with men shaving their legs. A friend at university was a cyclist and he always shaved his legs and I thought it was strange because ... I mean, seriously, is wind resistance that important that you need to shave you legs to get the extra bit of speed on a bicycle, but he explained to me, "No", it's to do with evening after cycling and you have to get a sports massage and a massage is much easier if you don't have hair on your legs. I always thought it was about wind resistance, but I was completely wrong.

Jess: So, it sounds like in comparison to mine your beauty regime is very simple.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

stages of evolution


There are many stages of evolution.

We use the phrase 'stages of evolution' to talk about something that has slowly changed over a long period of time. Notice the following:

  1. From classical to jazz to rock etc., western music has gone through many stages of evolution.
  2. Over the last 30 years the cell phone has undergone many stages of technological evolution.

to be honest


To be honest, I just don't know.

We use the phrase 'to be honest' when we want or need to be direct. Here are two samples:

  1. It's too bad you and John broke up, but to be honest, I didn't like him very much anyway.
  2. Everyone loved the Thai buffet, but to be honest, the food was a little too spicy for me.

according to my whim


appearing according to my whim

When we do something according to our whim, we do it based on a feeling, not for any special reason. Notice the samples:

  1. I never plan what I'm going to wear. I always dress according to my whim.
  2. Suzanne styles her hair differently everyday. She changes according to her whim.

I've settled on


I've settled on a goatee.

To settle on something means to make a decision. Here are some samples:

  1. I bought a pair of Levis today. I couldn't decide between black and blue, but I settled on the black ones.
  2. Our daughter looked at many schools abroad, but settled on UCLA.

embarrassed to say


After years of study, I'm embarrassed to say I don't speak English well.

We feel embarrassed when other people learn something about us we don't want them to know. It's usually not a serious secret. Notice the sample sentences:

  1. In high school I had a crush on Justin Bieber I'm a little embarrassed to say.
  2. I know we've met, twice actually, but I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've forgotten your name.

wind resistance


Is wind resistance that important?

When an object; for example, an airplane, a formula one car  moves at high speed, air pushes back in the opposite direction causing wind resistance. Notice the following:

  1. Modern F-1 racers are of very aerodynamic design to reduce wind resistance.
  2. In this view, Tom's cyclist friend actually wasn't much concerned with wind resistance after all.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
evolution • to be honest • whim
settled on• embarrassed • wind resistance
  1. I bought this purse on a but I think it's my favorite one.
  2. I'm to say that I graduated from university 5 years ago and have never had a serious job.
  3. It was interesting to see the of the band over the years.  Their style changed a lot.
  4. There was so much it was difficult to bike quickly.
  5. , this is not my favorite dinner that you have made.
  6. They have naming their dog Spot.