He’s not the typical guy in a Calvin Klein ad, nor would it be likely to see him in the layout of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. He’s the face, chest and back hair of his own calendar.
CSUN alumnus David MacNeal is the founder and model of the Beast Calendar – a man calendar that features a hairy MacNeal posing shirtless and sometimes in the buff. MacNeal, 23, had a launch party at Casey’s Tavern Sept. 30, for his completed product.
The Beast Calendar launch party offered free food and raffles. The prizes in the raffle included two signed posters of the August and February photo shoots and calendars. The Santa hat and piñata that were used in the photo shoots were also raffled off as prizes.
A portion of the profits generated from the sales of the calendar goes to a charity that helps provide wigs and hairpieces to cancer victims.
The calendar not only offers 12-month glossy layouts, but also facts about chest hair titled Dr. Beast testimonials and tips on chest hair styling. The calendar also addresses chest fur myths such as “will bread crust really put hair on my chest?”
MacNeal said his favorite part of the calendar was the “5 Stylish Man Furs,” which depicts diagrams on how to style chest hair. MacNeal said he conducted library research to find the facts and trivia that were incorporated in the calendar.
MacNeal never conceived of the idea of becoming a Beast model until trying to enter the workforce after graduation.
After MacNeal graduated from CSUN with a degree in journalism, he was struggling to break into the job market. With the economy and the newspaper industry undergoing massive layoffs, MacNeal was unable to find a steady-paying job.
MacNeal embarked on his journey as hairy-man model after an excursion in Puerto Vallarta. While scaling a mini replica of a Mayan pyramid shirtless, he attracted a crowd of tourists. Seeing that he was gaining so much attention, he thought he could market his body in a calendar that celebrates hairy chests.
“It seemed to attract attention when I was flaunting it around, whether it was negative or not,” MacNeal said.
MacNeal went to work recruiting family, friends and former co-workers to produce the calendar. The only setback MacNeal encountered was how to market the calendar in a short period of time.
“It’s one thing to produce the calendar,” MacNeal said. “To market it is a whole other ball game.”
To even be considered in most stores, he had to have submitted the calendar by May, said MacNeal. But having such a tight deadline is difficult to meet. “You just can’t grow hair back that fast,” he said.
MacNeal said he believes the product will speak for itself.
“I have pretty good faith … we’re going to be sending it everywhere,” MacNeal said.
Some of the outlets MacNeal and his team have reached out to include: “Oz,” Urban Outfitters, “Maxim”, “Playboy” and “Playgirl.”
MacNeal, not wanting to limit himself to any one genre of publication, also mentioned the “Wall Street Journal” to “reach out to the bear community,” he said laughing.
Tara Reyes, 23, is the stylist and makeup artist for the calendar. She has shaved and trimmed MacNeal’s chest hair into Christmas trees, dollar signs and even a hairy tank top.
Reyes said her most difficult project was the December shoot of MacNeal sporting a hairy Christmas tree trimmed with tiny ornaments and lights.
“It was the biggest headache I’ve ever had in my life,” Reyes said. “One of my friends had to hold the hair out for me. I had to put them (the ornaments) on a string and tie them to two or three strands of hair … he couldn’t move, and it was very hot.”
“The lights were really hard,” she added, but said that the finished product made the work worth it.
The photographer for the calendar, John DuBois, said his most challenging shoot was the one in August where MacNeal, in short red shorts on roller skates, had his chest hair shaved to resemble a tank top.
“I thought the funniest thing was, as we were shooting that people were riding their bikes would say stuff, yell stuff as they went by,” said DuBois, 22. “And most of them were funny, they weren’t mean or anything, and then a person yelled ‘fat ass’ and that was like – alright that’s as bad as it could get.”
DuBois knew MacNeal when they used to work together doing freelance work for publications such as “Beer Magazine” and the “San Fernando Valley News.” DuBois would accompany MacNeal on his stories and shoot photos.
Brian Gurevich, 23, designed the layout of the calendar. He said he got involved with the calendar because “they kind of threw this idea on me, and I thought – why not?”
As more people came to Casey’s Tavern in support of the Beast calendar launch, MacNeal disappeared for a few moments, only to re-enter the bar wearing a dress shirt and tie tucked into skin tight red short shorts, complete with black socks with stars.
MacNeal said he couldn’t bare his chest however, because it would be violating the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” rule.
Andrew Whyte, 23, was the only other hairy model featured in the calendar. Whyte was co-Mr. December, who was depicted with his chest hair shaved into the Star of David to represent Hanukah.
Whyte said MacNeal approached him to be in the calendar because he had an equally as hairy chest as MacNeal.
“I had no decision,” Whyte said. “He told me ‘you’re in it.’”
Whyte said his debut as Mr. December felt amazing, and he is looking forward to doing future issues.
December was one of MacNeal’s favorite months in the calendar.
“I like December a lot because of that Star of David shaved into my friend… I like the fact that it’s on December because next year we could have more models with stuff shaved into their chests,” MacNeal said.
Toward the end of the night, MacNeal announced the winners of the raffle. All prizes were given out with a complimentary hug from MacNeal.
Juan Canales, 29, won a calendar.
“I can’t believe I won – I never win anything,” Canales said.
MacNeal said his next endeavor would be greeting cards, but it is dependent on how his calendar does.
“Even if we just break even, it’s almost worth doing it for nothing,” MacNeal said.
MacNeal ended the evening by thanking everyone.
“This calendar has been one hell of an experience. So many of you had to see me half naked, a lot of you oiled my ass. I really appreciate it,” he said.
For more information or to purchase a calendar visit www.wonkybeast.com.