Grooming the Metrosexual Male
Grooming the Metrosexual Male
Men have come a long way in recent years it would appear. Do you prefer a Joey Essex Haircut, or are you more of a shaved head caveman kinda guy? The metrosexual male is evolving.
Male beauty is complicated. Men used to be so simple to understand.
If you are of a certain age, and you survived the fitness, diet and fashion fads of the last few decades. You may know that the 60’s and 70’s, wasn't all it is cracked up to be.
The chances are good, that you may have once had abs and used the odd bit of male make-up, even if it was just a little concealer or foundation, to hide those temporary facial flaws.
Modelling Male Beauty
Rise of the Metrosexual
Who can forget David Bowie and his legions of male beauty clones, looking like an explosion in a paint factory?
Like many men, you probably grew out of it, your skin settled down to something less resembling a butcher’s apron.
Now comes the 80’s 90’s and the oughties. A new breed of men, who want male beauty products and Mens grooming, have emerged from the undergrowth.
If Joey Essex or David Beckham change their haircuts, within days you will see the same haircut on many men in the street.
This need to follow the leader, is not new and has roots back to the earliest times.
Who can forget the hippie days, where every man 'had' to have really long hair and even a ponytail. Otherwise you were considered to be "part of the system,man". Which was seriously uncool.
The term Metrosexual was actually coined many years ago and is made up from two other words. Metropolitan and heterosexual, and aimed to describe an affluent, urban living young man.
The term originated in an article by Mark Simpson.
Published on November 15, 1994, in The Independent.
'Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ'
'Now he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping'.
The difference between Bowie era male beauty, and their make up, is a million miles away from the clean lined, modern definition of male beauty.
The male make up products that are available today are so subtle, that most men would not notice other men wearing them.
If we are to believe the hype, these men are really taking better care of themselves.
The evidence appears to support it. Then that's okay, isn't it?
The Fragrance of Man
The vast majority of men in the past; we are led to believe did not take very good care of themselves.
The assumption is that maybe they would get a haircut every now and again but generally men were slobs. I refute this interpretation.
I would often splash on Paco Rabanne after my weekly bath. (I used to bath once a week; whether I needed to or not ;)
Few men would dream of using a face mask or make up in daily life unless they were an actor on the stage.
But this began to change in the 1970's and male face masks became more common. This male beauty phenomenon is not as superficial as it may at first appear.
It has more to do with self esteem, self respect and just 'self'. Wanting to look after yourself is simply a great idea. Men are now more engaged and concerned with their health and well being than finding that long term mate; which is now less of an priority.
Metrosexualism seems to be most focused in the single affluent male with a high disposable income group.
Apparently these men are looking after themselves better, and enjoying spending their money on the things they want instead of spending their money supporting a family.
The average family size in developed countries has/is decreasing from 2.4 children per household to 1.4 children.
There is a departure from the traditional heterosexual male role of husband and provider paradigm. Men are stepping away from this role in their millions.
Of course there have always been men, that cared about their appearance. Fine fragrance's for men have been recorded throughout history.
Many popular male fragrance's tend to mimic a wide variety of fresh and woody tones, including traces of lemon and cedar-wood.
Why these particular natural smells appeal to men is a bit of a mystery. It may remind them of a more primitive time when they lived in the forest. The smell of a Cedar or Pine forest is intoxicating.
Another interesting point on male fragrance preference is it's constancy over time.
Yves San Laurent, Paco Rabanne, and even Old Spice, are still the top selling male fragrances.
Cedars of Lebanon
Time for a Man Chat
The new male, is a man that looks after himself, in terms of his personal grooming, attire, diet and fitness.
There is growing awareness, that we need to look after ourselves, as well as the planet.
Taking better care of yourself; is as a good a place to start as any. There is however the creeping suspicion, that there is more to this, than just encouraging men to look after themselves better.
The Man Business
It’s should come as no surprise then, that this new male, as a 'consumer type'. Is the main preoccupation of clothing designers, cosmetics companies, fitness gym's, specialist food producers, restaurateurs amongst a myriad of other demands for their attentions and cash.
There have always been of course, companies that cater primarily to men. These companies tend to be established brands, with high end merchandise and high quality products.
To gain the loyalty of any man, takes a lot of effort and a track record. It is no surprise that companies that are supported by men, usually have been around for a very long time.
New companies wishing to jump onto this particular bandwagon, need to focus on what these men want. And deliver the goods.
The male beauty business alone is now a massive market. Men may have been largely neglected in the past but companies are catching on fast.
Maybe we can all learn something from these changing trends. It could be that these new men, are actually blazing a trail to something positive for all men.
Male Beauty Tucked Plucked and Sucked
There are all manner of hair clippers, luxuriating shower scrubs, not to mention diet’s, that are so organically healthy. They still have soil on them.
It makes one wonder, how we managed to survive so long without vitamin supplements, ‘good’ gut bacteria, low cholesterol drinks and getting the fat, out of our diet. and of course hitting the gym daily?
Nobody smokes anymore and if you do; you are looked on as some kind of pariah that has just dragged a horse corpse into the room.
Having grey hair, used to be seen as distinguished. Today it is often considered the mark of a man that has let himself go, 'gone to seed'. Many men go grey very young, not to mention male pattern baldness.
Have these men really let themselves go? Or is it that they haven't got the memo yet on hair dye.
The Hair Dye Experiment
To test the idea, that men's hair colour, can have an effect on the way they are perceived. With my wife's help, I dyed my silver hair, natural dark brown and went out to a big family dinner.
My extended family and friends asked me 'are you going to the gym more regularly'? and commented . 'You look so well? and 'how much weight you have lost'!
No-one spotted the 'conker brown' hair on my head, until my friends wife Denise walked in, and exclaimed!
“What have you done to your hair, you look fabulous”
At which point, one of the guys actually said what every man at the table was thinking
'wow, didn't notice that'.
We had been sitting together for 2 hours?
What did I discover from this exercise. What women have known forever. Men are useless at observation and this is why they can never find anything. I thought I had invented a word to describe this behavior. I called it the 'Manscan' * but apparently someone beat me to it.
* 'Manscan' - the cursory examination a man gives to the search for a pair of socks or similar small objects of desire in particular and immediately declares that he cannot find them.
Women on the other hand can find anything anywhere and seem to notice the tiniest flaws and imperfections in themselves and more interestingly in each other.
Men in general do not tend to notice these types of cosmetic changes, much to the annoyance of countless millions of women.
How many times has a women asked a man 'how do I look'?
The man is befuddled, looking all over the woman, trying to figure out what has changed.
The problem is compounded when we take into account that he probably didn't know what you looked like before either.
Men do not pay that much attention to these so important details (to women) It's just not that interesting to most men. Or should I say, it didn't used to be.
This attention to cosmetic details, is not the natural habitat of most men.
Maybe now that more men, are using make-up and hair dye, they will notice when someone else makes a change to their appearance.
The problem as always with men; is that they will be too busy fixing their own make-up, to notice anyone else's.
Many women do say that men become more attractive as they age. These women could all be lying of course.
The growth in men's grooming, male beauty products and make up may lead to increased competition for the bathroom. Other than that who knows.
For these men, the future looks and smells great.
Rediscovering your inner Peacock.
When I pulled my hair dye stunt, my good friend George was impressed. He told us that he had been given a gift certificate, for the pharmacy. for Xmas 6 months earlier.
He explained how he often furtively paused by the hair dye display, contemplating buying some hair dye, but had always chickened out!
He said “You have inspired me. I am going to get that hair dye, and slap it on my head"That was over 2 years ago. George still hasn't bought that dye.
What may have started off as a joke on my part, actually got my friends thinking seriously about this whole idea. I know that many more men now regularly dye their hair.
Fortunately for me I haven't got much hair left and can get away with a number 2 crop.
Metrosexualism is for life, not just Xmas
Some men have 'evolved' this one time journalist's, marketing concept, into a full on, life choice.
Of course there are more aspects to this trend, than at first meets the eye. It could be that we are witnessing a new trend in the way men see themselves in modern society.
Many men have opted to spend more of their money, time and effort on themselves.
There are a growing number of men opting to stay single have no family commitments.
In the Natural World
Male beauty display in the animal kingdom, tends to be very apparent and colourful.
Consider the striking plumage of male birds, compared to the rather dull plumage of the female of the species.
Maybe men are rediscovering their inner Peacock.
What Is Your Opinion
Is Your Man A Metrosexual?See results without voting
© 2011 molometer
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