When Men Go Too Far…

Man Uggs, guy-liner, fake tan and let us not forget: Papa’s got a brand new…man-bag.
It was only when I walked into Lush last week and saw two very macho looking guys enthused by an in-store pep-talk about the benefits of a moisturiser called ‘Cosmetic Lad’ that I realised something was very, very wrong.

A recent survey by Superdrug (conducted with 3000 participants) found that men spend an average of 83 minutes a day on personal grooming – whilst women spend just 79 minutes – so what exactly has happened to the ‘rough and ready’ male of yesteryear to turn him into the publically preening pretty-boy?

Admittedly, I like a man who takes care of himself – I don’t know a girl who doesn’t. However, there is definitely a limit in order to keep masculinity in tow. The concept of ‘metrosexuality’ – being ‘metropolitan’ as well as heterosexual is a growing phenomenon that many straight guys are over-embracing, and for that…I blame David Beckham.
Ok that’s not saying I wouldn’t. I definitely would, but that’s not the point. Becks can get away with absolutely almost anything (*cough…lashing out in 1998 World Cup…cough*).

Fifteen years ago, if someone told the mass majority of straight men that their future icon would be a man with a squeaky voice who experimented with wearing sarongs, pink nail varnish and displayed a plethora of ridiculous hairstyles – they would be picking each other off the floor laughing…

However the reality is quite the opposite, and in addition to being a top gay icon, Beckham has become the ultimate female fantasy whilst also standing proud as the definitive straight guy’s idol too.
So, he may be an idol, but what exactly has Beckham done to steer away from age-old rugged masculinity?

I’m going to be blunt here and use the example of ‘back, sack and crack.’
Becks has openly admitted that he is a fan of being epilated – and many years ago a man would have laughed in the face of Immac. Now however, it’s almost normal to see a guy walking into a salon that is plastered with advertisements showing the latest deals on chest and back waxes – and they definitely aren’t aimed at the female Russian bodybuilders about town.
So, the question is – what exactly do women want?

Well, I can safely say it would be my worst nightmare to come home to a guy who was fully espousing the notion of ‘cosmetic lad’ – delicately pushing back his cuticles, whilst treating his skin to some respite with a warming honey face mask. However, at the same time, it would be a lot worse to arrive back to a self-pitying ‘Wayne Slob-esque character’ who hasn’t showered for days and has stains down his musty y-fronts. Oh, hi Ashley Cole.

Guys, the most important lesson I can preach is – it’s all about balance…and denial. You look really good with a slight tan – but don’t admit to us that you’ve got a lifetime supply of St Tropez in your bathroom cupboard.
That Low V-Neck really does wonders – but PLEASE don’t admit that your pecs look so good because you’ve used bronzer to accentuate them. Yes, male friends of mine have admitted to this.
Skinny Jeans – Please, don’t. Some girls can tolerate it, but if we’re truly honest – over-emphasising sparrow-legs isn’t hot. And if you’re the preferable, more ‘beefy’ type – trust me, it isn’t working for you.
Now – onto cosmetics. This is important. The only time it is acceptable for a guy to use a face mask or have a ‘pamper evening’ is when your girlfriend or female friend is FORCING you to, but it is essential that you play up a bit and reject the idea a few times before you give in.
If a girl says you have good skin – the response ‘thanks’ will suffice. Do not elaborate on your ‘regimes.’
Chapstick or Vaseline is ok, but as for eyeliner – unless you’re Johnny Depp or a rockstar, don’t bother.

So finally, Man Uggs. Can I rephrase that as Muggs? – because that’s exactly what you are, if you are a man who thinks he can retain his masculinity whilst wearing Uggs. Horrendously unsexy, unnecessary, and in summary, an absolute TURN-OFF. So fellas, if you are wearing them now…read this and weep, because you have DEFINITELY gone too far.

© 2010 Alicia Drewnicki