newlywed pop star Pete Wentz
Some men (who are not members of Kiss tribute bands) are wearing
make-up. Men like Pete Wentz, Joel and Benji Madden, John Travolta and
Daniel Johns are wearing eye liner, mascara, foundation and even
lipstick – in neutral shades but still. I’m cool with that. Just so
long as I don’t have to sleep with them or marry them.
Some men are streaking their hair blonde and then GHD-ing it flat
before they go out. Men like Keith Urban (see above point about
sleeping and marrying – clearly, Nicole feels differently).
Other men are the new ‘faces’ of fragrances, pouting their pants off in
TV and magazine ads. Men like Justin Timberlake for Guerlain, Clive
Owen for Lancome and Ewan McGregor for Davidoff. I’m cool with that
too. Why should men be shackled by gender stereotypes? There’s nothing
wrong with a nice smelling man and lots right with one in fact.
But you know, I’ve been wondering lately where you draw the line
between a man having a healthy interest in his appearance and losing
the plot entirely? When does he leap-frog right over the Metrosexual to
actually become a Vain And Insecure Nightmare (VAIN)?
It’s happening people, and I’m getting scared. Like most batty things, it’s not yet happening here in any significant way and let’s join hands and pray it never will. But still. It’s my duty to send up a distress flare so you can arm yourselves against this alarming trend.
There’s a line between men and women and we must guard it with vigilance. We own pregnancy. They own facial stubble. We own high heels. They own male pattern baldness. If the natural order of humanity is to be maintained, it’s important that some things aren’t shared. So where do you draw your gender line?
Here’s where I draw mine: supportive undergarments for men. Yes, man-girdles or ‘mirdles’ are a growing trend in the US and I learnt this from no less authority than The Wall Street Journal!
According to the WSJ, “A growing number of labels are launching elasticized ‘shapewear,’ ‘bodywear,’ ‘support boxers’ and other beer-belly-constricting undergarments for men.” Spanx, a well-known brand of women’s “shapewear,” is even considering a men’s line.
Oh my God, it’s undie anarchy.
Jeff Lewis, an events coordinator in Phoenix, told the paper that when he wore a mirdle, it “took an inch-and-a-half off my waist…It gave me an instant ego boost.” Another man, Daniel Hernandez was so puffed up by the compliments he received from his mates when the noticed his new slim waist, he made the grave error of flashing them his mirdle. Silly Daniel. His friends were horrified. “One guy was, like, ‘Oh, what, are you, grandma now?'” he lamented to the newspaper. Daniel, my friend, I have one word for you: DUH.
It gets worse. This week I found a website for the man who has everything. Except buttocks. A company called – what else – Bottoms Up, is marketing boxer shorts with a specially built pocket inside them for fake bum pads “designed to fit the natural male anatomy”.
My favourite part? You can alter the size of your fake buttocks depending on your mood because they come in three sizes (Quarterback! Halfback! Fullback!) up to 2.7cm thick.
They also sell “pouch enhancement pads” for the front of your underpants. According to the website “our pouch pads provide protection and enhancement!”. The ‘enhancement’ bit I get. But ‘protection’ from what? An angry kick from a woman who has just discovered her partner’s bottom is fake?
There are some women who will be reading this and chortling “sucked in blokes! We’ve been insecure about our bodies for years! Not much fun is it!”. But I see male body insecurity as less of a win for equality than a blow to sanity. I’ve often been inspired by the way a fat and balding bloke can look in the mirror and see George Clooney. With too many women, it’s the reverse. We look in the mirror and see Princess Fiona from Shrek. Especially on a fat day, a bad hair day, a pre-menstrual day or when we’ve been watching the Fashion Channel.
You know male body insecurity is getting bad when a Sex & The City actress sneers ‘get over yourself.’ Kim Cattrall recently revealed that some of her many partners in SATC sex scenes were extremely anxious about nuding up. ”I remember one actor who was doing his scene, he had to show a bit of his butt, right?,” she told reporters. “And he went to the gym, he hadn’t eaten for weeks and he passed out on the set. I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ We’re like, ‘C’mon, get with it, let’s go!’ And he’s like, “Oh, no… I don’t want to show my butt.’”
A few years ago, men started getting their backs waxed. Now it’s laser. When I went to get my legs done recently, I counted four men in the waiting room, aged about 25-40.
The beautician told me half her clients were men and some had begun to request a “Manzilian” – the complete removal of all hair down there. “They’ve tried waxing it off but the in-growns are a killer,” she explained. But why are they doing it? WHY?
“Some say it makes sex better and that their partners prefer it. Others say that without all the extra foliage, they look bigger.”
Oh. I see. I think I’d just buy a pouch enhancement pad. Or find a new partner…..