The headline on a recent article I read in The New York Times declared: “The New Man, Not Afraid to Act Like a Woman.”
According to this article it has become quite routine for today’s men to spend a lot of money on manicures and pedicures, facials and mud baths. The sales of men’s lotions and tonics have never been higher.
These are not men I know personally, but I have seen their photos in magazines. Most guys I know take baths to remove the mud. In fact, if I ever got my hands on a photo of one of my buds having a pedicure, in order to prevent further distribution of said picture, that guy would be buying me chicken-in-the-basket at the Belmont Hotel for life.
So although I don’t know men who have their nails done regularly, I do believe the statistics showing the rising numbers of these ‘new males’ in today’s society because the survey samplings are done in large metropolitan cities where men are referred to as “metrosexuals.” Before I Googled that word – it means a term derived from the words ‘metropolitan’ and ‘heterosexual’ describing a man who lives in an urban, capitalist culture and spends a lot of time and money on shopping for his appearance – I too was confused. I thought the word ‘metrosexual’ referred to a guy who got aroused at the sight of a public subway system. (This might be the reason the Toronto Transit Commission is considering dropping its “Ride The Red Rocket” logo.)
“Men have become very interested in themselves as of late – their profiles and their pectorals,” says Mark Simpson, author of Metrosexy: A 21st Century Self-Love Story. That book, the title of which would look great on the cover of David Hasselhoff’s autobiography goes on to talk about how the new man is very much into cooking, cleaning and child-minding.
And that’s when it kind of crystallized for me – the ‘new man’ is actually the ‘old woman’. My question is, in order to maintain a gender balance in the cosmos of interrelationships, is the ‘new woman’ willing to drive lost, snore in public and watch TV with a cooler on the couch in order to take the place of the ‘old man’? If men are now going to wellness spas, will women start paying extra for VIP passes at Humberstone Speedway?
Look, I think men in general could use a good evolutionary scrub-up. More sensitive, more thoughtful, more family-oriented – all this is good and probably way overdue.
But, but … bikini waxing!?! Since Bliss Spas of New York introduced men’s waxing last year, their business has doubled. That’s right; men are getting their bikini lines stripped.
“It actually makes you feel more masculine,” said Bliss president Mike Indursky. Really! And wearing that bikini at Jones Beach during a “Bikers Against Helmets” rally? How’s that feel?
I’m not against metrosexuals, I just don’t know any. Take my friend Robbie, for example. I can’t convince Robbie to cut his hair or even put on long pants whenever he subs for me as host of the Canadian Author Series. So I don’t’ like my chances of getting Robbie to get his bikini line waxed if he does insist on wearing shorts. If I paid him, he might trim the beard, but that’s about it.
American Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte dazzled the sports world and fashion aficionados when he appeared at the London Games wearing neon-flashing swim briefs and sparkly sneakers. When he smiled, he revealed a custom-made dental grill in the form of the American flag. The dental grill has been heralded by designers and jewelers as “a tiara for men.”
Once again, call me old fashion, but I didn’t watch the men’s 400-metre medley to see Ryan Lochte strut around the starting block flashing on and off like a Christmas tree. I just wanted to see him swim really fast. For me seeing Michael Phelps sucking on that marijuana bong was easier than watching Ryan Lochte impersonate a sign in Kinko’s window.
A dental grill? Whatever happened to the real masculine facial adornments like nose rings, tongue studs and that big chin loop that made the guy look like he was about to be tied up in front of the saloon while his rider went in for a whiskey and a fight?
Definitely the ‘old man’ could learn some valuable lessons from the ‘new man’ like caring for the kids, being more nurturing and helping with the housework.
But there’s a big difference between being more nurturing and being more nutritious.
I’m looking at a newspaper photo of Trevor MacDonald, a preppy-looking ‘new man’ with short hair and wire glasses, big smile and open shirt and I’m wondering what his 16-month-old-son will think of this picture when he grows up. Because in this photo, 27-year-old Trevor MacDonald of Winnipeg is actually breastfeeding his son.
Trevor, a transgender parent loves fatherhood so much he has opted to become a stay-at-home dad. And that’s a good thing. But breastfeeding your son? Does a kid today really need one more reason to be teased at school?
Trevor was in the news because his application to become a group leader at La Leche League Canada, a breastfeeding advocacy group was rejected. Apparently Trevor has trouble lactating.
You see that’s where the issue of the new masculinity goes off the rails – when evolution of the ‘new man’s’ leap past the ‘old woman’ to become the ‘new Mom.’
I’m so damned confused I could cry, which is now perfectly acceptable.
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