To Manscape or not to Manscape. That is the Question.

With all the current media hype surrounding male grooming, our In Defense of Men DSPs couldn’t wait to get their hands on the subject. Some are slightly manicured and others are spotted with bike grease, but they all call it like they see it.

First up, DSP Bert Jay:

The “Metrosexual”

When asked what I thought about the ‘metrosexual phenomenon’, several thoughts came to mind.  The first was, this is another example of our culture trying to put a simple label on something that is not easily defined.  A common impression of a metrosexual is a guy who spends an inordinate amount of time on his outward appearance to the point that his hygiene products and dry cleaning bills exceed his female counterpart’s. While these guys exist– and their population is growing– it’s not that simple.

Where did this all start?  Could it be due to an ever-increasing fascination with Hollywood?  Is it influenced by gay culture (finally) going mainstream?  No; I think it goes back further.  There have always been men who have fallen into this category.  As far back as the 18th-century they were called ‘Dandies’.  Heck, in the 1960s James Bond could have been considered a metrosexual– wouldn’t you say?  But it goes back even further than that.

The first barber shop

Have you ever wondered who was the first human who ever cared about what they looked like?  I’m pretty certain it went something like this…

The year was 10,345 B.C., a young cave dweller named Grok was washing his hands in a still lake when he paused, looked at his reflection, then gave his hair a little swoop to the side.  He picked out the sticks and dirt, tucked it over his ears, and gave his face an extra good scrub.  He liked what he saw when he was done.  

Upon returning to his tribe with a newfound swagger, there was an immediate reaction.  Two hot-looking cave women took notice.  One of them grunted to the other “I don’t know what is going on with Grok, but he certainly won’t be sleeping under those furs alone tonight.”  A movement was born.

There have always been men who fall under the category of being a metrosexual.  The thing is, metrosexuality has a traditional bell curve.  You have your guys on the far end who could care less, they see no issue with baggy pants, wool socks coupled with sandals, unkempt hair, and cold pizza.  Many tend to excel at Software Engineering.   On the other end you have men with a broad selection of tie bars, a salon budget, and can slice shallots to near transparency, yet they tend to lack traditional ‘manly’ skills, like plumbing and yard work.  The rest fall somewhere in the middle.  That’s the ground I tend to occupy.

Balanced in the middle

I’m guilty of keeping the relentless onslaught of body hair in check.  I know the difference between pomade and hair wax and what looks best on me.  I match my shoes and belt, have funky Italian socks and yes, I’ve asked her, “does this look good together?”.   But I can also split a cord of wood, teach my kids to throw a football, and barbecue like a caveman only wished he could.  It’s all about moderation.

Now, I need to go shine my Cole Haans, pluck a few rogue hairs, and moisturize.  I certainly won’t have time during the huge NFL games tomorrow!


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6 Responses to To Manscape or not to Manscape. That is the Question.

  1. DSP Dixie says:

    A couples day at the SPA_ I’ll take it!

  2. Denise M says:

    I love the idea that men can now take grooming to a whole new level. It’s good for our guys to feel good about themselves- and they feel better to us too. Great article.

  3. StaceyK says:

    I have one very “old school” husband who would never dream of manscaping. I am going to have him read this and pray that he realizes he should start mowing. : )

  4. DSP Connie says:

    Oh, Bert Jay! You just gave me a great excuse to tell my father-in-law it’s ok to shave his back.

  5. Tom says:

    I just threw up in my mouth. The cover shot on the landing page is of a handsome man with no obvious body hair going Rambo on his underarm. This is not grooming or manscaping. This is what women think metrosexuals do. They are so very wrong. Real men leave their darn body hair alone.

  6. DSP Jack says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Bert Jay! Sure, Manscape. The key is making it look like you don’t. There is a scale of “Metrosexuality”. If you keep the hair from shooting out of your nose and ears, it doesn’t make you like the guy in the picture. Dude, we’re mammals. We have hair! There is a BIG difference between making sure hair stays where it belongs and looking like someone who pencils on their eyebrows. But guys, enough is enough. I’m not suggesting you wax that “sweater vest” of hair off your back. Genetics is sometimes unkind. If you had all that hair removed, you would look like a freshly shorn sheep. Just leave your shirt on and make sure your hair doesn’t curl over your collar.

    Yes, I agree. It is possible to look and smell right and be manly. If, however, your “mani pedi” lifestyle is making you too soft to cut some wood, start a fire, and get your hands dirty. Good luck. Let’s talk on December 22nd. Survival of the fittest.

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