According to new research, the modern day ‘lad’ is actually not so lad-ish, but instead more lady. Results from the ‘Body Talk’ survey conducted by the YMCA and Bristol University in January showed that a lot of men are now more body conscious than women, with many taking longer to get ready and spending more time in the bathroom.
In a not-so-distant past, the metrosexual man was only available in the media; on your television, in your magazine and on the catwalk. Prime examples of this are David Beckham for his clear love of beauty products and ever-changing hairstyles, Russell Brand for his self-adornment with eyeliner and painfully tight skinny leather trousers, and nearly every male in The Only Way is Essex for their love of fake tan. The metrosexual man can now be found walking amongst us more than ever before, even on your very own University campus. Male students are now pulling off the fantastical “I’ve spent two hours creating my just-got-out-of-bed-hair look to match my Barbour jacket” on an everyday basis. I know a number of boys that regularly use make up (mainly concealer), dye their hair, spend a considerable amount on hair styling products, have a skin care routine, and make a conscious effort to be wearing popular brands. I no longer give it a second thought when my brother borrows my straighteners or my male housemate uses my hairdryer. It’s becoming more and more commonplace for boys to come and ask us girls for advice on which of their many pairs of Topman skinny jeans goes with one of their many Topman checked shirts.
How far will the boundaries of the metrosexual male be pushed, I hear you ask? At Paris Fashion Week, Bernhard Willhelm unveiled male models dressed in ripped overalls and sporting headbands emblazoned with ‘I love black c*ck’. Although this extreme fashion statement might not catch on for the everyday male, a number of others already have.
With the rise of the metrosexual have come some inevitable (and laughable) trends. A personal favourite of mine is ‘meggings’, i.e. male leggings. It seemed unlikely enough that skinny jeans would become so popular amongst boys a few years ago, but this is a trend I really hope won’t catch on. I just can’t see male leggings becoming a wardrobe staple anytime soon; however, we’ll have to wait and see. The more alarming cosmetic trend of ‘boy tox’ (botox for men) has also started to take off, predominantly in the States. With men becoming rapidly more conscious of their image, perhaps the gap in beauty regimes between men and women is soon going to disappear completely.
I know it’s a bit hypocritical, but boys, are you really commodifying and objectifying yourselves this readily? Haven’t you witnessed how much effort it is for us girls to keep up our detailed, expensive, and time-consuming regimes? Oh, and a heads-up for if they ever try to come into fashion – only male ballet dancers should wear tights.