Monday, 1 March 2010

Frogs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails

If I had a nickel every time I met a guy who told me he couldn't give a rat's ass what people thought about his clothes or hair, I'd have a lot of nickels right now. Like, a lot. It bears noting, however, that statement always follows my response to the "So, what do you do?" question. Evidently, there's something about a woman who works in the fashion industry that immediately makes men defensive. Or at least the ones I meet (...and subsequently date. Bleurg.) The fact that I should stop engaging with starving artists I meet in dive bars notwithstanding, I'm here to say something to all you guys who claim to be too cerebral to indulge in the superficiality that comes with a crisp shirt or a pair of wholly intact underwear: you're full of shit. And what's even worse is the guy who tells me that he doesn't care what other people think about how he looks is usually the guy who cares the most. It's all so Psych 101 that it makes me want to barf.

The good people at Dove recently launched a line of personal care products targeted to men called Men+Care. (I can only guess that the subtext they were going for is Men+Care=Dove.) Obviously, there's a whole beauty market full of guys who totally care how they look and smell. The company conducted a survey asking a random sampling of men worldwide how they felt they were represented in advertising and low and behold, they were less than impressed. "Hold the phone!" I thought. "Could it be that men are also irritated by being portrayed as dim, tubby, balding Everymen married to attractive, whip-smart women who are clearly out of their league?" Sadly, no. It turns out that guys don't appreciate being represented as rich, power-hungry ladies men. In fact, only 6% of the men surveyed believe they are realistically portrayed. I guess they showed me.  

While I applaud Dove for taking another Real Beauty approach to addressing our physical and psychological complexes, am I really meant to sympathize with the male plight here? If so, I'm going to have to play the objectified vagina card. You know, guys, it could be a lot worse than being portrayed as Don Draper in a Homer Simpson world. You could represented by...someone much.....mmmmmmmDonDraper.

Need I say more?


  1. You know, I'm afraid I might be one of these guys you're writing about. And I think you're right -- despite all visual evidence to the contrary, I do give a shit. But here's the rub: I'm crazy cheap, at least about stuff like clothes. It just makes my skin crawl to invest real cash in shoes or clothes when I know I can spend next to nothing for something adequate at the thrift store. But I'll buy a $100 bottle of whiskey for a special treat or fly to another city just to party for a weekend. I don't pretend to understand this, by the way, just trying to distinguish between apathy -- and cheapness. Best, Matt. P.S. Love the blog.