Monday, December 05, 2005


Despite what the Sunday Independent might think most men are not MetroSexual. Their beauty regime does not comprise eyebrow plucking, waxing and facials it involves the three S’s shit, shower and shave and for very special occasions the 4th S a shoeshine. So why are people like the Sunday Independent bombarding us with tales of male grooming and taking spa breaks. MONEY.

On the page after the article was an advertisement for spa weekends. Newspapers need to sell to papers so that advertisers will purchase space. They therefore are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. Likewise men’s magazines. They sell because of sex. Any man that goes on about I read it for the “articles” are either liars or reading articles about Abi Titmuss sex tips.

Vast amounts of cosmetic companies advertise in these magazines and I am fairly sure if they started saying men you don’t need face cream. They would quickly lose this source of income. So they publish articles telling of the wonders of the latest €40 bottle of stuff that will make you instantly attractive to women as without it you will end up alone, sad and reading the “articles”.

For years this kind of commercial myth has been prevalent in females magazines. And most fell for it. The myth that beauty was size 6, tanned, tall, eye brow plucked and moisturised skin. So the majority of the female population are trying to adhere to that myth. This has lead to many things such as depression and anorexia. As this has happen men too have fallen into the trap of expecting this in women. Years ago skinny women were not the object of attraction look at Marylyn Monroe. But we men have been fooled it to thinking amongst other things that protruding bones are somehow hot. I mean seriously does plucked eyebrows turn any man on.

All this myth building has been built by industry the cosmetic industry. Whether it be Nivea or surgeons this myth has made billions. But all is not going well for the industry. The market is saturated, women spend hundreds on cosmetics. So to improve the share price and grow something needed to be done. Some new markets needed to be found. Then came Beckham. Suddenly there was a market something they never thought of before men. So no longer was after shave and hair gel enough suddenly we had moisturisers and facials.

Adds are designed to sell. To do this they must makes people feel they need that item. So for female cosmetics they show some spectacular beauty and use this to focus into the insecurities females have about their appearance and it worked. So they want to use the same tactics with men. But the male psyche works slightly differently just putting a hot guy on the screen is not going to make a man buy face cream. So the adds act on a different insecurity then female adds. It acts on the insecurity in attracting people of the opposite sex (or same for homosexuals). Every male add has a hot girl in it who is all over the user of the product. It send out the out the signal that a lazy scumball like you can just sit on your ass while hot women fall all over you just by using our stuff. This is typified by the Lynx effect.

When they do but a guy to plug a product it is not a model it is usually a footballer or Gavin Henson. This I believe has only one motive to sell the product to the people who footballer players are their role-models teenage boys. The thinking I presume is if you can grab them early you will keep them. While many men in their twenties and older would have a fit at the thought of putting on cosmetics due to years of school yard conditioning. Younger men are growing up in school yards where not only is cosmetics acceptable but the norm.

So is this a good thing?. Is it good that men can pamper themselves and not feel the confined by the male stereotypes they have inherited from their fathers?. Sure it is but is shelling out for moistures really about pampering. No it is the media feed belief that women only want a well groomed manicured man that drives male cosmetics sales. Not being a women I can’t really comment on this issue but it seems that women seem to swoon over the movie stars that have the rugged looked and hate men that spend more time in the bathroom then them. Some people like to call it designer stubble as if it is someone’s creation. But unless the designer they talk about is god stubble has no designer it is in fact it is due to the absence of any designing.

Also on the rise is cosmetic surgery in both men and women. What people are not born with they seek to have added. Shows like the Swan fuel the myth that a good body (in the media’s definition) is the secret to happiness. Thus more and more people are going under the knife.

But where will it stop. Looking at some of the new adds they seem to portray mens’ cosmetics as a kind of macho slap it in type product. Compared to the females slowly applied approach. This is the industries attempt to make cosmetics macho. But where will it end. Will men in 10 years time be wearing lipstick. The answer is probably yes. The cosmetic companies are seeing men take up their products but the shareholders will demand increased growth and this will make it necessary to market more products. Men are just as gullible to the fashion myth as women. Make-up for men is the obvious next step.

But then where? With men and women buying a full range of cosmetics where is the next market. In some places this market is already coming to the surface. That market is children. Parents will not only be buying their kids lipsticks with multicoloured bears on them and moisturisers with nemoesque fish on the bottles. But they may also be conditioned to believe their bundle of joy are not perfect and are in need of plastic surgery. That is a worrying but probable future.

But I am going to make a stand for the human race. I’m refusing to use moisturiser. Maybe some of my female readers can tell me if this is going to leave me like the cosmetic companies would like to think alone reading the “articles”. But to bust some myths that have been told to women. For me and most men I have asked a females greatest feature is not her cleavage or legs or backside or plucked eyebrows but her smile. And before anyone points it out it has nothing to do with the use of whitening toothpaste


Anonymous said...

Male makeup is already out there. They call it "tinted moisturiser" and market it semi-scientifically as a complexion corrector.

Simon said...

semi-scientifically in the same semi-scientific way actimal has casi-imunitas.:)