The term ‘progressive male’ is definitely something I prefer over ‘metrosexual’, as the latter comes with a negative connotation and is often stigmatized, when in reality, it just means that you like to take care of yourself. Thankfully the term itself is slowly becoming eradicated, as more men are getting comfortable with caring about their appearance and people have become more accustomed to men acting this way. To the point that now when you call someone a metrosexual you could be considered homophobic because you are associating the behaviour this person carries out to be homosexual with personal disdain. Plus, women would rather you take care of yourself, as long as it’s in the right amount — especially if it means your dick won’t taste like ass sweat and you actually know how to dress yourself and be presentable.
Now this whole idea of ‘male progression’ and ‘metrosexuals’ really strikes a chord in the transition we’re currently seeing in men. Traditionally, men were ranked according to their social power, but we’ve seen a noticeable shift in the past two decades to men being ranked more and more the same as women, by how they look. Mark Simpson (a British journalist and writer) popularly coined the term ‘metrosexual’ on November 15th, 1994 when he said:
“Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are) is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade (90’s). In the eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levi’s jeans or in gay bars. In the nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.”
While the term ‘metrosexual’ didn’t really come to global fruition until the early 2000’s, Simpson was onto something. It’s hard to even figure out if this shift in the commodification of the male body has been something created by men, or by the media itself. Increasing advertisements for male beauty have begun to really take hold in recent years, especially through celebrity endorsements — think to the likes of David Beckham, a young Mark Wahlberg modeling Calvin Klein underwear, and a whole long list of other male celebrities who are endorsing beauty products. Aspiring to become a man of beauty is not only acceptable — it’s even desired by men in the 21st Century — by constant reinforcement in the media. It’s through this change that a man’s role has become blurred and you could say, we’re in the midst of an identity crisis. You can understand the relevance, especially considering we’re in the midst of a massive feminist movement as well. Women are becoming more prominent in corporate structures, seeking further education, and obtaining more power outside the household. In a way, you can say that ‘metrosexuals’ are the completely appropriate compliment to ‘feminists’. We’re experiencing two parallel movements that are happening simultaneously, yet moving in polar opposite directions. If this isn’t progression, then I have no idea what is. More and more men are becoming “house husbands” and more women are becoming the breadwinner of the family. Pretty soon every chick will be in a suit, and every dick in a dress (I wouldn’t go that far).
All things considered, this is what makes it tough for any guy to understand what the limits for beautifying himself should be. Where do you cross the line between necessary self-maintenance and over the top narcissistic behaviour?
Well, I’ve broken down my guide to beautifying yourself in a way that will make you more attractive to women, as well as keep your masculinity in tact.
Manscaping: This is absolutely necessary. Don’t be that guy with an Austin Powers bush. It becomes a net for attracting random debris and grossness, not to mention absorbing bad odors like a stringy sponge. Plus, a girl will quickly lose interest in your package after she coughs up a pube or two.
Keyword: trim vs. shave.
Tanning: Thanks to a group of ridiculous humans hanging by the shore on MTV, the douchiest acronym ever invented came into the world: G-T-L. And while the standard on “male tanning” is going to vary from guy to guy, you don’t want to be Mr. Orange, bro. A couple weeks of a build-up base tan (so you don’t burn) before going to Mexico to see your first sun since last summer is potentially justifiable, but hitting the sun bed weekly in the middle of winter isn’t.
Mani’s-Pedi’s: A lot of women will look at man’s hands and sum up his entire grooming habits — think of your hands as the trailer to what your dick might taste like. It’s going to be essential that you clip your fingernails and toenails regularly (this should go without saying) but if you find yourself sitting down with your fingers extended out, waiting for a cuticle trimmer to arrive at your nail, then you no longer have the right to call yourself a man. The only exception: a birthday gift from your girlfriend, wife, or daughter who thought your situation was that dire. In that case, I insist.
Waxing: This word should never be used in a man’s vocabulary. Those who’ve waxed their chest before, I’m sure have seen a dramatic reduction of testosterone in the process. And those who shave their chest (which is a massive long list of guys who want more defined pectoral muscles) are doing it all wrong; it’s just going to grow back longer and more ferocious, making the problem even worse. Whatever amount of chest hair you have, just embrace it. The more you have, the more time god spent on making you a man. Don’t ruin that. If you have to appease a certain female counterpart in your life, then make sure it’s just a trim.
Clothes: You’ll notice that most guys will make fun of the guy in killer threads, “Oh you care so much about fashion and your appearance”. And that dude will stand there looking awesome, not giving two-shits what the guys in baggy jeans and skate shoes are saying. The truth is that what you wear is the immediate first impression you present to the world, specifically to women. Guys who take pride in the clothes they wear come off as more attractive to women. Furthermore, a man with style radiates sex appeal. You can be an average looking guy but instantly become more attractive with the right packaging. Great style is like makeup for men.
Dry Cleaning & Shoe-Shining: Both of these are expressions of wealth for men. Or a way of saying “I’ve finally made it”. If you can afford it, go nuts. Nobody is going to judge you for this — they are just going to wish they were in your shoes, literally.
Getting Ready Time: Okay, every guy will have his nights where he wants to look good and impress a girl. So he’ll rifle through his closest, try several things on, ask his roommate’s opinion, or ask to borrow something of his. This happens. You’re only human. But the line that you must never cross — it takes you longer to get ready than the girls you are with. Who cares if you take a long time for a guy, as long as you’re still faster than the girls.
Hair & Beard: This is where men can really exercise their beauty in a way that is hyper-masculine. Every guy needs a go-to barber that he can go to, not say anything, and get exactly what he wants. It’s here where he can shoot the shit with a bunch of guys and beautify himself at the same time. Same thing goes for the beard — shaping it, shaving the neck, and trimming it is a great combination of beauty and masculinity. Plus, what women find attractive about beards is often lost when it turns into an unkempt castaway beard. It’s this part of beauty and “taking care of yourself” where you will find the most amount of obsessive and anal guys who are adamant about having their hair and beard look a certain way, and come in every week, or every other week. This is one area where you can get away with being a little bit high-maintenance.
Body & Fitness: This is another area where you can go a little overboard and make it your daily obsession. That’s because it’s good for your health, helps you to feel intrinsically happy and more energized, also, you won’t see girls complaining when they see you with your shirt off. Just make sure that your workout results aren’t captured and featured on your Instagram account, and you don’t complain to girls about the amount of calories you’ve consumed that day. Manorexia — the rare condition that makes women want to puke more than it does guys.
Smell: Smell is the tipping point when it comes to attraction. Don’t be the guy who relies solely on standard speed stick deodorants to smell good. Make sure you find a fragrance that works for you — something out of the norm that you can crown as your signature fragrance. This way you don’t run the risk of smelling like every other guy.
*Important Note: Too much cologne is always going to be worse than wearing too little, so if there is any confusion over the appropriate amount, avoid it. You want to attract the girl with your smell, not have her gagging in your own aroma gas chamber.
Self-maintenance and personal hygiene are all key components to achieving success with women, but going too far will yield an opposite result. It’s important you find the right level of “male progression”. Going too far runs the risk of assuming an appalling narcissism, and not going distance enough will keep you an ignorant guy’s guy who can’t get a date. Make sure you find that sweet spot. The spot where you’re still one of the guys, but can also impress a girl by being so far ahead of the curve.
The evolution of the term ‘metrosexual’ is to the extent that the word has lost most of its meaning. Being a ‘metrosexual’ used to be considered progressive, but that was before everyone else caught up. But now it’s those guys who refuse to carry out any sort of beauty (take care of yourself) regiment that should be scrutinized and boxed in. Now that’s what you call an evolution.