- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ah, the holiday season is upon us. So what to get for the modern man who has everything? Makeup.

According to The Washington Post, eyeliner — the fellows who wear it call it “guyliner,” the twits — is the latest trend in “boys behaving girly.”

As it goes, Pete Wentz, the pretty-boy bassist for pop-punk band Fall Out Boy, has become the guyliner guru. The high-fashion fellow explained the proper way to apply the stuff: “Smear it because when you’re a guy, you don’t really want your makeup to look perfect.” Of course. It’s not like you would want to look like a woman or anything.

Men buy all kinds of cosmetic gunk now: wrinkle-control lotions, shine-reduction powder, clay masks, body-sculpting gel for the abs and all kinds of other goop. According to Euromonitor International, the male makeup market will top $25 billion annually by 2011. But don’t accuse makeup-wearing men of being metrosexuals. They’re not metrosexuals anymore. They’re Ubersexuals.

According to askmen.com, “Ubersexual” is derived from the German “uber,” which means “the greatest.” The term was coined by advertising giant JWT. Three JWT executives introduced the term in “The Future of Men,” a marketing book that explains how to exploit the changing identities of the sexes to make dough.

“Ubersexuals are the most attractive [not just physically], most dynamic, and most compelling men of their generations,” says Marian Salzman, a JWT executive who co-authored the book. “They are confident, masculine, stylish and committed to uncompromising quality in all areas of life.” And they wear makeup.

Take Dustin Schaad, a 22-year-old fellow from Silver Spring, Md. According to The Post, he started wearing makeup in high school because “a little concealer goes a long way when you hit puberty.”

My friend, the only thing you’ve concealed is your Y chromosome.

Look, men, we’ve got to get hold of ourselves. It was bad enough when male magazines began running headlines from female magazines: “How to Trim that Belly to Improve Your Self Esteem and Make Her Happy.” It was bad enough when men began getting face wraps and pedicures and all kinds of treatments that only women used to get. But makeup? Enough is enough.

Men, the marketers are pushing the fiction that the modern male has evolved to a point where he can be manly and wear makeup. They are doing so because there is dough in it. But it’s nonsense.

What men and women are is not so complicated. We are more primitive than we are evolved — our DNA was designed to help us survive our early days, and there’s no escaping that fact.

We no longer need adrenaline in our systems, but our predecessors needed it to survive. You better be able to fight or run fast when a prehistoric creature is about to have you for supper.

Michael Gurian, author of “What Could He Be Thinking? How a Man’s Mind Really Works,” says survival was the reason male and female minds evolved as they did. The male mind was geared toward open spaces (the ability to track animals); the female mind was designed to multitask (the ability to manage numerous details that kept the family alive).

And though we no longer need many of the instincts and impulses built into our DNA, they are still there. The unpleasant fact is that the mating game is still rooted in our basic primitive makeup.

Thus, in a general sense, women are still attracted to masculine men who can go out into the fields and kill dinner. And men, generally, are still drawn to young, healthy, feminine women.

Thus, women used to doll themselves up with paints and perfumes to attract men. And we used to chase them — until they caught us. We can pretend otherwise, but human DNA is not so advanced as we would like. That’s why women wear makeup and men don’t.

Please get your modern man something else for Christmas this year.

TOM PURCELL

Read Tom’s column at www.TomPurcell.com

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