The murky issue of metro-sexual man maintenance is one that will be all too familiar to those ladies who have managed to bag themselves a good man already; or a bad one for that matter. During the first year of my relationship, I noticed my prized and expensive beauty supplies were slowly but steadily dwindling. I am knocking on a little in years now, but I certainly wasn’t doubling my usage.
Given that my then boyfriend, and now husband and I were the only people living in the flat; and the fact that he began to ‘Benjamin Button’ in front of me, I knew where the problem lay. Having always been a pretty truthful chap I was surprised that he consistently denied any culpability. Why would he not want to be seen to be a ‘user’?
By year three of our relationship, he broke. Having done so well, he inexplicably began complaining about the size of the beads and residual stickiness of my natural honey scrub. A wry smile and knowing nod was all it took to dissipate the years of denial – I forgave my scrubbed and glowing man instantly.
Many products and years later, I find myself discussing why peach stone is preferable to apricot and why willow bark and fruit acids ought not be used in conjunction on what he annoyingly refers to as a his T-Bone (bless). I am concerned that my husband may soon take to wearing his towel under his armpits and not around his waist. The best thing is, he is totally confused by every new product. Women just accept the innovation, but he seems permanently perplexed. We can forgive our men for their confusion when dihydroxybenzene and snakeroot derived yohimbine end up as ‘beauty soufflé’ to be rubbed into our gullible chops.
Personally I see this trend of men taking better care of themselves as a positive. It is about time it came back and may it never leave us again. Up until the 20th century men would not be seen dead taking the horses for a canter in anything less than full make up and curled locks. They also wore delicate gloves, slapped each other with handkerchiefs and tucked their three quarter length trousers into their lacy topped stockings – as an aside, this kind of destabilises the church’s argument that homosexuality is a recent ‘man made’ construct.
Now, I wouldn’t ever recommend our men folk go to the painful and quite frankly obsessive lengths that we do to beautify ourselves. Firstly, because it would be weird, but more importantly, it’s imperative that we girls to retain the benefits of being the prettier sex. Before the feminists jump on me, tell me it doesn’t feel ace to bat away a potential parking ticket with your Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long Wear Mascara.
I can understand that a large number of guys still feel slightly embarrassed about establishing their own beauty routine, and those who do, insist on downplaying it. Because my intention for this column is to get men to look nicer or empower women to coax men out of the sheep dip and into the salon, I have some advice…
- Find the right range for your skin type. I’d recommend popping into dermalogica with your partner and let the helpful (and often cute) beauticians find the right products for you. Because you boys are trying so hard, girls, do the gentlemanly thing and pay. Why? Because if your man catches sight of the price tag you will be paying for the dry cleaning too… he will shit himself.
- Boys… here’s a tip you can also pass on to your girlfriend. Exfoliate once every two weeks, because too much exfoliation makes you age quicker – but for goodness sake don’t mention this reason, evolution has ensure she will respond with “so you think I look old? Older than who? What’s wrong with you? Are you seeing Bethany behind my back? That skank… you get the picture.
- On the packaging of all equipment with an electrical input used for head hair there should be a simple and clear warning. NOT TO BE USED BY MEN BECAUSE THAT’S PLAIN RIDICULOUS. I am all for self betterment but never tong and straighten your hair… ever! You will look like a buffoon both during and after and become instantly unattractive. This is so bad that it is said that if a GHD is used in front of the mirror by a man at midnight, Burt Reynolds appears behind you and slaps the ‘man’ back into you.
- Facial hair maintenance is a highly debated topic, and the decision to shave or clipper is one that should be carefully deliberated on a man to man basis. What should however be avoided at all times, by every man, is the dreaded ‘complicated facial hair’. This is determined by how much effort you put into it. If you look like a scalextric track or Craig David you have gone too far. As a general rule women are just as annoyed by complicated facial as men are by Sarah Jessica Parker.
- I live in Essex, its not my fault, I was born in Sarajevo so it is actually a step up. With long black hair and pale skin I get daily petrified expressions from Essex girls with so much fake tan they look like they work in an illegal Indian leather tannery. Whilst depth of fake tan and below average intelligence have not yet been scientifically linked, they soon will. As such, they are aghast that I don’t have a fake tan, hair, lashes, teeth, lips, tits and nails. But we all know about Essex girls and find their quirks and deep-rooted insecurities loveable somehow, in the same way I love Mrs. Potato head I suppose. What shocked me upon moving to Essex is all the tangerine man walking about! Please, if you have to wear fake tan as a man, never trust yourself to judge when you’ve applied enough, instead turn to your male friends to tell you the truth.
- Pedicures are stereotypically a very girly thing to do, but I have always been of the opinion that it’s the guys who really need them, and regularly. You might think you can get away with atrocious fungus feet just because unlike us, all your shoes are close toed, but enter the bedroom, the shoes come off (I hope) and your feet work as an immediate contraceptive. You might think we don’t notice, but we do. After all toenails like cheese straws never appear on a girls wish list.
So that’s it. All you grubby lazy chaps, get yourselves down to Selfridges this weekend and get buffed, tweezed, cleansed, toned and primped. Go on – now, it’s an order!
The murky issue of metro-sexual man maintenance is one that will be all too familiar to those ladies who have managed to bag themselves a good man already; or a bad one for that matter. Because her intention for this column is to get men to look nicer or empower women to coax men out of the sheep dip and into the salon, Dunja has some advice…
Read other articles about:
Inspired by the title of our venerable magazine, Dunja thought she’d start a column of her own: a guide to men, but from a woman’s point of view. Oh sure, she's a drop-dead gorgeous model by day, but she's always prided herself on her familiarity with both the male and female psyche and what she really wants is to put that knowledge to good use. In her own words: "I'd love to tell you what I do, but the list goes on, there are too many things that take my fancy. Let’s say I’m a model/scout/writer/unionist/producer, and will be looking forward to adding plenty more to that list. Hope you enjoy the column boys, read carefully!"
Contact the author