But Shaaz men still care about fashion, more so than ever!
I agree with you, men care more than ever about fashion thanks to the social norms being influenced by shows like Mad Men and the rise of online men’s fashion blogs. As to “how” men care is what has changed drastically. Metrosexuality has been around for a very long time but credit goes to David Beckham who popularized the notion back in the 90’s. The social capital he accumulated through his early soccer career enabled him to take risks with nail polish, togas, and above all introducing the notion of a man who cared about being well groomed from top to bottom.
Hold On, What Is a Metrosexual?
Please read one of our most read articles on what is a metrosexual (and highly contested, I might add) to find out the Mindthis definition before you continue. In short, it is a way of thinking and depicting oneself to the world through being in touch with your feminine side.
Rise of the Rugged Metrosexual
From the ashes of metrosexuality arose the new term “Rugged Metrosexual”. It’s now all about looking rough but in a well put together manner. Let us take a look at Daniel Craig vs Peirce Brosnan as a classic example of this shift. Both are attractive men but Peirce is far more feminine. Craig looks like he just came back from killing a bear, yet in a polished way. This is a throw back to the Sean Connery era of manly essence that is based on caring about how one looks. His personality has remained constant through out the series, but the swing away from a pro 90’s metrosexual bond is clear.
The man has transformed with the times rather than fighting it, which is one of the reason he remains very relevant. In the 90’s his interviews would consist of how his mother was a hairstylist and how it sparked his interest in fashion. Now? his interviews are about him being roughed up under a car trying to fix it, or how he is no longer fighting age but embracing it. He rejected Gillete’s multimillion dollar deal because he refused to shave his stubble. Yes, he turned down millions in order to have the right to keep his stubble. He has left behind his highly styled faux hawk and replaced it with a wild lush mane to further make his point: I am no longer a boy but a man. The Rugged Metrosexual requires that roughed up, “my wrinkles/scars/imperfections are my badges” type of aura with the stubble being one of the principles.
The Rise of the Stubble
Stubbles are no longer a sign of worn-out car salesmen, as “tired” is replaced with “experience”. From actors to young bankers, facial hair is on the rise around the world. It’s a declaration that, yes, I could shave but I’d rather not. This perceived edge is what men are now going for. When I look at the latest Ralph Lauren or Brooks Brothers, it all just screams “frozen in the 90s” to me. These brands refuse to incorporate the stubble and hold strong to their recent Harvard grad yuppie look. On the one hand, kudos for sticking to your guns! But on the other, the 90’s are over.
The Fight Back
Companies were not happy with the stubble as they were at first confused on how to make money off of this change. Gillette tried its very best to keep Beckham but failed. However, now they have seen the potential in shift and have a new marketing campaign out highlighting the different ways a man can shape his stubble with the latest gadget.
Yet, there was one company that shared the same stubbornness as RL or Brooks, Nivea. They tried fighting this trend by advocating for the “re-civilization” of men. Not only did they fail but managed to produce one of the most racist ads in modern history. I understand the risk of men no longer buying shaving cream, aftershave, etc., but this desperate attempt to fight a trend just solidified it.
Why the change: Recessions
Recessions means more action movies that involve “the end of the earth” scenarios. The rich buy more luxury items to reassure themselves and men grow stubbles. People want to escape reality and watch more movies as noted by CNN. It’s no real surprise that when the world is bombarded with negative news from almost every source at all times that we all feel like we have been hit hard. Mega brands want to capture this sentiment and went for rougher designs, with men moving towards “a well groomed caveman” style.
F!@#$%^K I CAN’T GROW STUBBLE?!
Calm down my stubble free men. Yes, growing a stubble would improve your look in some regards but you are saving time to live life not shaving or shaping your facial hair everyday. For those who can only grow patches, I still strongly recommend you give it a try let it all grow out for 10 days. The Rugged Metrosexual is a look we all can try. We all have our own unique stubble pattern and being who you are is key to your confidence. Please do ask women that you trust for advice on how the stubble looks.
Growing out a stubble which, depending on your DNA, could take 3 days or 5 hours and may even require more work rather than shaving. This may seem counter intuitive, but you must ensure your stubble is growing out evenly around your cheeks and upper neck. This requires a stubble trimmer with some levels of “shortness”. You really should not spend any more than $40 on this type of trimmer. From a women’s perspective, men make look more attractive but I am not sure I would want to kiss and make out with sand paper.
The metrosexual as we once knew is dead. Men will still buy products of all kinds, yet now it is to perfect that imperfect rugged look. The Rugged Metrosexual has emerged and I encourage you to embrace it. Start by growing out that stubble.