August 11, 2012
Unless he is an ESPN anchor or a Navy Seal, there are only three skin products a man should ever voluntarily put on his face:
And eye black.
There used to be wide spread agreement among men about this. There used to be a shared belief that real men only get mud-caked faces the old-fashioned way … they earn it. Not any more.
Applying beauty-counter products to do such things as to remove the shine from one's cheeks is becoming male stream. (And here I didn't even know having shiny skin was unattractive.)
Unfortunately, it's not just the young, cool, urban hipster types that are spending time cuddling their pores.
According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, besides men under 35, men over 50 are the most ardent consumers of male cosmetics.
OK, men under 35 you can understand. I mean, this is the demographic that necessitated the issuing of "man cards" in the first place. But, men over 50! These people are bedrocks of the male macho ethic. If this group is lost to metrosexuality, well, welcome to man-bag nation.
The two groups use moisturizers and creams and such for different reasons:
The under-35 somethings employ cosmetics to put on a better face for women. It's the same reason they forego soap in favor of body washes, you know, the stuff that is exceeded only by nerve gas in its ability to incapacitate.
Of course, if women did not find made-up men appealing, then we would not even be having this discussion. But what are women really looking for in such men: sexual attraction, a soul mate, someone who will go shoe shopping on a Sunday afternoon during football season?
The embrace of makeup among the 50-plus somethings is weakly defensible because it is rooted more in workplace survival than vanity. And in this economy, "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do," even if what a man's gotta do would make John Wayne appear to be wearing blush.
There is a glimmer of hope.
Surveys show that men who wear makeup won't buy makeup unless it is called something other than makeup.
So we probably still have time before the fresh face on the front of CoverGirl is someone named Otto.
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