Step aside, lotions and waxes. The beards and flannels are back in town.
I’ll admit it. When I first saw this, I thought it was a joke. Not the popularity of beards or the idea that people are tired of the word “metrosexual”. But the idea that “lumberjack”, or the popular idea of what a lumberjack looks like, is now an aesthetic label? What?!
No, it’s apparently not a joke, or if it started out as one, it’s become a thing. There’s even Lumberjack Chic for weddings.
So, the metrosexual thing used to be careful grooming, careful use of products, “manscaping”, choosing clothes that according to someone else’s taste and style. Guys got ridiculed for going “girly” or being “feminized” (thank you, Brad Paisley) and the overall package relied upon the man having the time and resources for maintenance, but sales of grooming products soared, there was a new awareness that self-care wasn’t such a bad thing, and plenty of women – let’s face it, newly metrosexual dudes probably weren’t trying to date other dudes* – thought there was something pretty awesome about this new guy, who strangely wasn’t new at all…just look at pop culture and men’s grooming from the 50’s and 60’s.
But now things have completely changed, according to the tastemakers. Now it’s time for the lumbersexual, a visual 180 from the metrosexual, embracing a look that is, frankly, stereotypically manly. It should be a warm-and-comfortable look, but to follow the lumbersexual press, it requires careful grooming, careful use of hair/beard care products, “manscaping”, choosing clothes according to someone else’s taste and style. There’s going to be pushback for the reinforcement of the “strong, silent man” and the embracing of a look unattainable by many guys who lack the genetics or time to look properly lumbersexual, but sales of grooming products could soar, dudes might get a little more leeway in how they can look, and plenty of women – let’s face it, newly lumbersexual dudes probably aren’t trying to date other dudes* – think there was something pretty awesome about this new guy, who strangely wasn’t new at all…the lumbersexual has been in pop culture for decades.
Yes, you read that right.
The pendulum has swung from one ideal to another. The right way to look like a “real man” is a moving target.
I have a grand idea. How about the lumbermetrosexual?
Or better, how about we look and wear whatever we darn well please?
If we’re into smooth skin and styled hair, great. If we love our beards and boots, fine. If we change our minds next week, okay. But let’s embrace them because we want to, not because we are told by the media that this is what we have to do to get a mate, keep a mate, or prove ourselves.
And if any of you find a guy who actually calls himself lumbersexual, leave a comment.
*Yes, there were plenty of accusations that metrosexual guys were either closeted gay men or straight men acting and looking gay. Thing is, lumbersexual guys have an awful lot in common with another set of gay men known as bears.
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