When exactly did hotness become a competition nobody can opt out of?
Two bottles of body wash in the shower. Two more in the hallway closet. Two different lotions in the bedroom. One of the body washes actually doubles as a shampoo. Two types of toothpaste in the bathroom sink cabinet. Two different kinds of deodorant in the bedroom, and three different kinds of scents on the bedroom dresser. And two different kinds of lotion currently being used.
I’ve just described to you the different bathing cosmetic items in my household.
They aren’t my girlfriend’s.
Yup. That was a breakdown of the stuff I use every day when I take a shower. Me. A 40 year old man with no hair, no recording contract, no new summer blockbuster movie coming out. I’ve got an average life and Taye Diggs’ grooming regimen. I’ve gone from Midwestern schlub to matinee idol.
Men, welcome to the Hot Age. Where, if you want gainful employment, it helps be Hot . As in, when you go out to run errands in that beer-stained, nacho-smudged 1994 Ohio State T-shirt, you should be Hot. You going to the DMV? It wouldn’t hurt be Hot. If you are single…you know the drill. You’d better be Hot. If you’re in a committed, long term relationship, you have be Hot. The Hot Age also crosses age barriers. You’re 40-plus? There’s too many tanning beds, Botox injections, and yoga classes for you to not look like a television host. 50-plus? George Clooney is 52 years old, and has a real chance to score with a female basketball player. From the University of Connecticut.
“America The Beautiful” is just that for males of this country. It’s debatable as far as what caused the shift from the ages old American Male Handbook of living (eating and drinking anything, and dressing to be cool, not sexy). Was it gay male culture infiltrating into straight male pop culture (or more evolved straight men willing to take their cues from gay fashion?)? Was it an inevitable change due to the transition from the 20th century to the 21st? Was it due to the information age, causing men to be more aware of their looks, bodies, and health?
Whatever the reason for the cause of the Hot Age, it’s caused a seismic change among men. If you would’ve eavesdropped on a group of men talking at a bar/restaurant fifteen years ago, it may have been “Ohio State, grunt, Michigan, grunt, my old lady, grunt, more beer, grunt”. Fast forward to today, and the conversation is probably “Ohio State, my cholesterol, Michigan, my body fat, another water please, are we still hiking tomorrow?”
The above sentence was meant to be funny, but health isn’t a laughing matter. And men historically haven’t nearly been as vigilant as taking care of themselves as women. One of the great things about the Hot Age (besides knowing how to look great in a suit) is the knowledge that men have about their bodies. Men now know that too many curly fries downed with extra-extra large soft drinks could drop them. Men know that constant exercise of some sort is crucial to keep weight off… and their hearts beating. Men know that working on their “guns” in the weight room can attract the ladies, and keep them alive.
If anything, I’m keeping up with the Joneses myself. Trust me, I was a Midwesterner to the core. Beer, college football on TV, fried chicken strips. Beer, pro football on TV, fried chicken strips. My nickname should have been “Coronary”. And no exercise. Now, lately? It’s water, a smoothie, walking around the block, football on TV, and maybe a beer. A week. I can’t live without my Magic Shave for my head and face. And I’m itching to re-do my wardrobe for this fall.
I don’t think women will ever get their bathrooms back.