About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Playing with chest hair makes me forget all about those big, bad bank statements
It all makes sense. Chuck’s knee-long beard. The towering collection of Old Spice. The blatant scratching. And last night, how he clubbed me and dragged me, ponytail first, to the boudoir.
Why, he’d joined the menaissance, of course!
Haven’t you heard? According to Salon.com writer Tracy Clark-Flory, the “menaissance” has hit the runway and the world will soon follow suit.
I could give a crap about who’s walking the catwalk, so I went back and read the New York Times Fashion and Style article Clark-Flory was referring to when she coined the gem “menaissance” (along with “mancession”—oh gawd, I’m having frenemom flashbacks). And whaddyou know, there are actually people out there who believe that images of hairy, weathered, strappin’ men (the very essence of masculinity) will help carry us through these dire economic times.
Gone are the days of hairless male waifs as icons. Good-bye feminized boys. Hello, bustin' manballs.
Joe Levy, editor in chief of Maxim, was quoted as saying, “Men have always been defined by their jobs — always...Suddenly the notion of having a job or a career is in doubt. So you fall back on old notions of what it meant to be a man or to look like one.”
I like the “or” in that last sentence. Cause the line between actually being something and looking like something is like 0.00000000000000004 nanomillimeters apart. It gives me comfort though. As the breadwinner with a trophy stay-at-home dad husband, I can continue to be the salve to our familial economic wounds just by dressing up as a manly man.
Unless there’s a testicle check at the door?
Frick. There’s always a testicle check.
But what about Chuck? If he's always been defined by his job—always—and needs to fall back on comfy masculine notions because of his bout with unemployment (hello, he did club me), will we have to duke this one out?
Maybe we can just alternate clubbing nights.
My favorite line of the article comes from Sam Shahid. He’s the creative director of the very manly Shahid & Company, and he basically continued the Maxim editor’s thought: “Look back to movies during the Depression, and all you saw was real guys like James Cagney. In tough times, people want a strong man.”
Strong man. We still can’t get past that damn Cinderella ending, can we? And it’s what, 2010? Don’t get me wrong, it’d be mantastic if images of aged, hairy men were enough to save the world, but I think we might need something more like, oh, I don’t know, better economic reform, institutional accountability and fewer sluts as role models.
At least better cheese in a can.
It goes so well with chest hair.