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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 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.


Mammatalk said...

Bustin' manballs? You always know how to tickle my funny bone.

VandyJ said...

Does this mean more chest hair on display? I have nothing against chest hair, but I need some warning for the back hair.

Frogs in my formula said...

No warning. Just hair everywhere.


SLColman said...

I couldn't help but chuckle as I read this. Really, just what the world needs more man hair.....

Lindy said...

The pic has got to go. It's sitting in my reader staring at me everytime I have it open.

Jeanne said...

You just may be the funniest woman in the world.

Jeanne said...

You just may be the funniest woman in the world.

The Mother said...

I, for one, am glad to see un-shaven chests making a comeback. Non-hairy guys look pre-pubertal to me. Just can't get myself to drool over them.

Lisa said...

Man I needed that laugh. Thanks. :-)

(Chuck is kind of screwed though, right? Being of the bald variety? Unless he makes up for it elsewhere...uh, shutting up now.)

SmartBear said...

Really...let's talk about how all the "manly men" who run the world and the banks and the businesses in this country got us into this damn mess to beging with, shall we? MORE masculinity? I think not. It's time to pass the wand to the women folk if you ask me.
As a sidenote...I am glad my husband can now be eligible to walk the cat walk with his manhair should the job market tank any worse than it is.

Mama Badger said...

Wait, aren't we hurting the economy when we have man hair all about? Fewer profits for barbers, shaving cream and razor maker? How will the Korean ladies survive without men getting their MANicures?

I think all this hair is a Communist plot.

Keely said...

"mantastic", hahhahahahah!

This is why Canada is less financially doomed. We retained our burly lumberjacks in plaid.

Mrs. Tuna said...

When the Big Tuna and I got married at the age of 12, he swore to me that he'd get hair on his chest like his daddy. Must of been false advertising.

Sparkling said...

I do like me some big, strong mans, not those chicken like boys that appear in all of the catalogs.

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Aaaacccckkkk. . . . . no offense to anyone, but Yikes Stripes!! That is just way too much chest hair for me??!! :)) Happy WW!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Yeah...there are a lot more important things we need than manly chocolate. sheesh.

jadenotjaded said...

OMGosh..I'm gonna need therapy to get that nasty chest hair outa my head! Was that EVER desirable????

Jen said...

The cheese in a can slayed me.

I'm all for having men act and look like men. Maybe we can do away with the man purse now?

Whiney Momma said...

Well said... I think equal roles for women and men all around...hey, just a few minutes ago I gave my sewing machine away to a guy who actually knows how to use it! And funny enough I could picture his chest to be even hairier than that pic : )