The Boyzilian brigade: What drives the new metrosexual?

by Sharan Saikumar

Many years ago, when the first brave man moved out from his seedy barbershop and entered a beauty salon looking for hair colour, we, the women, may have raised a perfectly tweezed eyebrow at this new species in our territory. We forgave him because we saw grey coverage as a perfectly acceptable unisex vanity. When the pedicure parade started, we understood that pedicures were less about beauty and more about hygiene. After all, toe jam has its rightful place in boarding school, not in bed. Since then, we've gracefully accepted them seated in the chair next to us as we got a facial, but now we seem to be entering a new era of the metrosexual, a point in gender history when we need to ask ourselves – when it comes to male grooming: how much is too much?

According to The New York Times, men are abandoning the last standing bastion of maleness and going where no man has ever gone before – below the belt. Bikini waxing or if you want to get trendy about it, then  'boyzilian', the boy version of the Brazilian, is now the official rage.

 The Boyzilian brigade: What drives the new metrosexual?

Men are abandoning the last standing bastion of maleness and going where no man has ever gone before – below the belt. Reuters

According to Mike Indursky, the president of the Bliss chain of spas, which offers a men's Brazilian called the Ultimate He-Wax for $125, everybody is doing it, not just competitive swimmers, models or actors. The reasons why they do it are no different than the reasons women get it done for. According to them, if it’s good enough for the goose, it’s good enough for the gander.

Lest it appear I am making an argument in favour of hirsute men or their undisputed king – Anil Kapoor, let me make it clear, I’m not. I, for one, certainly do not like it when men have to buy a separate shampoo for the hair on their back. But on the other hand tweezing together is also not my idea of healthy gender boundaries. The question really is: where do you draw the line? The boyzilian? The guy-liner? Male g-string ? Or have we evolved to a point where there are no lines or boundaries?

If you ask the women, they certainly don't think so. The Guardian answered the 'metrosexual v/s cowboy' question definitively in an article titled 'Congratuations you floppy slob, you’re now a sex symbol'. According to a study done in the UK, only one in five women would choose a David Beckham over a Marlboro Man. Eighty percent seem to like their men a little rough around the edges, a fifth of them don't mind "a bit of body odour", 10 percent have no objection to man boobs and another 10 percent like their men to smell of beer. This comes from a nation where men spend 83 minutes a day embracing their metrosexuality, looking dapper and tweezing to perfection. (The corresponding figure for women is 79. And that’s including make up)!

As men rapidly approach the thin line between metrosexuality and feminity, we can safely take the liberty of introducing some chick-lit to get some perspective. In the book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizbeth Gilbert asks herself this extremely insightful question in the aftermath of an expensive lingerie buying spree during an absolutely celibate period in her life: Per chi? For whom am I doing this? There's nobody there. In this frenzy of getting fairer, thinner, mani’d and pedi’d, plucked and waxed, maybe the metrosexual man needs to stop for a minute and ask himself the same question – for who are we doing this? There’s nobody there.

As a blogger, ex-marketer, evangelist of and would-be novelist, Sharan Saikumar wears many hats, none of which really fit.

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Updated Date: Jun 22, 2013 14:20:05 IST