Yesterday I sat in Madison Square Park during evening rush hour. I took part in the ever-celebrated art of people watching, in search of the different styles and portrayals of what I would consider the confident, modern, metro male. I saw it all; the young professionals with their wool three-piece suits and silk accouterments, the hipsters with their 50/50 poly cotton blend garbs, the Grunge, the Goth and the fanny pack laden tourists. While I’d like to think that the majority of these men have chosen their own style in these daily uniforms, the stark truth is that the majority of them are living by the rules their particular sect in society has set for them. Few choose to break the mold and test the accepted norms in search of something exceptional.
We live in a judgment laden society that tells man that he should not dress a certain way, wear a certain color, or even take part in a certain act or use a certain product because that is not what “men” do. It’s an ignorant picture that has been reinforced by decades of rudimentary grooming techniques and style practices as well as stigmas that particular attributes are “gay” or “feminine.” “Men” shave once a week, they don’t use cologne, they wear straight leg Levi’s without any particular wash. He is blue collar and works too hard to tend to himself materialistically; he is praised for being this portrait of hard work and rugged antiquity. While there is nothing wrong with this “man,” the fact remains that it’s 2012, not 1957. It’s not all doom and gloom for the confident, modern, metro male. However, society is moving in the right direction to acceptance. Only in the last decade or so has it become acceptable for men to wear pink, purple, yellow, and other pastel colors outside of the “preppy” style. Millions of men daily take part in grooming rituals that rival that of the fairer sex and the art of “manscaping” is becoming a commonly accepted practice for young professionals and hipsters the like. I could list off more examples, but that would just beat a dead horse. The point is that the “manly” man needs to shed off their layers of blind hubris and get comfortable with their own skin.
It is 2012, dirty is no longer sexy. A little scruff is good, but people fear the beard for a reason. No man is going to say no to a complimentary mani/pedi (I know because I polled a few of these park patrons and there was an over whelming sentiment of “why not”) The sheer fact is curiosity drives many of these converters more than anything else, we try something, we like it, we continue to do it. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I was adamantly against skinny/slim fit jeans until I actually put on a pair and loved what I saw. I am a confident, modern, metro male; I like trying new things and I have an open mind to any grooming technique that will allow me to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. The old saying goes: “Looking good is feeling good,” and I feel great. Judgment should no longer outweigh tolerance and even acceptance. The confident, modern, metro male is here and he does not look to be going away anytime soon.