Let’s be real about real men.

I vainly re-read all my blog posts the other day, and I realized I probably come off as a bit of a man-basher. I want to officially declare that I do not hate or disrespect men. To the contrary, I absolutely adore the men in my life, from the cas friends up to my Pops and brother. It’s actually because I have so many great men in my life that I am so critical of Monsieur Averagé. I have seen what a man can be, and so anything less than that is an abomination.

idonthatemen

Speaking of manliness – as promised, I have finally landed on what I personally consider “a real man.” I don’t care if a man hunts, watches football, drinks beer, or has a magnificent beard. None of those are necessary or sufficient to be a real man.

A real man is someone who uses whatever manly powers he has for others. So there are two parts here – a man can’t be a man if he’s omitting his responsibilities, and a man can’t be a man if he’s using his physical strength, social position, economic power – or whatever – to exploit or dominate others. This is why my Dad and brother, although they don’t fulfill many of the male stereotypes, are the two who immediately come to my mind when I think about “real men.” Their manliness is apparent by the happiness and security of their families who they sacrifice and work tirelessly for. As primitive as it sounds – dare I say it? – they provide and protect, out of love. They’re not weak. They use their strength for their families, not against them.

Hurrah to real men!

 

Men, your facial hair is beard-ening society

Brethren, I appeal to you as a sincere sistern who has your best interests in mind. Can we cool it with the beards?

When I was a youth, facial hair was for Amish men, Disney villains and drug dealers. Now …

Brethren, I appeal to you as a sincere sistern who has your best interests in mind. Can we cool it with the beards?

When I was a youth, facial hair was for Amish men, Disney villains and drug dealers. Now, we have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies looking like Willie Nelson.

It’s not that I think it always looks bad per se, I just don’t think it adds anything. At best, some men are attractive enough that their magnificent bone structure shoves its way through the bramble of face fuzz and still declares “I AM A STUD.” And I say back, “Yowza Yowz!” But mostly, it homogenizes the male population so they all kind of look like this –

average_man

(I literally just googled ‘average man’ and this is what popped up). Ladies and gents, I present to you Monsieur Averagé.

I know what’s happening here. All you bearded men watched Lord of the Rings 1,903 times at an impressionable age, and perhaps bromantic feels for Aragorn were stirred. As you grew into men, your facial hair – perhaps subconsciously – began to mimic the facial hair of your man crush.  I get it – my shero-worship for Arwen has led me to ride around on a horse with a tiara and yell elvish sentences by streams in my neighborhood. But please, let’s consider a few things —

  • John McClane, Rambo, Batman, Tim Keller — all clean shaven. Just think about that for a while.
  • If you’re good looking, give the gift of your gorgeous, unique bone structure to the world. Or do you really just want to be Monsieur Averagé, numero mille-deux cent-quatre-vingt-sept???
  • If you’re not good looking, don’t hide behind the moustachio! What if you meet someone and everything is going great, and then a powerful czar issues a command that all men between the ages of 18-88 shave their face and when you do your lady is horrified and leaves you for Monsieur Averagé numero mille-deux cent-quatre-ving-huit???! Why are you leaving yourself open to these vulnerabilities? Come clean early.
  • Facial hair is itchy and can cause the ladies in your life great physical distress. I’m being serious. I was allergic to an ex-boyfriend’s facial hair and it made me look like I had leprosy on my face. Think about others. Do the right thing.
  • When you shave, that means you can have stubble. And stubble is wondrous, and tragically underused by the male population. Yowza-Yowz-Yowzy!
  • Hitler had facial hair. FDR did not. I don’t think any more explanation here is necessary.

You can do it, fellas. Be bold, be beautiful, be smooth! Shave yo’ face! 🙂