AND GOD CREATED MAN: Manly Men Make A Comeback.
Call me vain, but I don’t want my man skinnier or prettier than me. I just don’t. And while the majority of my girlfriends agree, the fashion world does not. For years we’ve seen the domination of the hairless man-child strolling down the runways and peering out from men’s magazines – beautiful and androgenous, but hardly masculine – that may be about to change.
The New York Times recent article “From Boys To Men” may have put a well-placed nail in the coffin of the skinny-skinny “skate-rat” male model phenomenon popularized by photographer Hedi Sliman, by recognizing a new trend in men’s fashion… and beyond.
“The twink thing seems over,” said Jim Nelson, the editor of GQ. “When we cast, we want a model with some heft to him and a few years on him,” he said. “Someone who has aged a little bit and who feels like he’s a man.”
Creative director, Sam Shahid, who had a hand in the campaigns that helped put Calvin Klein on the map says, “It’s not just models, it’s actors, it’s advertising, it’s the movies. It’s trendy to do this (showing more masculinity in media), and everyone’s suddenly jumping on it.”
A few very manly cases in point: John Hamm – spectacularly square-jawed and carpet-chested, Josh Brolin – who’s smoldering weathered glare stares out from a recent GQ issue as if to say “who’s your daddy”, and super-male-model and Halle-Barry-Baby-Daddy Gabriel Aubry – with his strong veined arms and seemingly permanent 5 o’clock shadow. In a word: Yum.
But why the sudden change of tune?
The Times states several ‘reasons’ why the manly-man is making a resurgence, with the number one reason being the economy.
Maxim editor Joe Levy is quoted, “Men have always been defined by their jobs — always,” but in today’s unstable job market, they have to define themselves in new ways. ”So you fall back on old notions of what it meant to be a man or to look like one,” Levy says. Bulging, sexy muscles, some chest-hair, and the deck-building know-how that inspires confidence in the fairer sex.
As consumers are spending less, they want to see someone that more closely resembles themselves and the men that they know and admire – not some bird-chested 18 year old.
Whatever the reasons – I, for one, will happily devour this new barrage of manly-man images.
The Times has spoken. And it is good. Very good.