There was a period, around the time of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator in the year 2000 when women swooned for big bearded brutish men, like Russell Crowe. Crowe had “the It factor”, – but then he started throwing mobile phones at people and generally acted like an ape. In his defence, we now realise at that time, he was going through relationship problems which caused pressured behaviour.
Then over the last five years, women were more inclined to dream wistfully of the impeccably groomed and debonair Mad Men advertising executive Don Draper (RIP Mad Men, you gave us some of the best seasons of our lives) – but then he cheated on his wife, an innocent and stunning stay-at-home mum Betty (January Jones).
So who are we men meant to be like?
It seems, the modern man is expected to be Superman. By day he works at a well-paid respectable corporate city job (most probably long hours), and during his time outside work (likely lunchtime or before work) he is training to maintain his optimum physique and also whipping up masterful meals or entertaining friends at a newly opened restaurant.
This newly minted superman is intelligent, stylish, sensitive, witty and cultured – he is a true all-rounder. He knows all the great 3rd floor laneway boutiques to purchase slim tailored shirts. He knows the barbers that will trim his meticulously quaffed hair that take mid-week walk-in’s and he knows the name of his barista at his local cafe. But perhaps, most importantly, he knows which single malt whiskey will calm his nerves at the end of a tough day.
Are we at the mercy of this 2.3 point zero Super-Gent, or did women became too picky? We can imagine her thinking, “I love Colin Firth but I’m sick of baked beans on toast” or “He’s a great guy, loves shopping, has impeccable eyebrows, but I caught him borrowing my hair straightener and when the bathroom light blew out, he couldn’t change a light globe.”
With ‘Masterchef’ showcasing that men can in fact cook (and do it well), ‘Farmer wants a Wife’ showcasing traditional values and ‘The Bachelorette’ showcasing tuxedoed men with ripped abs, it is no wonder that men have to be all things to everyone – because it is constantly being served to us via the silver screen and well positioned advertising.
We’re seeing something terrific emerge within the domains of men’s style sub-cultures. Yes, the metrosexual, who lead this charge way back when and influenced a large percentage of the pack, yet, he is a dying breed as the Hipsters waft through. But whatever he is, he should still very much be a man, and not someone who is riddled with self-doubt.
Over the next couple of days we’re going to blog about ‘Finding your Purpose”…to understand who you are so that nobody can sway you from the destiny filled life you were meant to live. Stay tuned.