Being that “men” have become increasingly prone to docility as a result of their fear of “nasty women” that might further try to henpeck them to death with their words and associated outrage, it would seem that many are taking advantage of a certain trend in fashion initiated by a “bewildered” to what he was wearing Timothée Chalamet at the Golden Globes at the beginning of January and carried on last night by Michael B. Jordan at the SAG Awards. That being, of course, donning a harness as though an outfit simply wouldn’t be complete without it.
While a war of dominance and submission has long been the name of the game in the tacit dance between genders called, “Who has more power?,” it would appear, to the untrained eye, that this fashion trend is some kind of “win” for females. An unbridled (no pun intended) indication that “men” have visibly surrendered to knowing their place as the whipping “boys” of womankind. But delve deeper into the psychology of the trend, and it’s easy to see that this “dressage” is the final nail in the coffin of masculinity (of which there will likely continue to be many as all coffins should be sealed quite tightly).
Sure, “men” who don’t understand the complex mind of a woman will say that we cannot have it both ways: a hairy-chested “man” smelling of the natural musk of his sweat who can carry you over to the bed and a “man” you can control and manipulate as well. And this is why we now have “men” wearing harnesses in public instead of behind closed doors: we’ve let our standards sink this low. Accepted that “men” can only be complete bitches or utter misogynists and that to lust for a Goldilocks happy medium would prove futile. Ride him, lest he rides you and all that.
As though “men” needed to pretend in some way–once more–that their looks have any bearing on their ability to “snag” a broad, their strange participation in the “ten-year challenge” that has taken all social media avenues by storm seems but only one more reason to prove to women that we should all surrender to going lez or asexual. For there is nothing sadder than seeing just how much more pronounced guts and receding hairlines have gotten over the years. And yet, women are supposed to somehow be endlessly impressed that a “man” has remained so “intact.” So “well-preserved.” Even though no matter how fucking ugly he was then and now, his odds of getting just about anyone he wants will not be affected as the ratio of heterosexual men to women only continues to tip in favor of the former.
Still, the “man” participating in the ten-year challenge ultimately just wants to seem relatable and timelessly “fun-loving.” As prone to “tomfoolery” then as he is now (kind of like Brett Kavanaugh). And he’s got the same “timeless” flannel shirt likely from American Eagle or Abercrombie to prove it. Or, depending on his “niche,” maybe Gap or Old Navy. He’s not really sure what he’s trying to convey with this side by side glance at fast existentialism, but he knows everyone else is doing it–and he’ll be damned if he can’t still get laid tonight based on 2019’s photo.
“It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best.” So concludes the dramatic and somehow controversial Gillette commercial that reminds the cracked out on too much testosterone (for lack of anything else worthwhile to justify their existence) adult “men” of today that they are raising a generation for the future. A generation with the potential to put an end to the highly antiquated notion that to be a “man” means to, in essence, treat women like shit. To demean them, to ogle them and to subjugate them lest they lose their own sense of place and self-worth.
As the commercial opens with buzz words of the moment as stated by a newscaster tossing out phrases like, “Bullying,” “The #MeToo movement” and “Toxic masculinity,” Gillette proceeds to invite its viewers and regular users of the product to reexamine what it might actually mean to be a man. Not the version of the man that’s been indoctrinated into both sexes’ heads for centuries to the point of not even knowing what’s real and what’s a self-imposed archetype anymore. That Gillette is holding itself accountable for its own chauvinistic tag line of the past–“The Best a Man Can Get”–by altering it to “The Best a Man Can Be” (even if this does smack just a little bit of the U.S. Army’s “Be All That You Can Be” mantra) is in and of itself a bold statement. But for the brand to take the risk (and clearly it was, based on the absurd backlash) in challenging parents–who never like to be challenged or accused by anyone, least of all a company they might buy something from–to rethink what they’re teaching their “sons” is what really shows gumption.
Scenes of “boys” fighting each other like animals with oversized pituitary glands and “men” catcalling a woman dressed in “asking for it” attire combine to provide the opening for the voiceover, “We can’t laugh it off. Making the same old excuses: boys will be boys.” It is around this moment we have to take pause to admire the creative team at Grey New York for presenting this concept to Procter and Gamble. Even if both parties are likely just trying to sell a razor to the non self-mutilators of America by appealing to the very person who truly controls the household budget: Mother. It’s a step in the right direction, and Gillette has proven to be one of the few brands geared toward “men” that has been willing to re-focus the accepted lens of how to advertise something to the douche bag “male.”
So as these “men” stare at themselves existentially in the mirror wondering not what a best a “man” can get is, but what the best a “man” can be is, maybe–just maybe–they, in true American consumerist fashion, owe it all to Procter & Gamble (taking a huge gamble indeed in their faith in the politically polarized climate of the U.S. to send such a message). And anyone offended by this notion of reassessing masculinity to exist without the “toxic” in front of it can go fuck themselves. Which is what they’ll have to do when no woman wants to.
As Shania Twain probably should have contributed to a lyric for “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “Okay, so you have a black turtleneck and think you’re Kerouac or some shit.” For yes, it is only in this one respect–if you are actually a beatnik living in the 60s of Paris, San Francisco or New York–that it would be even remotely “acceptable” to wear a turtleneck, let alone a black one. While some would argue that it’s a perfectly timeless fashionable winter statement, there is something very deliberate in a “man’s” choice to don this particular absence of color in turtleneck form.
More often than not, he is a “writer.” Or rather an “aspirant.” A motherfucking poseur, if you will. And because of his own latent insecurities about a talent that is not latent so much as nonexistent, he makes up for it in the aesthetics of what he believes a Writer with a capital “w” would wear. Your Dostoyevskys and your Tolstoys and your Chekhovs. Granted, all of the aforementioned had the viable excuse of living in the frigid airs of Russia that might have justified them wearing a goddamn turtleneck beneath their furs. What excuse does the slack-jawed white “man” sitting in front of a Mac as he “thoughtfully” takes years to never complete his opus have?
This is precisely why a girl, if she knows what’s good for her (especially in terms of ever hoping to encounter a “man” who isn’t more selfish and stingy than usual), ought to run in the other direction if she ever sees a “male” in her vicinity in this specific style choice (particularly if there’s only a mild chill in the air). For is a black turtleneck ever just a black turtleneck on a “man”? Absolutely fucking not. Like all of us, a “man’s” fashion choices are calculated, even if they reside somewhere in the “subconscious.” Which is where all of “men’s” darkest desires come to roost in the conscious world. On a side note, did you know col roulé in French means pretentious twat with vocal intonations like farts as he explains Turgenev’s brilliance to you?