Raw, adjective: 2. not having undergone processes of preparing, dressing, finishing, refining, or manufacture

Oh my gato. The NYT Styles section has sunk to a new low.

Catching up on the news every Thursday morning is always an exercise in non-profundity, what with the usual Styles features on manicures, moisturizing and mini-skirts, but I'm usually feeling readerly after bartending late Wednesday nights, and now and then there'll be something interesting there amidst the shallowness, and I dig the judgmental perusal process, don't get me wrong. There's a secret pleasure in feeling totally superior to the average reader's completely non-ironic obsession with trends in eyebrow sculpting. But today's edition is especially, well, ugh. Superficiality central.

But just in case you're looking for a simplistic manual on the fashion hallmarks of the modern male, you can find a few commentaries therein. First off, the revelatory and remarkable observation that, holy shit: vanity-driven manscaping is a narcissistic turnoff! Potbellies are in! Fuck the gym! Maybe the metrosexual "vanity for all" revolution wasn't such a great thing after all! And maybe, in the weirdest logical stretch I've seen in some time, the rejection of the overly-sculpted six-pack has something to do with Barack Obama! (WTF? Read it, it's the strangest stretch ever.)

I'm all for the less-vanity, more-authenticity angle, to be sure. But a whole trend piece on pot bellies as subversive deviant fuck-the-system behavior? Um, ok? So the next piece offers the brilliant observation that, hey: wild big unrestrained manes are mad-cool and kinda deviant and a little anti-bourgeois. Really? Wow. And they're inspired by a hybrid of musical and artistic influences from the last four decades. You don't say?

Revelatory stuff, really. Obviously the NYT has just caught on to the Rach-style masculinity manual. (Well, hell; it's actually the Rach-style femininity code, too, come to think of it). Be real. Spend less time in front of the mirror and more time in front of a book. Don't worry so much about the fucking brand name or couture season or the arch of your goddamned eyebrows. Just be what you are, claim it, own it, and let it be enough.

And enough already with the pseudo-profound trend pieces. Seriously. Ugh.

Noticed: It's Hip to Be Round (NYT)
Dress Codes: Men's Hairstyles as a Sampler of History's Extremes (NYT)


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