Gone are the days when men got home from work, gave themselves a quick dousing with
soap and water only to appear in the local five minutes later.
Today, as the male population thrust themselves into the 21st century a seemingly
more rigorous hygiene routine is in place.
It is not just systematic personal hygiene that is top priority in the noughties mans life.
Today, skincare, haircare and dare I say it, manscaping (that is removal of all manly hair) are all routine.
Beauty counters up and down the country are all brimming with the latest in men's cosmetics.
The lotions and potions on offer range from moisturiser and exfoliater to body lotions
and hair removal mousses.
According to the BBC, sales of male products have risen by a third in just five years
and sales of skincare products have increased by a phenomenal 900%.
So with such an obvious boom in the male grooming market, just what is the driving force
behind the men in the mirror?
The term metrosexual male is traced back to an article published in 1994 by The Independent.
The author, Mark Simpson used the term to refer to the growing number of males who have
fallen under the spell of consumerism; those who desire to have and be what they see in
Changes in popular culture, for example, television shows such as Queer Eye for the
Straight Guy and Queer as Folk have all contributed to the way in which masculine
culture has evolved over the last decade.
The rough and rugged I'll just go out and catch us something for dinner darling
masculine ideal has been replaced with men of seemingly effeminate characteristics.
Decidedly single, definitely urban and dreadfully certain of their identities,
today's straight men are blurring the boundaries between homo and hetro sexuality.
Perhaps even more interesting is that, while the butch rugby players (excuse the
stereotyping) drift more and more towards sissification, a significant proportion
of gay men are further embracing their masculinity.
If things continue gone will be the days of oh but I think he's gay.
Still unsure girls? Just avoid the guy that looks and smells like a bloke.
Chris Mooney, deputy editor of lad's mag FHM claims that the days of blokes
not bothering to wash properly are long gone.
He argues that the driving force behind this is girlfriends.
So girls are we responsible for the fact that on average men now spend 20 minutes
in front of the mirror every morning, compared to women's 18 minutes?
Now don't get me wrong, I despise nothing more than a man who is too posh to wash
but there is something not quite right when your man has less stray eyebrows then you.
It would appear that the modern man has been bitten by the beauty bug.
My dear friend Martin is a classic exmaple.
After being pressurized by his ex-girlfriend into buying that oh so expensive
Roc moisturiser (in the hope that he would become too lazy to use it in which
case she could thoughtfully take it off his hands) he now owns a cosmetic cupboard larger than mine.
Whenever questioned about his vast array of products, he argues that they
are a necessity and that his face/hair/body (delete as appropriate) is now
addicted to these repleneshing/moisturising/exfoliating products and that
without them his skin feels tight, his body dry and his hair and nails weak.
Fashion - Hulls Next Top Model? Well, Perhaps Not ... By Jo Allison
As an aspiring fashion journalist I was wiggling around with excitement when my friend Lucy asked me to doing some modelling for a fashion designer friend of hers..I just wasn't entirely prepared for the whole model experience.
Two o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon and I'm nervously waiting at Beverley bus station for my friend to arrive. Sunglasses on, little wheelie suitcase in hand.
Fashion - Punk; Thirty Years On By Bekki Stephenson
Thirty years ago, gig tickets cost 50p, a pint of beer 15p and 20 cigarettes 30p.
There were only three television channels, all of which shut down at midnight and
the greatest fashion accessories were 4-inch, break-your-neck platforms.
Indeed, in 1976 the world of iPods, satellite navigation, X boxes, and video phones
seemed almost impossible. Perhaps not half
Fashion - A Voyage of Vintage Discovery In Hull By Jo Allison
The world's fashion capitals have never to my knowledge once included the lovely
English northern city of Hull, but perhaps this is about to change.
Hull, not notorious for its fashion sense (unless you are a fan of extensive
gold jewellery, tracksuits with the obligatory tucked in socks or small scraps
of brightly coloured lycra masquerading as tops) has always had a underground
Fashion - A Bohemian Revolution By Jo Allison Photographs by Cilla, Fashion Show Gallery at Lattitude 27th February 2006 by Paul Broadbent
A little shop of heaven, just down Newland Ave.
Jo had been traipsing around Hull for three hours and rummaged through just about every
clothing rail in Hull.
She had a big night out coming up that weekend and needed that elusive fashionista party dress.
The only problem was she really couldn't find a thing.
She dreamed of looking like a model,
Fashion - Plump Those 'Lovely Lady Lumps!' By Jo Allison
Just when you thought you were going to have to shell out thousands and go under the knife to get that bouncy JLo bottom...
Hallelujah for the "Falke Foam Buttocks!" However, if padded briefs seem a bit too
excessive; take a look at six of the gentler ways to get that "just had surgery look".
No pain, no gain, or so the saying goes. For decades women have been living up to
Fashion - If You Haven't Got it, Flaunt It By Jo Allison
David Bailey's most recent project, Democracy, takes a frank, naked view of the real human body. Just what we need in our aesthetically obsessed society.
For too long now skinny has been beautiful, airbrushing a prerequisite.
The fashion world is perhaps one of the worst culprits for warping our perception
of the human body, but the latest offering from
Fashion - Trendy Traditionalists By Jo Allison
Lost your patriotic sense of what it means to be British? Do not despair.
As Gordon Brown urges us to celebrate Britain, Jo Allison re-introduces us to our classically cool English Heritage, from traditional tea to quaint seaside holidays.
Queuing is undoubtedly an extremely English, if somewhat boring occurrence.
However, it can be rather enlightening.
While queuing in the Post Office, I
Fashion - Platform News By Bekki Stephenson
From disco-inspired, glittering soles to five-inch wooden heels, platform shoes are destined to get you noticed.
It is no surprise then that they were all over the catwalk this season.
From post-war inspired cork soles to seventies inspired disco-classics, the runway was flooded with
platform shoes this season. After so many seasons of flowing, dainty designs a
shift towards a style less
Fashion - Fur Goodness Sake By Bekki Stephenson
Supermodel Elle McPherson has backed out of a £1 million contract with luxury
fur company Blackglama over fears that she will be targeted by anti-fur extremists.
But should we really ban fur? Or are we being manipulated by anti-fur movements?
I like fur. I don't wear it very often, partly due to the unforgiving looks of
those from the I'd rather go nakedRead more...
Fashion - Sharon's Fashion Page
Yeah it's Sharon here, Sharon Saxby in fact, though with my special interest in jewellery
I suppose I should be called Sharon Stone.
That was a joke.
Anyway. Here I am with my new exciting fashion page, featuring all the latest
trends from our estate. I can guarantee you'll find something here that you wouldn't
Fashion - Revolver: When Mod meets Modification By Daniel Laney
The new vintage clothing shop set to make a big impact in Hull city centre.
Trinity Market, Hull (Opposite Trinity Church. Mon - Sat 9am-5pm)
When the terms Retro or Vintage are linked with clothes, thoughts of over priced charity shop
fabrics and the smell of musty damp cupboards rapidly come to mind.
Fashion - Looking Good for a Makeover at Les Ciseaux
Les Ciseaux Salon is jointly owned and run by sisters Karen Grant and Cheryl Boulton, aided by Jeannie. Karen is a stylist with 19 years experience in the business and it was her job to make my hair look gorgeous! Cheryl, the salons resident beauty therapist was going to do her best with my face!
Some of Hulls local young talent showed what they were made of last Monday (4th August) in a bright and vibrant summertime bonanza at the Welly club, Beverley Road.
The late-night fashion show was organised by young designer Holly Cryan, who also featured an original collection made under her own label, 'love from holly'. Also supporting the event were designer Emma Lou and with 2 of his current collections in the show, Phil from Rockerfellas Boutique in the Hepworth Arcade in Hull.
Art - Fred Kennett: Pen and Ink Artist Based in Kingston-upon-Hull.
Fred Kennett has been producing his pen and ink drawings for over thirty years.
The influence of his various careers and life experiences can be clearly seen
running through his work and is an integral part of his development.
Fred has been with his partner for over thirty years and they have two children and a grandson.
Although Fred has spent the majority of his life in Hull, he has also
Art - Kingswood High School Hosts an Art Exhibition Primary Colours for Fair Trade from school children in Hull by Mo.
Last Thursday saw the launch of a 10 day exhibition called Primary Colours at Kingswood High School, Bransholme.
Featured was artwork from a number of local primary schools - The Dales and Coleford - both under
threat of closure - and Cleeve, Bude and other primary schools
Art - The History of LSD Blotter Art Compiled by Rich Mills
Blotter Art is a term that refers to the artwork that liquid LSD is dropped onto.
The artwork is printed onto blotter paper and then perforated into tiny squares or
hits, which can be torn apart into easy to manage quantities.
In 1938 LSD-25 (or diethylamide
Art Gallery - By Local Artist Patrick Henry
I became a self-taught painter at the age of 36 when living in a mediaeval
village in the French Dordogne.
Post-Impressionism had been my favourite kind of art for long before that.
I think it has a basic relevance that will never be exhausted.
Renaissance paintings are also very
Art Gallery - By Hull Artist Darren Rogers.
This is a series of photographs we'd like to present by Darren Rogers, an artist from Hull, East Yorkshire, England.
Darren has not only proven himself to be an incredible photographer - providing the most
brilliant galleries of live band performances