Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real Men don't do Cute

The photo above is of English actor Mark Strong... and in my opinion the last word you'd ever use to describe him is 'cute'In fact the way he dresses is the epitome of Alpha StylingAt a primal level women are hard-wired to be attracted to his masculinity... and men are hard-wired to respect it.

The foundation of masculine dress is easy to break down, because in one way or another, it expresses the desirable character traits of a warrior-hunter :
  • simple... which shows that the man is practical in his approach
  • strong... which shows that he's capable of getting the job done
  • functional... which shows that he's effective in everything he does.
And that basically translates as dressing like this :  
  • avoid clothes with excess decorations or unnecessary features
  • wear form-fitting clothes that highlight your masculine features
  • and preferably in dark or solid colours.
And yet so many young men these days choose to wear cute little shirts that have cute little collars and cute little pockets and cute little epaulettes... all made from a material that looks like it was a tablecloth in a previous life.

Now I'm sure there are women who think "Why would a man wear a little boy's shirt like that?'  But I'm also sure that there are other women who think "Oh, that shirt looks so cute on him."

And that's where a lot of guys get confused.  They think that looking 'cute' equates to sexual attraction.  It doesn't.  It means you'd look nice as a throw-cushion on her lounge.

So why do so many men wear shirts and pants that have excess decoration and extra straps and buttons that don't actually do anything?

Because it's fashionable, and fashion must be followed.  Why?  Because at an unconscious level there are 3 values that are hard-wired into the human psyche :
  • to fit-in and be accepted by the group
  • to be different and raise our status in the group
  • to be sexually attractive to potential mates within the group.
And that first value is very strong.  In fact it's probably the strongest of the three... because we're pack-animals by nature. 

But there is a dynamic tension going on between the 3 values.  Men (and women) will generally dress the same as the rest of their social group, unless it starts to adversly affect their ability to successfully attract a mate.

At a primal level, this threatens the survival of the species.  And it's then that a growing number of individuals will start to break with the 'norm' and adopt a manner of dress and behaviour that is sexually attractive.

Take the 1980's trend of men dressing and behaving in a sensitive new-age way.  That's what women of the time said they wanted... and so young men became sensitive new-age guys (S.N.A.G's)... basically so that they would be sexually attractive to women. 

But then in the late 90's women decided that they actually wanted a more 'manly' man in their life... someone who could fulfill a man's primal role of being a protector-provider

So sensitive new-age guys became blokes, and adopted a way of dressing and behaving that was considered to be 'Neanderthal' a decade or so before.  

So fashion trends come and go, as men (and women) dress to :
  • fit-in and be accepted
  • be different and raise their status 
  • and be sexually attractive to potential mates. 
Unfortunately, fashion trends rarely meet the demands of all three primal values... especially in men's fashion. 

But that's ok, because all a man has to do is wear his own personal expression of the masculine traits that people from all cultures admire and respect. 

So in summaryReal men don't do cute. They do simple, strong and functional.  No excess decoration - no unnecessary straps or buttons - no looking pretty in pink.

It's a Primal Thing.