Are you the same man your father was? Is he the same man as your grandfather? Sure, there are similarities, many of them. But there are also differences, both in the way you look and how you behave.
With that in mind, let us look at three male lifestyle trends in fitness, personality, and beauty.
Fitness: Lean and Mean
If you think about action heroes of the eighties and nineties, a few names come to mind. They include Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Dolph Lundgren. Even though these men were born in four different countries, they all had one thing in common, a hulking, muscle-bound, shredded physique. Legend says that Schwarzenegger’s biceps were more than 20 inches in circumference, and Stallone had a 50-inch chest.
By the time the movie Fight Club came out, and Brad Pitt showed the world what a “perfect male body” actually looked like, this had all changed. Fitness and masculinity had transformed from size and brawn to definition, agility, and balance. And it hasn’t gone back ever since.
The modern man is masculine and strong but also lean, quick, and energetic. The 21st-century lady can appreciate muscle, but she also wants somebody to hug and fully wrap her arms around.
As a result, there is a renewed emphasis on a holistic fitness approach that includes strength training, flexibility, and recovery. It comes as no surprise that most men’s great investment is an OHCO massage chair, the ultimate machine for post-exercise recovery and relaxation.
Personality: The Multi-faceted Individual
When we think about the guys we see in private and public high schools, we usually divide them into groups. On the one hand, we have the jocks. These are boys who are great at sports but pretty much nothing else. On the other, we have geeks and nerds, kids that will not beat your newborn puppy in a race but might one day be your boss in a billion-dollar corporation.
These stereotypes and cliches play great in the movies, especially romantic comedies. People like rooting for the underdog, the boy who is not as tall, not as handsome, and not as rich as the quarterback but somehow manages to get the pretty girl.
The man of today is neither one nor the other. He can be the fastest runner in the company but also the best at chess. He can tell you details and statistics about every basketball game ever played and share with you his knowledge of world history and political science. In essence, he is multi-faceted and cannot be compartmentalized into one specific area.
Beauty: The Cleanliness of Being Manly
No matter how many women gushed about Andrew Lincoln’s full-blown, caveman beard in The Walking Dead, this is not a representation of reality. It is the exact opposite. There are more male beauty products at present than perhaps ever before.
Did you know that a fresh soy face cleanser is not only good for treating acne but also leaves your skin feeling supple and refreshed? If you did, were you aware that the reason for this is a melange of ingredients such as cucumber extract, borage seed oil, and rosewater?
And it doesn’t stop there. A man in 2021 will have no problem in investing more than 200 dollars on an electric shaver. He will also buy a Panasonic hairdryer that uses nanotechnology to nourish your scalp while at the same time protecting it from the daily effects of the elements.
The most interesting part about this change in the perception of manliness is that men take care of their bodies and faces because they choose to do so. They don’t do it to impress somebody else. Looking good in the mirror is a symbol of self-confidence as well as a source of pride. It is also beneficial when trying to get a new job.
Societies are direct reflections of their times. Thousands of years ago, men had to hunt for food. They had to battle lions, tigers and bears to bring home some sustenance to their families. As such, having a nice haircut or polished beard was not essential.
Nowadays, things are vastly different. If you want food, you can order it online and have it delivered in under thirty minutes. If clothes and shelter are what you are looking for, you can do the same.
With convenience comes a cultural shift, one that is more prominent in males than at any other moment in our history.