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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3 Men's Magazine Misses

There was a time when there was only one publication directed exclusively towards men; and it was called the "sports page". A few years later, there were a couple more: GQ, Esquire, Playboy. Now there is an entire rack at the bookstore dedicated to "Men's Interest" - which is more than the bridal and gossip sections put together (and that doesn't even include the smut)! Details, Maxim, Razor, Stuff, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Men's Journal and dozens more. These national magazines appeal to our prurient interests in large-breasted models, fast cars and cool gadgets (the latter two mostly to get the attention of the first). But they also dole out advice in copious amounts, the majority of which is suspect at best.

After reading through my share of these glossy pages, and some paging through just to get to the centerfold, I've come up with three things that men's magazines have completely wrong.

1. The Blue Suit. I can't tell you how many times I've read in a men's fashion magazine that if you're only going to own one suit, it should be navy blue. I also can't tell you that I've met anyone who isn't in the fashion industry that thinks this is true. What's more, I've never met a woman who thinks this is a good idea. Let's be honest, you can't really pull off a navy blue suit; you'll mess up the shirt and tie combo and you haven't the foggiest idea of where to go with the shoes. You're going to end up looking like you lost your way to the yacht club or that you work security at an amusement park. I've been in business and in the dating universe long enough to know that the one suit you must own is black.

2. Ripped, Huge, Shredded, Massive, Etc.. I dare you to find a men's magazine that doesn't promise some sort of fitness breakthrough on its cover. Apparently we are all so desperate for fitness advice that we'll take it from just about anywhere. The implicit message in each of these pieces is that no matter what kind of shape you're in, you need to be in better shape and that if you follow a few simple tips, you'll have a body like an undressed He-Man action figure and before you know it you'll be reeling in chicks like Ashton Kutcher on a Cougar Cruise. The truth is, if you care anything about your fitness level, you're ahead of about 90% of the guys out there (if you don't believe me, look around next time you're on public transportation). And if you're the kind of guy who obsesses over your whether your body fat is in double digits or whether or not you can bench press a car - the aforementioned Cougar Cruise is the only place you'll be meeting women.

3. The Weekend Bag. It would seem the that overpriced luggage purveyors the world over have conspired to convince the modern man that the coolest thing you can possibly travel with is a "weekend bag". If you move around with anything other than this - you're a tool wannabe who has a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a table at that great restaurant, into the cool club or the number of that hot girl at the bar. This paragon of masculine impedimenta is basically a very fancy duffel bag (i.e. no parts made of canvas), in which you are to be able to pack, amongst other things, your madras shorts, polo shirts, boat shoes and aviator shades. I've never met anyone who actually owns one of these, but I attribute that mostly to the fact that I don't know anyone who would wear a sweater around their neck as anything other than part of a Halloween costume.

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Let's be honest, it's not getting any easier to be a man these days. There seems to be emasculation lurking around every corner, and the amount of it being peddled by the sources who used to be reliable suppliers of manly advice is all the more frightening. In truth, the only people you should be taking advice from on being a man are the male mentors in your life. You know the ones I'm talking about: they can grow facial hair without looking absurd, have a toolbox with more than just screwdrivers in it and never, ever drink a cocktail from a martini glass. And as for what to do with your men's magazines, just use them for the one reason you really bought them for in first place: to look at the pictures.


Anonymous said...

Your blogs are one of the highlights of my week!


Ava said...

"The Weekend Bag"! Since when have men cared about a weekend bag?! God, I love it!

Anonymous said...

Favorite - Cougar Cruise - Ha! - Just what I need to go with my "man bag" - :)

- Ben Sieff

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