Friday, February 8, 2008

Waif Men From Euro Fashion to Reality

(photo: New York Times)

Where have all the adult men gone?

Pajamas Media recently featured a post Single Men in Never-Neverland? by Dr Helen responding to the article by Kay Hymowitz in City Journal about the perpetuation of adolescence in adult males.

While I've noted a trend towards this in men in the 20-30 something age bracket, most of the men I know who are 45 and older fit into the traditional adult male category of married fathers providing for their families.

Meanwhile, media and fashion continue to promote the male image of perpetual adolescent in both what activities men do an in how they look. The New York Times fashion blogger reports in The Vanishing on the desired look in male models by Europe's leading menswear designers. They are all going for the waifishly thin androgynous physic.

"Their waists, like that of Mr. Svetlichnyy, measure 28 or 30 inches. They have, ideally, long necks, pencil thighs, narrow shoulders and chests no more than 35.5 inches in circumference, Mr. Brown said. “It’s client driven,” he added. “That’s just the size that blue-chip designers and high-end editorials want.”
For Patrik Ervell’s show on Saturday, the casting brief called for new faces and men whose bodies were suited to a scarecrow silhouette. “We had to measure their thighs,” Mr. Brown said.

In other words, a hairless six foot tall man weighing 145 pounds is the ideal. Seriously, I don't know any men over the age of 21 who even look like this...or would want to look like this.

“I personally think that it’s the consumer that’s doing this, and fashion is just responding,” said Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, a fashion branding and production company. “No one wants a beautiful women or a beautiful man anymore.”
In terms of image, the current preference is for beauty that is not fully evolved. “People are afraid to look over 21 or make any statement of what it means to be adult,” Ms. Cutrone said.

I don't agree with the idea that it is the consumer is demanding this male image. Do you?
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