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Friday, November 14, 2014

Mr. Perfect Versus the Well-Groomed Man

What makes women crazy about a man? I have read about women and their dreams of landing a perfect specimen of a U.S. male. You know the "hot" features that draw the eyes of a woman: a V-shaped, athletic body; broad shoulders and a strong chest; a flat, six-pack tummy; narrow hips and muscular legs; a narrow butt; sensitive, kind eyes; a high nose and a strong chin; and even a large member in the nether regions. 

All of these things are undoubtedly sexy attributes, yet most males are lucky to have one or two absolutely "hunky" features to impress the ladies. But, don't despair, gentlemen. All guys can benefit from understanding there are some body parts that men think women don't notice, yet they may check them out as much as the traditional He-man features.

Yep, we are talking about grooming. Personal grooming plays an essential role in enhancing one’s personality. And, remember, a lot depends on a person's first impression. Grooming and hygiene help men to make a mark of their own in the first meeting itself. Many men wrongly think that personal grooming is for females only. This is untrue.

Every individual irrespective of gender should look clean, fresh and hygienic. All men can enhance their appearance with good grooming. In fact, a study by GQ and Allure magazines (2010) found that 63 percent of men surveyed say they like their morning grooming routine, and 72 percent say they feel more pressure to care about what they look like.

Accordingly, men are spending more money on their grooming products because they’re using more of them. In 2010, the found that was an average of 11 products to a woman’s 16 products, and they’re getting more expensive versions of the products they need.

According to Pat Guenther, vice president of pharma, wellness and personal care at Multi-sponsor Surveys, “In the men’s grooming market, grooming dollars follow grooming attitudes. Casuals and Respectable Joes report spending on average between $31 and $37 respectively over 12 months on personal grooming tools or appliances. Lookin’ Hot and Cool Customers on the other hand spend nearly twice as much in a year’s time—on average between $62 and $64, respectively.”

(Pat Guenther. “The 2012 Study of Men’s Grooming Appliances & Tools”)   

Let's look at some male body parts that benefit from good grooming: 

1- Eyebrows
2- Nails
3- Skin
4- Feet
5- Ear/nose hair
6- Teeth

Without getting into how to keep all of these parts well groomed, I chose just to include this list as a reminder that there is considerable ground for improvement in all of these areas. Men can become much more attractive to females if they simply practice daily good grooming -- how much attention to spend and how much improvement to make are up to the individual. Suffice it to say that any improvement will be appreciated by the fairer sex.

The entry on the skin is mainly about taking care of skin. Men’s skin is different than women’s skin. It is up to 40% thicker, pumps out five times more oil, and contains more sebaceous glands. Different skin and hair conditions are also much more frequent in men, including rosacea/rhinophyma, acne scarring and male pattern hair loss, to name a few. Men’s skin also ages differently than women’s, losing collagen more rapidly after the age of 30. Many skin improvement products are readily available over-the-counter.

How about hairy men as a turn-on? A relatively new, popular male skin practice is known as manscaping. I really don't understand the appeal, but the Multi-sponsor Surveys of 2014 report a sizeable proportion of men -- 39% -- remove body hair below the neck (aka "manscaping) at some point, up from only 6% in 2005. The increase in body hair removal among all age groups suggests that men are continuing to remove body hair even as they age.

The manscaping trend is sharply skewed toward millennials and Hispanic men, among whom majorities -- 57% and 58%, respectively -- report body hair removal. For these men, it is just part of their total grooming routine, with the majority agreeing that "removing body hair helps a man look and feel well-groomed."

("Study: Majority of Millennial Males Manscape." Mult-sponsor Surveys. July 23, 2014)

Here is a simple checklist that men can use as an aid to good grooming: 
  • Shower
  • Wash your hair
  • Wash your ears (inside, out, and behind)
  • Brush and floss
  • Clip your nails (includ­ing your toenails)
  • Shave or trim your facial hair
  • Pluck stray hairs on the bridge of your nose and eyebrows
  • Apply a neu­tral antiper­spi­rant and taste­ful cologne
  • Wear clean underwear
  • Wear freshly laun­dered clothes
As far as clothes go, a few simple suggestions can improve the look groomed men desire:
  1. Wear clothes that fit. When it comes to cloth­ing, fit is king. Most guys wear cloth­ing that is too big for them, because it’s com­fort­able or because they can’t be both­ered to shop for cloth­ing that fits well. Also a lot of guys are self-conscious about their body and try to hide it with loose cloth­ing. A good fit accen­tu­ates your body and even mod­est cloth­ing will look good if it fits well.
    • With shirts, the shoul­der seam should extend to the end of the shoul­der, not any further.
    • On dress shirts, the cuffs should not extend past the wrist bone.
    • The bot­tom of your pants or jeans should rest gen­tly on the top of your shoes.
    • Your pants should never slip off your waist with­out a belt.
  2. Match. Most straight guys have a hard time with color coor­di­na­tion, but match­ing is easy when you know what to look for:
    • Your belt should match your shoes and/or your accessories.
    • If you’re wear­ing dress pants, your socks should match your pants.
    • If you’re wear­ing jeans, your socks should match your shoes.
    • Less is often more, so try not to wear too many col­ors at once. 
  3. Acces­sorize. Acces­soriz­ing will help you to spruce up your look, but don’t overdo it just for the sake of it. 
    • A nice watch goes a long way to increase your style and status.
    • A scarf can round off an out­fit really well and make you look extremely fashionable. 
    • A neck­lace can accen­tu­ate the neck and shoul­ders and can cre­ate a sense of power and dominance.
    • A bracelet can accen­tu­ate your hands and arms. Whether metal or leather, make sure they match the col­ors and style of your outfit.
    • You can put a ring on any fin­ger, but avoid the left ring fin­ger for obvi­ous reasons.
    • Sun­glasses can cre­ate a sense of mys­tery and power. Find a pair that com­pli­ments your head shape.
  4. Dress to your per­son­al­ity. Dress­ing to your per­son­al­ity and lifestyle is impor­tant in pro­ject­ing a con­gru­ent image and it will help you to attract women with sim­i­lar tastes and inter­ests. If dress­ing like a rock star fits your per­son­al­ity, then do it. If you’re a top account­ing exec­u­tive, you should dress like a styl­ish and suc­cess­ful exec­u­tive. If you’re into surf­ing then, by all means, go for a surfer look etc.
("Style and Personal Grooming Tips for Men."

So, even if a man is not a perfect specimen of feminine desire or a chiseled, hot property, he can definitely use grooming to improve his sex appeal. This entry may seem incredibly simplistic; however, I am sure many males need good grooming suggestions. Many men seem to assume spending any time looking good is basically wasted energy, and it is evident many guys who groom too little are not even remotely appealing to female tastes.  

Saying all of this, I do believe some males need to understand that overdoing their "animal sexiness" creates an image that is much too strong and even frightening to attractive females. For instance, a great deal of men do not understand the difference between an overpowering scent vs. a subtle scent in a cologne, so they buy into the "more is better" fallacy.

And, I'm sure there are plenty of men who use makeup these days. I guess that is an option, but it is wise to realize the risks of any bold, artificial change.

I would think it might be wise for a man to talk to a trusted female about grooming techniques. Cosmetologists can offer useful suggestions for improvement. Or, it might be that just a little more personal attention to grooming could do wonders. Hygiene issues such as bad breath, chapped lips, and shaggy facial hair can make a prospective girlfriend run for cover.

A well-groomed man with a good-paying job and a genuine, caring personality can be the "catch" a beautiful woman keeps. In these days of the Wal-Martian mentality of personal upkeep and dress, the well-groomed male certainly is a refreshing sight for many sore feminine eyes. Looking "clean" and "sharp" may be just the ticket to a male makeover for dating success.

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