MANSCAPING: TO GROOM OR NOT TO GROOM
By: Jade Pinder
STATESBORO, Ga-- Fashion and beauty standards are crossing the boundaries of stereotypical sexualities. With the recent shift toward metrosexuality, manscaping has become a hot topic.
“Manscaping” originally referred to the removal of excess body hair via waxing, shaving or plucking. But recently, manscaping has expanded to other forms of beauty practices such as skin and nail care including facials, manicures and pedicures.
Manscaping has previously been associated with homosexuality, but men today are becoming increasingly open to it and society as a whole is becoming more and more accepting of it.
Even though more men are becoming interested in the trend, though, the stigma surrounding it still lingers and makes some men hesitant to talk about manscaping or participate in it.
However, more men that most people think have embraced this practice and frequently manscape. Numerous men in the Georgia Southern community alone are embracing manscaping and even going to salons to maintain their hair, skin and nails.
Georgia Southern University senior Ryan Ford spent a day at a local salon, Sobe Nails, to manscape. Ford identifies as straight and said that he gets pedicures regularly with his girlfriend.
“I think every guy should get a pedicure at least once in his lifetime at least to see how it feels,” Ford said. “It’s not being feminine - it’s just about taking care of your body and being more clean. There’s nothing wrong with it, I’m all for it.”
Ford’s girlfriend, Andrea Amazona (also a GSU senior) said that she likes the fact that her boyfriend manscapes and she thinks that the practice is attractive.
“I don’t think manscaping dictates a person’s sexuality,” Amazona said. “People get pedicures all the time. They could be gay, straight, whatever - it doesn’t matter. It’s just like how girls get their hair done and guys get their hair cut. It’s all grooming - people want to look good.”
Sobe Nails, which opened just wight weeks ago, has an exclusive room just for men called the “Men’s Den”. Sobe Nails Manager Lora Clifton said that the Men’s Den is a place where men can receive services without feeling stigmatized or uncomfortable.
Clifton has worked as an esthetician for many years and said that men are a lot more into manscaping these days than they have been in decades past.
“Sobe has only been open for two months and men have been coming in for all kinds of services,” Clifton said. “They come for pedicures, facials and even back facials - which is popular for men who have back acne or ingrown hairs.”
Sobe Nails receptionist Anita Gonzalez said that on average, 10-20 men come into the salon per week.
“A lot of times, their wives or girlfriends make them come but I’ve seen single men come in by themselves to get their feet done,” Gonzalez said. I think it really attracts them that we have a private room for them because a lot of men don’t like being around women who are getting their nails done since stereotypically they think they shouldn’t be there. I think it makes them feel manly, too, that we offer beer that they can drink while receiving services.”
Another GSU student, Myron Simmons waxes and tweezes his eyebrows.
“I tried it for the first time this year and I liked how it looked,” Simmons said. “It made my face look clean and groomed.”
Simmons explained that since he started maintaining his eyebrows, he lines them up along with his mustache and beard when he notices his facial hair growing. Though he said he doesn’t think eyebrow maintenance is emasculating or implies homosexuality, Simmons said he thinks there are limits.
“It ain't for every dude,” Simmons said. “One thing about it, if you do it, you can’t make it look like too feminine. Do it to clean it up, not to ‘arch’ per say, but to clean up.”
Though manscaping is still somewhat controversial and taboo, it is becoming more popular and socially acceptable for all sexualities.
So what do you think about manscaping? Tweet us at @gsu_beautystyle to share your experiences and opinions!