From a very young age, I’ve always had a clear image of what an attractive man should look like. Barbie would get into her pink Jeep beside a tan, chiseled Ken with a killer set of abs to drive away and live their happily ever afters in Barbie’s Dream House. As I got older, this image stayed the same. Back to school shopping trips in middle school resulted in armfuls of Abercrombie bags featuring shirtless, toned models with eyes that could see straight into your soul. In high school, Ryan Gosling in The Notebook won my heart (although I have to say I cringed when he grew that atrocious beard….more on that later). This lean, beautiful, muscular man was the guy of my dreams, and I knew one day I would attain him.
Looking around now, I can’t help but wonder what the hell went wrong with the ideal male image. Seeing a guy’s muscles? Nope. A professional haircut? Ha! A clean cut, respectable gentleman? Well, just forget it. Today’s male beauty standards have fallen so far that I can’t even call it being “picky” anymore. Women everywhere are getting cats and dying alone, and honestly, I can’t say I blame them. We’ve been conditioned our whole lives to expect one thing, and now society is presenting us with something so completely “other” that I’m convinced the attractive man may soon go extinct.
Instead of professional, shaved, David Beckham-style hair cuts, society is now home to the man bun. First and foremost, a man bun screams “I do not have, nor am I in pursuit of a lucrative career,” and honestly, I can in no way support that. Sure, your man bun may look “cool” while you’re making my latte or cuddling a shar pei on Instagram, but do I trust your checking account to buy me a decent birthday present? Absolutely not. I mean, I put my hair in a top knot while I’m lounging around in bed binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, but you’d better believe I’m not taking that shit out in public. Shang from Mulan kind of pulled one off, but he was also sexually attracted to someone he thought was a man for 90% of the movie, so again, not really the assurance I’m looking for here. We’ve spent our lives maintaining our manes to attract the opposite sex, not the other way around, and I honestly really don’t think I could remotely handle my significant other uttering the phrase, “Can I borrow your ponytail holder?”
I want my man to look like, well, a man, and so do so many other women. Just like every man before him and every man that will come after him, some genius man misunderstood the pleas of women and decided to make the lumberjack look a thing – in fact, so many people have embraced this following that there’s now an orientation for people who identify as being attracted to lumberjacks – lumbersexuals. Plaid shirts, burly beards, you name it, these men could not be more different than the male models of the early 2000s. This trend needs to die. I said I wanted a man, not a wild grizzly bear. When Taylor Swift wrote “Out of the Woods,” I can only assume she was looking for a man to drop this terrible lifestyle choice, start a career in investment banking, and be the Jay-Z to her Beyoncé.
Please, for the love of God, do not get me started on hipsters. Your skinny little legs frighten us, and honestly, we’re afraid that holding your hand will crush your tiny little finger bones. If we’re not paralyzed with fear from the idea of ever touching your porcelain doll body, we’re holding our noses from the stench of your granola lifestyle. No one cares what you “knew” before everyone else and no one’s listening to you anyway because we all know that men know nothing, so please stop pretending. We really, truly, honestly do not want to hear you talk about making your own kale juice to subvert “the man.” Work for the man. Or better yet, BE the man. I honestly don’t care if you can chisel your own coffee table if your idea of a weekend getaway involves camping and braiding your foot-long beard.
Finally, we have the trend that’s sweeping the nation. That’s right – I’m talking about the dad bod. Of all of the types of “men” today, the dad bods are by far the worst. They have infiltrated our society in a way I didn’t even know was possible. They’re a cultural phenomenon – there are even shirts offered now promoting the lifestyle. Now I’m no Anna Kendrick because, hello, cupcakes still exist, but I try fairly hard to stay fit and look decent. Am I just supposed to be seen with someone who’s let himself go at the ripe old age of 21? If he’s given up on his appearance now, dear god, what is he going to look like at forty? And what else has he given up on? Farting in bed? Making six figures? Honestly, I’m just horrified by not only the bod, but what it represents.
Once we eliminate these, what are we left with? Honestly, not much. Ladies, please stop going for these guys. Once a guy knows he can get away with eating his body weight in pizza six days a week or never paying for a haircut, he’s obviously never going to change. Raise your standards and demand that the attractive men of our past be returned to us. We miss you. We need you. We’ll do unspeakable things to have you back in our lives again. Just please don’t spike your hair. That one I really can’t handle..