I recently came across an article on the VICE website about contemporary male image in comparison to how males may have tried to portray themselves twenty years ago. The writer Clive Martin writes in exasperation about how an overpowering amount of males in today’s modern day care way too much about what they look like, how they are happy to boast about their immaturity and their constant need to impress others.
When first reading the article, I thought the writer came on a bit strong and had no other intentions than to slate every male that dresses and acts in this way. However, when thinking more about it and noticing quotes such as “The sort of people who wear facemasks to bed but will happily neck a pint of piss for a dare” and “But they aren’t going out without a fight, or going gently into the night – they’re gonna get hench and dress sexy.” Such quotes like this reiterate how in some senses these males may be contradicting themselves and their behaviour all because they don’t want their self image and reputation to be ruined.
Touching upon a recent internet craze called “Neck Nominations”, some people partook in the activity, where as most had stern words to say about the craze that got taken a bit too far by some. However, when going through my Facebook News Feed a couple of months ago when there was no escaping such videos, I remember seeing countless amounts of videos posted by young males drinking idiotic concoctions made of any bodily fluid that would escape any orifice. You may wonder why this is relevant to anything to do with my installation’s content however it all boils back down to how males perceive themselves. The types that are outlined so clearly in this article (whether it be academic or not) were those that care so much about what they look like to be covered in fake tan, training all year round for a holiday they will be on for a couple of weeks and making sure they preen themselves so they can look the most perfect state they can be, but do they really care about their image as much as they make people think when they drink stupid concoctions, approach any moving female and live for the newly awakened ‘lad lifestyle’.
My thoughts after reading the article is whether males follow this lifestyle that so many of them are involved in to not feel any better about themselves, but to impress the people around them who they are in competition with. Similar to women, who dress the way that the catwalks and latest fashion magazines say they should, and be on the same latest diets as all the a-list celebrities, males are too trapped in a whirlwind of having to use their own bodies to impress others to make sure they fit in with the crowds and can be accepted into society.
VICE, Martin.C (2014) How Sad Young Douche Bags Took Over Britain [online] available from <http://m.vice.com/en_uk/read/anatomy-of-a-new-modern-douchebag?utm_source=vicefbuk>%5BMarch 19th 2014]