The case against skinny jeans, exfoliating and being a “Duva”. 

I, Lisa Lampanelli, am a life-long fan of men. Ever since I was in my second year in high school and found myself wishing Peter Frampton was fingering me like he fingered his Les Paul, I have loved the male gender. So I’m sure you’ll understand why I am worried about a current trend – a trend more disturbing than hipsters and TLC’s programming combined. I am, of course, referring to the demasculinization of men. Men, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’ve turned into women.

How? You now have style, and that needs to change. Style used to be the exclusive domain of women and gays. Go into any men’s store today and you’ll see rows of skinny jeans, shelf after shelf of ornate, shiny accessories and racks full of shirts so brightly colored and form-fitting that Richard Simmons wouldn’t be caught dead in them. Even worse, look behind the counters and you’ll see enough facial scrubs, body lotions and hair products to make Charles Bronson rise from the dead and beat his own ass with a sock full of change in disgust.

How, oh how, did we get here? Men who used to barely scrub the dirt from under their fingernails now buy scrubs to cleanse their pores. Eyebrow shaping, exfoliating, capri pants – really, gentlemen? You “guys” may as well walk around wearing a scrunchie and a maxipad. Body hair, like Mel Gibson, has somehow become the enemy. A man’s hairy chest used to be a turn-on. In the 1970s Burt Reynolds was the ultimate sex symbol, with his shirt unbuttoned and that little tuft of hair sticking out. Now guys shave their chests so much, every time you touch one, it has more tiny pricks than the continent of Asia. I, for one, don’t like it. I don’t want a man who’s prettier than I am any more than I want a personal trainer with a saggier ass or a pet dog with better breath. Perhaps this feminization of men has its roots in the rise of “gym culture.” Once guys started staring obsessing over how every inch of their body looked, vanity began running rampant, and the diva dude – the “duva,” if you will – was born. You’ve all seen that guy at the gym, dressed in his color-coordinated spandex workout clothes that are tighter than Bruce Jenner’s face. He gazes at himself in the mirror, and by that enamored look on his freshly facialed mug, you can just tell he’s dreaming of the day when science perfects cloning so he can put a roofie in his own drink and fuck himself silly.

Even worse are the guys with the skintight yoga pants. If you wear yoga pants, you may not be gay, but you’re definitely on the waiting list. Maybe that’s what upsets me about these guys. They’re straight, but they dress and groom like gay men. It seems dishonest. What you’re seeing is not what you’re getting. It’s like putting a nun’s habit on Lindsay Lohan. It’s like putting running shoes on Stephen Hawking. I like a guy who’s low maintenance. One of the perks of living with a man is that when we’re getting dressed to go to a party, he can be ready in three minutes. But duvas need hours to get ready, and worse yet, they need an abundance of bathroom counter space. Beauty products for men are a lot like banjo music: A little goes a long way. And the last thing I need when I’m trying to put on mascara is to get elbowed by a duva trying to remove his exfoliating mask without ruining his manicure.

This isn’t to say there’s no happy medium when it comes to grooming. Do ladies want guys to keep themselves up a little better? Of course we do. Do we want a guy who looks like Nick Nolte’s mug shot? Of course we don’t. Certain grooming habits are essential. Definitely wax your back and trim your balls – I do. Seriously, if you pull down your pants and it looks like Troy Polamula is stuck between your legs, we’ve got a problem. But don’t go too far. Nobody needs bald junk. Your penis already looks like it belongs to a baby. And, guys, please dress like a man. Your jeans should not be so tight I know your religion, and they shouldn’t cost more than a laptop. If it’s not snowing, you should not be wearing a scarf. It’s not 1963 and you’re not Art Garfunkel. Also, if you must wear a bracelet, make sure it’s made out of a precious metal. Rubber bracelets went out with Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France victories, and thread bracelets are for girls going to a Dave Matthews concert. So cancel your subscription to Men’s Health, throw away your Nair for Men and kick those mandals to the curb. We need to get back to the days of manly men. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to pluck my husband Jimmy’s eyebrows. I don’t want the neighbors to think I’m having an affair with Sam Donaldson.

by Lisa Lampanell

Published in Playboy South Africa May 2013