Masculinity is dead…or is it?
For a lot of modern men, masculinity has been getting attacked by Nivea, L’Oreal, Garnier and all the other cosmetic and beauty houses trying to convince men that they need to look young, fresh and healthy like women.
The question is: Why are modern men being encouraged (and even forced) to behave the same way as women? Should a man be using moisturizer, plucking his eyebrows, dyeing his gray hair, getting manicures, or doing the laundry? Does he become more attractive to women if he does these things?
Essentially that’s what the world’s media, advertising and marketing machine wants you to believe. Of course the more guys believe this, the more money they spend on beauty products; keeping the coffers of these multi-million dollar businesses overflowing.
However, how does this actually serve men? In reality, men are becoming more and more confused about what it really means to be a man. Gender lines are merging and men are losing their masculine identity.
Sometimes, guys will tell me things like, “I ran into a hairdresser at a party and she said that if I dye my gray hair I’ll be more attractive to women,” or, “I read in a magazine that if I help more with the household chores, I’ll get more sex from my wife.”
In truth, this has never worked for any man because in the real world, women are not attracted to a man’s hair, body, face or dishwashing skills; women are attracted to a man’s masculinity.
How often have you heard a woman saying, “Where have all the real men gone?” Have real men suddenly vanished from the planet?
No, but there is an unseen force that is definitely trying to wipe them out. What is this force? It’s the media. It’s the TV commercials that suggest men should take care of their appearance in the same way women do.
It’s the money making marketing machine that’s convincing more and more men every day that if they don’t look pretty, or wear moisturizer she’ll think he looks tired and she’ll stop wanting to have sex with him. Can this be true? Is the feminization of men the final frontier for “man” kind?
Is Today’s Man Becoming a Bit of Woman?
It’s unlikely that you will switch on the TV these days without seeing an ad urging you to buy a men’s skincare product if you want to succeed with women, and even in life. Magazines are bursting with these ads too.
While these adverts may show celebrities and models confidently endorsing these products while driving off in a sassy little sports car with a hot super-model girlfriend while all the other guys (who incidentally don’t use a moisturizer or body lotion) stare on in disbelief and envy, in reality men don’t need to be pretty, or silky soft like women for women to like them – they need to be men.
However, like it or not, statistics show that the male grooming industry has managed to sneak in under the radar and attach itself to men’s psyche, inadvertently making guys believe that if they’re not using a moisturizer, body lotion, or dying their hair and plucking their eyebrows, then there’s something wrong with them.
According to a report by JWT Intelligence, Millennials (guys aged between 18 and 34) are now leading the way when it comes to using, and being okay with using, male skincare and cosmetic products. In fact ¾ of men now agree that “Men and women don’t need to conform to traditional roles and behaviors anymore” and that “Gender doesn’t define a person as much as it used to.”
Essentially what’s happened here is that the Millennials have fallen for the media hype and a whopping 60% of American and British men in the 18-34 age group believe that it’s acceptable, and even necessary, for them to use skin care products, with 18% even happy to wear makeup such as foundation or concealer.
In Asia these figures are even bigger. South Korea is one of the largest consumers of men’s skin care products, alone claiming a fifth of the worldwide sales. According to the AP, South Korea has now been dubbed “the male makeup capital of the world” where “effeminate male beauty” is now regarded as a sign of social success.
In China the cosmetic market is worth $1 billion and according to Kantar Worldpanel, “Chinese men take greater care in their grooming routines than European men, using products more frequently.” “Younger male consumers are shifting away from their conservative traditions,” says a senior analyst.
Why would Chinese guys be doing that? Simple: There are way more men in China than women and when women are in demand, they make guys jump through hoops to be with them…even if what the women are telling guys to do actually makes the guy less attractive.
In India, teenagers are fuelling the massive, 18% annual growth in men’s cosmetics and in some Indian cities, makeup classes for men have been introduced.¹
It seems that women’s skincare and cosmetics is totally saturated and in order to keep the bucks rolling in, the industry is now capitalizing on the feminization of men – and men are falling for it. But what does this do for men in real life? Does being more “feminine” make them more attractive to women?
Women Prefer to Settle Down With Feminine Men…or Do They?
To see exactly what type of men women are attracted to, EliteSingles decided to do a study, and lo and behold, it seems that a whopping 76% of the women in the study found feminine men more attractive than their macho counterparts.² If this study is to be believed, then the skincare and cosmetic companies are definitely on to something.
But not so fast!
A study of 107 American married couples conducted by evolutionary psychologists David Buss and Todd Shackelford seems to disagree.
According to findings of Buss and Shackleford, beautiful women (as determined by averaged ratings of eight teams of male and female interviewers) want it all in a partner: “masculine, physically fit, loving, educated, desirous of home and children, a few years older than themselves and with a high income potential.”
As it turns out, although most women “want it all,” it seems that only exceptionally beautiful (or wealthy) women seem to “get it all” when it comes to settling down.
So, in order to cope with not being able to get what they really want in a man, many women have had to change their criteria and have subsequently had to forfeit masculinity in exchange for a more feminine guy who is at least considered good companion and father-material.
In other cases, women have traded in compassion in a man to gain his wealth. But not all women are prepared to “settle.” To secretly “have it all,” some women adopt a “dual mating” strategy.
Essentially what happens is that these women marry feminine men who are perceived as being stable and easily controlled; while at the same time they enjoy affairs on the side with masculine men who actually make them feel attracted. As a result, up to 10% of babies born in some populations are being raised by sweet, feminine men who are not actually their biological fathers.³
The Truth About Why Women Like “Pretty Boys”
It seems that guys are being lied to about what women really want. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with a guy taking care of himself and his appearance, and in fact women are definitely not attracted to slobs, spending more time than a woman fussing over their looks and bodies, is not attractive to women.
According to research conducted in Britain, women prefer “real” men over their “pretty boy” counterparts who spend more time and money primping and preening.
When asked how they felt about men fussing over their looks and spending thousands of dollars to keep themselves “pretty”, most women were in agreement; as one woman put it, “I can’t stand vain high maintenance men. It should never take a man longer to get ready than a woman!”
Another added, “If guys are muscley through a demanding job or keeping fit then great, but if it’s because they spend hours honing certain parts of themselves with no actual interest in their health just their vanity, then that is such a turn off! So effeminate!” ⁴
However, these women are wrong. In many cases it has nothing to do with vanity and everything to do with insecurity. The question is: What drives a man to want to be a pretty boy?
In many cases it has to do with his lack of self confidence. Many guys who feel shy and insecure around women are easily influenced by the media who is telling them, “If you use this moisturizer, women will find you more attractive,” or “If you color your gray hair you will get the women you want.”
These guys believe that if they “fit in” and start looking like the models in the magazines or on TV they will be more successful with women. Either that or the guy has simply never learnt how to attract women with his personality.
Women can see when a man is “trying too hard” and they are turned off by him because they can see that he is not confident in himself. Of course not all women are turned off by pretty boys. The are certain types of women who like being the dominant one in a relationship and dating an insecure “pretty boy” means that they can prey on his emotional weakness.
These women want to have a weak man that they can control in a relationship and dump whenever they want, without feeling a lot of pain because they never truly felt attraction or real love for him anyway.
In a study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, researchers discovered that the brain “is quickly turned on and “tuned in” when a person views erotic images.” Although this may sound obvious, what surprised the researchers the most was that this is as much true for women as it is for men.
Why is this important information? Because according to first author Andrey P. Anokhin, Ph.D., “A great deal of past research has suggested that men are more visual creatures than women.
However, the fact that women’s brains in this study exhibited such a quick response to erotic pictures suggests that, perhaps for evolutionary reasons, our brains are programmed to preferentially respond to erotic material.”⁵
In laymen’s terms, this study goes a long way towards proving that a woman is genetically programmed to respond positively to dominant male traits. Basically, what this means is that if a woman dominates a man in a relationship, she is also more than likely not going to be physically attracted to him.
Why? Because when he lets her take control and seeks her approval by trying to please her, the less he appears as a man to her, and the more he appears as a child.
What’s Good for the Goose is Not Good for the Gander
Although the media is doing a great job of convincing guys that they need to primp and preen in front of the mirror like women, the truth is; men are NOT women, they are MEN, and what is necessary for women can actually be off-putting when men do it.
Take for example the concept of coloring gray hair. Women lose their value the older they get; and I’m not being sexist.
Scientifically, men are programmed to be attracted to younger, better looking (healthier) women because a woman’s fertility starts to decline in her mid-thirties, and ends when she reaches menopause. For this reason, women need to use products such as moisturizers, makeup and hair dye to make themselves appear younger so that they can attract men.
However, the same principle does not apply to men. In fact science can prove that a man’s maturity actually plays in his favor. According to zoologist Stephen Proulx, females are attracted to mature males because it’s a matter of genetic strength.
He says, “If males can display ostentatiously at that age then they really have to have something going for them.” In the same way, older men are attractive to younger women because just by still being around (in the past a guy would be dead by the time he was twenty), they are displaying how strong their genes are.
Essentially if a guy makes it into his sixties, to a woman this is indicative that he must be genetically superior to other guys.⁶ Add to this the fact that older men are more confident in themselves and know what they want from life, and this makes them a very attractive package for many women.
This is also why when a mature man tries to hide his maturity by using botox to get rid of his wrinkles, wearing a toupee to hide his hair loss, or dies his hair to cover the gray, he only comes across as the type of guy women avoid: insecure and lacking in the confidence to just be themselves.
As one concerned wife put it, “Let’s face it, men with dyed hair always look a bit odd – it looks wrong, somehow. Think of John Travolta – I don’t want my husband to look like that!”
Are Women Secretly Turned Off by Men Who Do Housework?
Feminization is not just about men using men’s grooming products; in fact it stems all the way back to how a man behaves when he’s with a woman. As I mentioned earlier, when a woman dominates the man in her life, she loses respect for him and therefore she also loses her sexual desire for him.
According to a study, which appears in an issue of American Sociological Review which is based on data taken from the National Survey of Families and Households, sociologists say that married men who spend more time doing traditionally women’s chores, such as the cooking, vacuuming, laundry and shopping, report having sex 1.5 times less per month than husbands who don’t help out that much.
In the study, men who mainly do what are considered more manly chores, such as fixing the car or taking out the trash are more likely to get more sex, and the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction, than their super-helpful counterparts.⁷
But what gives? For decades men have been under the impression that doing more chores in the kitchen will pay off handsomely in the bedroom. Once again men have lost track of what it means to be a man. Women, by their very nature are not attracted to weakness in men but to their strength.
Gender roles are in place because they bring balance to the relationship dynamic and when the roles get reversed or go out of balance, the relationship dynamic suffers too. And sex isn’t the only thing that suffers either…
In a study, entitled, “Why are Benevolent Sexists Happier”, conducted by psychologists on 6,000 New Zealanders, it was found that “a man’s score on a test of “benevolent sexism” – a view of women as “deserving of men’s adoration and protection” – was directly correlated with his overall life satisfaction.
Their results also indicated that women are happier in relationships with sexist men.” The study also states, “Research indicates that the endorsement of sexist ideology is linked to higher subjective wellbeing for both men and women.”⁸
Essentially, what this study suggests is that a couple’s well-being and sexual satisfaction is increased when both the man and the woman stick to what have always been perceived as “traditional” roles within the home. So guys, contrary to what all the feminists want to make you believe, in order for women to be happy and sexually fulfilled, they want their men to behave like men.
Can Men (and Women) Have It All?
When all has been said and done, men are being “groomed” into submission. But what is a healthy balance? The truth is, there’s nothing wrong with men taking better care of themselves. The problems arise when the gender lines become so blurred that men start behaving like women.
Women like men to take the lead. They like to relax into the masculine direction of a man they know they can rely on to be a man all the time; not have to fight him for the eyeliner. But can men (and women) really have it all, or has the time come where the feminization of men ushers in the era of the “new man”?
¹ JWT Report – The State of Men. Retrieved from
² Chatel, A. 76% of women prefer feminine men to settle down with. MSN Living. Retrieved from
³ Pincott, J. (2010, March, 27). Why Women Don’t Want Macho Men. The Wall Street Journal.
⁴ Kirkova, D. (2014, May, 9). Women prefer ‘real men’ with more wobble than muscle, says new study as Amanda Holden launches campaign to find UK’s hottest real-life hunk (or should that be chunk?). Mail Online. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2624130/Hold-salad-British-women-prefer-real-men-little-padding-muscle-study-says.html
⁵ (2006, June, 9). Erotic images elicit strong response from brain. Phys Org. Retrieved from http://phys.org/news69083681.html
⁶ McKie, R. (2003, March, 2). At last we know why girls fall for older men. The Observer. Retrieved from
⁷⁸ Rogers, A. (2014, March, 9). Recent studies prove traditional gender roles bring greatest happiness. The Collegian. Retrieved from