Tom Purcell, 12/17/2007 [Archive]

Makeup For Men

Makeup for Men

By Tom Purcell

Ah, the holiday season is upon us. So what to get for the modern man who has everything?


According to The Washington Post, eyeliner -- the fellows who wear it call it "guyliner," the twits -- is the latest trend in "boys behaving girly."

As it goes, Pete Wentz, the pretty-boy bassist for pop-punk band Fall Out Boy, has become the guru of guyliner. The high-fashion fellow recently explained the proper way for males to apply the stuff.

"Smear it because when you're a guy, you don't really want your makeup to look perfect," he says.

Of course. It's not like you'd want to look like a woman or anything.

Men are buying all kinds of cosmetic gunk now: wrinkle-control lotions, shine-reduction powder, clay masks, body-sculpting gel for the abs. According to Euromonitor International, the male makeup market will top $25 billion annually by 2011.

But don't accuse makeup-wearing men of being metrosexuals. They're not metrosexuals anymore. They're Ubersexuals.

According to, "Ubersexual" is derived from the German "uber," which means "the greatest." The term was coined by advertising giant JWT. Three JWT executives introduced the term in "The Future of Men," a marketing book that explains how to tap the changing identities of the sexes to make corporate dough.

"Ubersexuals are the most attractive (not just physically), most dynamic, and most compelling men of their generations," says Marian Salzman, a JWT executive who co-authored the book. "They are confident, masculine, stylish and committed to uncompromising quality in all areas of life."

And they wear makeup.

Take Dustin Schaad, a 22-year-old fellow from Silver Spring, Md. According to the Post, he started wearing makeup in high school because "a little concealer goes a long way when you hit puberty."

My friend, the only thing you've been concealing is your Y chromosome.

Look, men, we've got to get hold of ourselves. It was bad enough when male magazines began running headlines from female magazines: "How to Trim that Belly to Improve Your Self-Esteem and Make Her Happy."

It was bad enough when men began getting face wraps and pedicures. It was even worse when men started carrying purses.

But makeup? Enough is enough.

Men, the marketers are pushing the fiction that the modern male has evolved to a point where he can be manly AND wear makeup. They are doing so because there's big dough in it.

But it's nonsense.

What men and women are is not so complicated. We are more primitive than we think we are -- our DNA was designed to help us survive our early days, and there's no escaping that fact.

We no longer need adrenaline in our systems, but our predecessors needed it to survive. You better be able to fight or run fast when a prehistoric creature is about to have you for supper.

Michael Gurian, author of "What Could He Be Thinking? How a Man's Mind Really Works," says survival was the reason the male and female minds evolved as they did. The male mind was geared toward open spaces (the ability to track animals), whereas the female mind was designed to multitask (the ability to manage numerous details that kept the family alive).

And though we no longer need many of the instincts and impulses that are built into our DNA, the unpleasant fact is they are still there. The unpleasant fact is that the game of mating is still rooted in our basic primitive makeup.

Thus, in a general sense, women are still attracted to masculine men who can go out into the fields and kill dinner. And men, generally, are still drawn to young, healthy, feminine women.

Thus, women used to doll themselves up with paints and perfumes to attract men. And we used to chase them -- until they caught us. We can pretend otherwise, but human DNA isn't so advanced as we'd like it to be. That's why women wear makeup and men don't.

In any event, please get your modern man something else for Christmas this year.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at

RESTRICTIONS: 'Tom Purcell's column may not be reprinted in general circulation print media in Pennsylvania's Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland Counties. It may appear only in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and its sister publications."

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