Are You Mansome?

April 23, 2012

Given how much we talk about masculinity around these parts, I thought you'd all be interested in a new documentary from Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock. Mandsome takes a look at everything from men's grooming to the masculine ideals many of us in the gay community still use for comparison.

"From America's greatest beardsman, to Morgan Spurlock's own mustache, Executive Producers Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Ben Silverman bring us a hilarious look at men's identity in the 21st century. Models, actors, experts and comedians weigh in on what it is to be a man in a world where the definition of masculinity has become as diverse as a hipster's facial hair in Williamsburg. The hilarious follicles of men's idiosyncratic grooming habits are thoroughly combed over as men finally take a long hard look in the mirror."

Now I love me some Arrested Development peeps, but I'm curious what, if any, attention will be paid to the gay community in all this? The trailer seems focused on the emergence of the metrosexual, a trend that got a lot of media attention not too long ago. The film premieres at this month's Tribeca Film Festival, so I'll wait to hear if the gay angle is addressed, but what I really want is a documentary that gives equal weight to what it means to be a man in both worlds.

What do you think? Will we get some insightful answers from this documentary or will it be more of a "hey, that straight guy waxes his butt and bleaches his anus and that's funny!" type of film?

Tags: Documentaries, Movies, Masculinity, grooming
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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can you reread what you wrote please? a lot of errors.

Boundaries between worlds of behavior (gay, straight, etc) would be as fluid and constantly changing as the super-fungus that evades human attempts to eradicate it if rigid cultural dogma wasn't unnaturally putting people in bondage to ancient storytelling that is as unnatural as a nutrition center. Turn off radio and TV and computer and see what you feel when going out to the woods without any connection to cultural frameworks.

From the trailers, this seems to poke fun at the traditional concepts of AMERICAN masculinity, which is a good thing. "Masculinity" is a concept that,for gay men of the late 70s, meant wearing Paul Bunyan drag (and it WAS drag, regardless of the intent). Guys wore an outfit, much like corporate American wears a suit, that, when "taken off" (in the bedroom, for example) left a guy more naked than just his flesh and flipped on its head the public image of masculinity with the private behaviours (i.e., the concept of a "bottom" as "less masculine." Fairly destructive to any emotionally functional gay man who likes being the pokee instead of the pok-er) completely at odds with what you'd see a guy projecting while walking down the street. In other words, an illusion. Illusions rarely point anyone in the right direction.

I'd look elsewhere for examples of "masculinity" than a film. For example, in the Middle East, men hold hands walking down the street. Is that less masculine than, say, Gary Cooper's image or Clark Gable's image? The film can only de-mystify the wholly screwed-up concepts that so many men embrace as "masculine." At least, I hope so.

Mansome reminds me of the days of when it was common to have macho advertising with "Big Brawny" paper towels and Mr. Clean who was a bit more environmentally aware with his overly powerful cleaning solutions that make the gay cleaning assistant fall on their busy bum.

Am not sure if they still have those frozen dinners that are for the "hungry man" or the "manwich" products that suggest the total opposite idea of the modern idea of feeding off of an organic garden and consuming flowers, birdseed and acquiring "serotonin syndrome" and the caffeine jitters at the wellness center at not very economical prices. Hope folks have a nice day for sure.

Ayup! Both are still selling.

Retail is the perfect place to notice a change in the attitudes. I feel sorry for the daddies looking for city boys because a good amount of these have become high maintenance bitches. Your best bet is to get some country ass instead.

Your'e right there. I am a farm boy and the wildest versatile top and bottom, do it out in nature you will ever meet. No, I don't do it with animals, but there can watch. Down to earth very sensual all the way. would love to hear from other low maintenance masculine men, that like to do it in the barn, or haystack, or cornfield.


I'm sure the only way it deals with homos is that its subjects are not homo. "What being a modern man' here means is being a 'modern het man.'

I'm a country boy adapting to city life and I have had moments when I have seen men do things to their hair,face and body that make me think - what the f*ck is that guy doing to himself now?

"Metrosexual" men these days put themselves through all the hairstyling products, shaving lotions, cologne, expensive clothing, anti-aging facial cremes, electrolysis, waxing. It is all too much for me, I really couldn't care less. I prefer to age with dignity, and be comfortable with my own body.

In the words of Belle de Jour: Beauty is fleeting. Thank f*ck for that.

Having said that : I do not think there is nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance, it is an inescapable fact that people do judge you based on your appearance but for me there are limits on how far we should go - especially with our partners...because eventually we have to be able to relax and let ourselves go a bit.

Metrosexual...hmmm, let's see now. Homosexual means being sexually attracted to another man, heterosexual means being attracted to those of the opposite sex, bisexual implies being attracted to both men and women. Metrosexual...fucking a bus? Never could quite figure that one out.

You’re dreaming if you think this movie might possibly address gay men as much as straight men. I’d gladly bet that gay men’s attitudes about masculinity won’t even be mentioned.

Even feminine straight men are more ridiculed than ever in today’s culture. They are always mocked as being closeted gays, even by Kathy Griffin. Decades earlier, gay men could play feminine straight men “for laughs,” eg. Tony Randall, Paul Lynde, etc. But they were accepted as straight, just sort of “silly.” No one even questioned whether or not Flip Wilson was gay.

In recent decades, if a guy isn't butch, he "must be" gay. Most entertainers support gays politically, yet they always need to mention that they are not gay themselves. I watch a lot of TV and notice this very very often. So the gay community should not expect real social acceptance any time soon, only political acceptance at best.

To be fair, there actually is a good reason for this. Anthropology indicates that early man needed the males of the tribe to be brave, fierce hunters and fighters, so feminine men would naturally be suppressed for survival purposes. While technology has advanced enormously, human attitudes still include many Neanderthal remnants. Remember, it’s only a century since women even got to vote.

Also the most aggressive have always controlled their cultures, and still do, especially in the USA, which is populated almost entirely by the descendants of people aggressive enough to pack up and leave their ancestral homes to brave a totally unfamiliar life.

I advocate that we always press back hard against social rejection, but calmly and strategically, and without diminishing our well-being by feeling hurt or angry. That empowers the assholes.

I quit reading (and buying) some of the gay-oriented magazines because I got so turned off by the fey-looking skinny models wearing clothes no self-respecting man (straight or gay) would wear to an ordinary (not ulta-gay) function. I 've heard that "clothes make the man;" however, the advertising I see in those magazines certainly shows the opposite. Unfortunately, gays who feel they must be "in" in order to be successful socially buy the silly clothing in order to show how chic they are. Also, with crazy "do's" and silly appurtenance such as wild eyeglasses, brooches, etc, it all makes them look faggoty.

is that all we fall in love with is physical traits? then call it what it is; fetishists. Falling in love with a person is a total bitch, like having 3 pets at once; I've been there and done it. It's very romantic. I just want a boyfriend I can use and be nice to. We may or may not live togethter later but I will buy him dinner frequently (this is all tongue in chic)

For f*ck sake guys, lighten up. I doubt this mockumentary will have much to say about gays. And so what. We do fine on our own building ourselves up and tearing ourselves down without much help from the heterosexuals. So be a man about and suck it up.. Wink wink nudge nudge.

I' have done the manscapeing thing for years now, chest trim, back, bat and ball wax no dug out, but then I have a male groomer that I go to, It's nothing new to me

Bottom line. I like to keep in shape and look good when I am in public. Love the class of the Europeans. They take pride in their appearance. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that in my eyes.

A lot of folks are categorized or stereotyped as in a comment here that refers to "the class of the Europeans." If you wander off the guided tour agenda then you might stumble into a total absence of fashion sense so to speak. Wouldn't want to see everyone dressing like sitcom characters though for sure.

What is mansome? Will someone explain or define precisely? An athletic body? A giant penis? Being ''top'' only? Being rude or aggressive? I am afraid I do not posess most of these but I am still masculine! Very clean hand and toenails very trim and clean; using deodorants and lavender type cologne. I also dye my hair [myself at home using proffessional colours] because my hair turned a light mousy grey which I dislike. Natural blondes do not turn white but ''fade away'' gradually to that ''mousy'' shade. I restore the nordic blonde I had at 20 often to a lighter shade still! I am very elegantly dressed sometimes in garments tailored or altered at home [by myself]. I can also cook perfectly well [my own unique cuisine very appreciated by others as well] Do you think I am effeminate ?

I forgot, sexual roles have nothing to do

I moisturize. And I'm a bottom. Yet I don't conTHider myTHelf feminine THir. (lol)

Left to our own devices, without the programming of bars and gay pop culture (or perhaps in an auto immune response to it) we can actually develop a very balanced mix of behaviors that would baffle the average marketing director or right wing commentator.

Imagine a butch bottom getting banged by a fem DOM top (I can do the voiceover imitation). Or a guy who likes working on manly things like rebuilding a lesbian diesel engine who screams like a complete sissy when a spider walks by.

Just like pit odor, does any of this symbolism make us "masculine"? Is it really valid in an era of manufactured everything and virtual everything? Really? It does? Ok, I guess I don't know enough to buy a Dodge Ram pickup and get rid of my Pussy Prius.

I'll admit, I like daddy bears muscular so he can dominate me and protect me and wrestle me and have a big ego to feed. But a plain white T is so much nicer and cuddlier than goddamned Ed Hardy, "Afflicted" and TapOut drag the straight boys wear or the irrelevantly generic knockoff versions some of the gays wear.

Does anybody even realize the word "hipster" really means "contemporary"? This means that thing that used to look right just looks dated now because it wasn't classic and couldn't withstand the test of time?

All of these rules are time sensitive and outgrow their needs while we all just hang onto them until new needs are met by new "solutions".