COLUMN: Fem-men


There had been signs, but I’d just ignored them: my eyeliner pens left blunt in the bathroom; my mascara disappearing; the way all the boys I went to bed with had better hair than me, or that my little brother’s visits were punctuated by the theft of my clothes. But it was the sight of my flatmate Anthony on the floor of his bedroom, struggling to get into a pair of size-12 girls’ jeans, that told me a revolution was afoot.

If once the sight of Becks in a sarong was titillating, now it’s so last season. All the best-dressed men I know are shopping in the girls’ section; clutching man-bags coquettishly under hairy arms; concealing stubble rash with my foundation; straining to get meggings over chunky thighs. Not happy with dominating the FTSE 100, men have got in on manscara, guy-liner and their own version of Touche Eclat. Even if they’re not brave enough for the full boyzilian, they still know what “back, sack and crack” means.

Masculinity has been feminised. Finally!

What inspired this? Was it Liam Gallagher’s haircut? Was it the comedians Noel Fielding and Russell Brand encouraging emo kids to straighten and backcomb their hair? Does it reflect not so much the rise of metrosexuality (which we’re told is dead anyway), but the vanity that our selfie culture promotes? Or perhaps — if the economist George Taylor’s 1926 Hemline Index theory is correct — women’s short skirts are a sign that the economy is improving, and men’s feminisation suggests that girls have nicked all the top jobs.


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