Mannequins, Manorexia and Metrosexuals

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about I recently read something that disturbed me. New York Magazine published some frightening facts about the male body image in their May 10th issue.

Did you know that the British mannequin maker Rootstein debuted their latest male form – the “Homme Nouveau,” feminized and less than beefy with a 35-inch chest and a 27-inch waist?

27-inch waist!

I read this on my way to Alabama where I was later verbally assaulted by my two nephews all weekend. Now well into their teens and taller than their uncle Frank, I was called shorty short and worse. As if I didn’t have enough to contend with, I now had to recon with my expanding waist line, short stature and apparently robust 40-inch chest.

Can anyone say, “Hobbit?” Well, my eldest nephew Matthew can and he did, all weekend. It was enough to send me into the bathroom in tears ready to purge, but wait things are worse than I thought.

Rootstein changed their mannequin design in response to the effect of metrosexuality. This term coined by the British writer Mark Simpson, in 1994 who was referring to a growing trend among heterosexual men who were paying way too much attention to the way they looked, acted and dressed. As a result designers began designing with metrosexuals like David Beckham in mind and alas a new fab was born. Men began picking, preaning and plucking themselves down to the nubbings. This overly conscious attention to our bodies led to an affliction of unrealistic body proportions. The likes of which were only seen among women who have been suffering with poor body image for ages.

Years ago I wrote about manorexia, a growing trend of eating disorders that predominantly only affected women, which were now seeping into the XY chromosome world. Men like Dennis Quaid, an admitted manorexic, admitted to binge eating. Like so many of my own patients, eating disorders are increasing, particularly among gay men.

40% of binge eaters are men.

In 1990, men made up 10% of the population with an eating disorder. Now they make up 25%.

What does this say about our culture? I can’t say for sure. I just hope Chad doesn’t come home one night and find me stretched out on one of those racks from the days of the Inquisition trying to stretch my diminutive frame so that I can get at least one or two inches before my failing body shrinks even further as I age. I mean I could diet more to get down to a 29-inch waist but that’s not likely to happen, not with my eating habits and Italian background. I predict more men will become depressed by these statistics and ask me for diet pills. And oh how I hate that.

So I guess that means more water and Tic Tacs for me and back to wearing lifts in my shoes even though they hurt my feet. James Cameron truly is a visionary. He predicted we will all want to be skinny, tall and blue in the future. Blue! Oh please not that. I can’t worry about my complexion too. I guess I will have to settle on short, stout and olive skinned.

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One Comment

  1. pognyc
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I had no idea you were so sensitive. You hide it well.

    When you let people in on your “buttons” and weaknesses, people often take them and revel in the power the feel from using them against you.

    Some people are born with a silver yet pointed tongue and have the ability to instinctively know which buttons are available for pressing.

    I my self have been plagued with this gift of a sharp and witty tongue which more often than not gets me in trouble if I forget to bite down on it at exactly the right moment.

    I once said something to you I really regret now, after reading your blog, and I’m sorry.

    Oh well…. Learn and Live is what I always say.


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