The assault on manhood continues. Men fend off environmental hormone disrupters found in everything from bleach to soy products to shampoo. Fat produces estrogen so chubby men everywhere fight for their manhood through a sea of female hormones.
And then there are the cultural messages through the media — education and research teaching that men are intrinsically flawed and stupid. Guys are portrayed as Daddy Knows Least in too many shows to list. Boys are medicated into compliant automatons so teachers have an easier time of it. Research questioning the necessity of men makes the covert overt: men are no longer needed.
All in all, it’s a tough time to be a guy. And yet …
Sympathy would be easier to find if men didn’t participate in their own demise. It’s sad, really, this new form of sartorial self-flagellation.
It all began with Santa and the elves. You see, Santa used to wear shiny black work boots. Form met function. He paired the ensemble with a snappy red pajamas number and black belt. The rosy cheeks were cherubic and balanced with a frightening amount of facial hair. The elves used to be tough, too. They wore earth tones and manly boots. Sure, they’re diminutive, but they’re hard workers. Burly little union guys, proud of their workshops and their products, they were manly men.
That all changed with pointy-toed shoes. I don’t know if it was Mrs. Claus or maybe technology and bad ideas finally reached the North Pole, but whatever it was, it was not good. Santa and his tiny minions decided to go for elf slippers. Elf slippers were okay in fairy tales and Nordic history, but Santa?
Bad trends don’t stay in Europe or California or the North Pole. These days, when ugly happens in Milan, it’s eventually going to happen in Middle America. But the first American stop will be New York. And while in New York a couple weeks ago, I saw Santa style everywhere.
New York is considered the fashion center of the universe (well, outside of Paris). I observed a couple things while there: New York women wore scant make-up and hauteur in equal measure. And they wonder why they are single? Ladies, if you’re over 30, you need a little help. Black continues to be the color in New York. Anyone wearing a pastel is viewed with suspicion. Finally, some — but not all — men are wearing pointy shoes.
Like wide ties, curly perms, and powder blue tuxedos, when the history of the age is written, pointy shoes are going to fall into the category of what-the-hell-were-we-thinking? Watching a grown man trip down the sidewalk in court-jester shoes made me giggle. And these style mavens were soooo serious, dahling. Just to clarify, I’m not talking shoes like this These dress shoes are part of the arsenal of boring professional men everywhere. No, I’m talking about this and (ew) these.
Have men become a group of effeminate elves? The shoes curl up at the point. It’s embarrassing for women to wear those sorts of shoes. On men, it takes 50 million years of mammalian evolution to suppress the primal urge to laugh and point.
If you’re a stylish guy, fine. Still, you risk derision if you become a slave to fashion that is patently ridiculous (pardon the pun). And another thing, most men have wide, serviceable feet. (They also have legs, which, according to Ann Althouse, should be covered. Me? I like a nice turn of the calf, but at a certain age, the legs need to be covered, always.) Wide feet and pointy shoes don’t mix. Why even try?
The answer is that men have “evolved.” That is, they’ve become more like women. They have nearly as many style magazines. They have bought the societal messages. They wear pointy-toed shoes without shame.
Men need to realize: even if you look like James Dean, pointy toed shoes on a man scream sissy. Draw a line, men, and it better not be with charcoal eyeliner. Don’t give in. Fight the grrl-power onslaught with plaid shirts, well-developed lats, hunting dogs, extreme sports, cigars, poker, and whiskey.
A stylish man can be manly. A few of my readers mentioned Cary Grant. Sounds good. Well-groomed, intelligent, impeccable manners, debonair, man style doesn’t have to be unrefined, but it should be unfeminine. It’s called masculine.
Pointy-toed shoes are feminine. Sorry, Santa. That goes for you, too. Help us all! We’ve become a nation of mincing, vacuous, pubescent girls.