Friday, August 28, 2015

What's up with the man bun?

Okay, guys, enough already. This has gone too far. Man buns are the most ridiculous hairstyle on a man I've seen since the mullet and the mohawk, even more ridiculous as a fashion trend than the bushy beards half of everyone (male) under 30 seems to be sporting these days. Let's not even talk about a combination of the two (with perhaps even a manskirt thrown in for good measure). One word I recently saw that pretty much describes the trend is "lumbersexual." Lumbersexual connotes lumberjacks, and lumberjack connotes a big burly man with perhaps less than satisfactory personal hygiene after weeks or months in the bush. The men with man buns that I see don't quite measure up, size-wise and hygiene-wise. They are all just too urban. And thinking of all that hair ending up on the bathroom floor and clogging up shower drains, I must say I am glad not to be in the female demographic that has to cope with this nonsense.

The last group of men to sport a man bun was the Japanese samurai. In those days it was called a topknot, and it was outlawed by a Japanese emperor in an effort to modernize and Westernize Japan. Now there are some differences between the topknot and the man bun. The topknot was worn by men who were trained warriors and carried big swords with which they routinely cleaved other men in half. Under no circumstances would one be tempted to even assay a snicker looking at such a man. The modern man bun on the other hand ... One doesn't snicker because one is polite, but one is certainly tempted.

I don't get the purpose. On the one hand "lumbersexual" seems to suggest that some kind of ultra-masculinity is being sought here, but to me the effect of the man bun is one of feminization. You take a young man with smooth skin, put him in a baggy outfit of jeans and sweatshirt, top him with a man bun, and half the time I honestly can't tell whether I am looking at a man or a woman. Or rather most of the time I can only tell it's a man because I figure a woman wouldn't wear one of those things unless she were a babushka or a ballet dancer. On the other hand I suppose if women can have short hair (as I've done for the past 30 years), then men should be allowed to have their hair however long they want, and to put it up in a bun so it doesn't get into their eyes. But for God's sake, guys ... must you?

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