What is the modern man, who is he, and what does he do? Since our society absorbs the celebrity world like a bathroom rug absorbs a whole manner of bathroom liquids, which modern day media icon can we say personifies everything that the modern man should be?
Should he have a beard? What about a feminine side? Toned abs perhaps? While spooling through a £10 magazine the other day, of which only 30 pence worth was actual reading material, I happened across a montage of snaps of a plethora of so-called desirable males. Wonderful, I thought, there they all were wearing woolly bullies in Beverley Hills, scarves in Dubai, and prosthetic chests in Chelmsford.
It would seem that those of an E! Entertainment disposition would have you believe that the modern man should possess the following qualities and nothing more: muscles, eyes, a pretentious tattoo on his forearm that says “banana and elbow yesterday” in Japanese, be at least 5”8 inches and advertise Calvin Klein underwear in his spare time. Has the world gone mad? I’m sorry, but if I met a man matching this description, and forgive me, but I think I would have to be sick on him. Is this really what the media moguls will have us believe?
Allow me to introduce you to “Fullard’s Law 01”. Fullard’s Law 01 states clearly, and without legal jargon, that in order for a man to be a real man he must have the following skills: he must be able to wire a plug. He must also be able to perform basic mechanical tasks on a car. A man must be willing to keep a clean home, he should know where the Mr. Sheen is kept and where to put the batteries in the iron. A real man also has a tool box full of manly tools. He will follow at least one sport. When entering a pub mid-football game he must never ask who is playing, but simply ask if the winning team have deserved to be ahead, and he must apologise to the stranger for missing the kick-off, too. A real modern man will have the bag-stones to tell his mates in the pub that he is not under the thumb, and that he genuinely wants to go home and spend time with his other half. Finally, and most importantly, he will always decide the outcome of any dispute with the remote control.
At no point in Fullard’s Law 01 does it say that you have to look like David McBeckham or that Harry Styles lad. Nor does it say that watching, enjoying, admiring or even acknowledging the existence of any orange faced Ken-doll on TOWIE is in anyway acceptable.
I don’t know his name, but there is a TOWIE character that has an orange face to match his orange stomach, a haircut, and a penchant for wearing t-shirts which say things like “Reem” on them. I don’t know what that means, but whenever I see this “man” in the papers I want to cower behind the nearest sofa, for fear of being associated with the same gender. If it is attention he wants then why doesn’t he simply march through the streets of Pyongyang dressed as Uncle Sam?
No, really. Can he wire up a plug, wrestle a bear, or wood-stain the garden furniture? My left foot he can. He can’t even wear jeans without his bottom falling out. Is this what other men are looking towards for inspiration in not just their appearance, but their skill and personality requirements too?
I asked at the outset which glossy-magazine celebrity we could pin on the wall as an example of a genuine, modern, real man, and really, I cannot think of one. Yeah McBeckham is a nice guy, but I bet he has a special man to change light bulbs. Clooney too, seems like a top man, but I bet he doesn’t know what a spirit level or trowel is.
The way women are portrayed in the media has been discussed in great detail over the last several decades. There has been much public debating and many action groups have been formed to try to curb the way in which fake ideals are forced upon – mainly younger – women. But it is not all plain sailing for us chaps, either. I solicit that we, the real men who know how plugs work and who can fit shelves, band together to stamp out the barrage of nonsensical clowns that are being forced upon us. The way men are put across is not only offending, it’s outright embarrassing.
I fear that this debate will be beyond even the powers of the remote control…