Text by Ranel Ram Cheng
Men have long hid behind the excuse that ‘boys will be boys’ when it comes to their personal hygiene. But the good news is, they’re completely aware of all the things they’re doing wrong – and some are even wiling to literally make a clean change.
The image of the down-in-the-dirt, burly manly man has been a longtime masculine archetype.
Ask any girl who battles the daily commute of Metro Manila and she will definitely complain of agonizing through an MRT cart full of stinky Neanderthals or sitting beside a caveman with caking skin. It may sound a bit exaggerated, but we in the male half of the population have to admit: women are more concerned about our grooming habits than we ourselves are.
But when it comes right down to it, many of these complaints should be hygiene basics that we men either ignore or we are just lazy to do. Funny thing is, men have a lot of explaining to do, from head to foot. Here are the top three areas of concern for the sons of Adam that make the daughters of Eve cringe:
Men literally wear their hair like a lion wears its mane, but many forget to take proper care of their crowning glory. It isn’t surprising then that studies reveal that men are more likely than women to suffer from dandruff and scalp irritation, even if women tend to wear their hair longer. Before you can say “lather, rinse, repeat,” it is likely that the typical dude would already be done bathing! Add to that an extra splat of wax or gel without proper washing, and guys end up scratching their crown the whole day.
- Body Odor
Enter any random college dorm room, and you would immediately know if its occupant is male or female. In bachelor pads and gym locker rooms everywhere, that distinct masculine smell permeates. If we took time to listen to our girlfriends, we’d hear how our smell is the very first thing they had to live with. To put things in perspective, a Filipino phrase to describe a good-looking boy is “mabangong lalaki.” The nose knows after all.
- Face and Skin
For us men, puberty hits when our voices grow deeper, but it starts to suck when our skin breaks out. The old “bandage on the face” trick has become a cliché cover up for popped pimples. Eventually, boys will start to wash their faces and learn to maneuver through life with oily skin, but many will forget about other aspects of skin care as well. Lotion and sun block are as foreign to most males as Manila is to a Korean tourist.
But things have to change.
The manly man archetype is a stereotype that men should break. It’s plain common sense to maintain good hygiene. And men do not even have to go to the extremes. An extra minute to wash the hair or rinsing the face every night will go a long way.
We men can make up a thousand excuses, but we cannot deny that good hygiene is as basic as good manners. Truth be told, women would rather have a gentleman who can take care of himself than a lazy manly man anytime.