Ever seen “American Psycho”? If not, download it right now and quit being so cinematically clueless. If so, do you consider Patrick Bateman a role model? Disregarding the whole storing corpses in your closet thing, do you subscribe to some made-up alpha-male standard? There’s nothing wrong with having a killer job, sleeping with attractive women or doing 1,000 crunches a day. When meeting some sort of phony masculine criteria becomes your way of life, however, there’s a problem. That and running naked down the hallway holding a chainsaw.
Is there anything less manly than following some sort of pre-defined macho protocol? Think about it. Which sort of guys really stand out? Those who play by the rules, who do everything they’re supposed to or those who break the mold and say “fuck it, I’m doing it my way” a la Sinatra. Sure, we all must follow some sort of rules/laws if we want to be a part of society. Wearing pants is a biggie.
There are many rules we follow as men and upstanding members of society: work, exercise, personal hygiene, knowing how to salsa, etc. These are just a few of the things we need to do as able-bodied, confident men who get things done. Going to extremes and making life an endless charade of machismo, however, is counterproductive. Part of being a man is following one’s own path. Spending every waking moment doing all you can to be “manly” is not going to get you anywhere. Being manly isn’t something you strive for; it’s something you are.
No book, life coach or actor can tell you how to be a man. There’s no set rulebook. Christian Bale, for example, might seem like a guy who’s got it all together, but did you hear this whole rant on the set of “Terminator: Salvation”? Dude’s kind of a whiner. Okay, maybe he just a had a bad day, but still, there’s no all-encompassing manly guidelines.
While you’re busy worrying about how you can be more manly or be more like this MMA fighter or this CEO, those kinds of guys are out there getting things done. Sure, many of these guys are guilty of following macho stereotypes themselves, but at least they’re accomplishing things.
Dress nice, get in shape, get a job, be persistent, etc., but do things your own way. Don’t waste years of your life trying to be the ultimate male. Besides, people already think guys like David Beckham and Brad Pitt are the pinnacle of manliness anyway. Put on cologne if you feel like it, but don’t walk around smelling like you just fell into a vat of Acqua di Gio. Whatever you do, just don’t become like Patrick Bateman. Besides listening to Phil Collins and murdering countless people, do you really want to have to do 1,000 crunches a day?
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.