Beauty and the Beast

On Thursday night I found myself congealing with the cushions of my couch, temporarily defeated by the vacillations of my relationship to life. Although I rarely search for solace in my television, itself a gift from someone clearly baffled by my disdain for the medium, my brain was too broken to search elsewhere. Jubilation erupted from me however as I discovered it is officially the beginning of Football Season. As if the world is conspiring with my joyful anticipation, the weather here in North Carolina has dutifully dropped ten degrees in the days since, saluting the eminent entry of fall and its glorious brigade of linebackers.

Football is the one passion that I never thought I would be able to manipulate to fit under the heading of Spa. Products. Organics. and Travel, but not so this season. Football fever hit me last year at this time and I'm gradually indoctrinating myself into the world of downs, end zones, and lambeau field's countdown to the next Superbowl where the majority of Wisconsinites, I think, see it as their God-given right to face their new leader in exile, Brett Favre. But just after Matt Leinart towed up the loosening bow line of his reputation I noticed something. Namely the commercial below which, using the requisite amount of female flesh and a threat of the ever-important male fear of being a "looser," assured all men tuning in for Thursday night football that they indeed need to rid themselves of gray facial hair.

Then I watched a few male cologne commercials. By halftime, I began to think that the brief but already passe jaunt of the metro-sexual onto the social map had in fact only been the beginning of a longer, lasting attempt to lasso men, real-live football-watching men, into a more feminine ideal. Today I came across Chrisopher Hitchen's hilarious report on his year in beautification, recorded in a three part series for Vanity Fair. If you click on nothing else, please I beg you, use this link to see the most hilarious picture of a man in a spa that I have ever seen. But after reading about Hitchen's tooth whitening and yes, his bikini waxing, and witnessing the parade of male colognes and hair dyes during my football viewing, I was left unsettled. I suppose if I spend the majority of my time in the fall testing beauty and skincare products while watching football, it is only fair to allow men the same privilege. But something inside me just finds it ridiculous. As drama filled and crazy as Brett Favre's summer was, wouldn't it have been even more humiliating if he had also eliminated the gray in his beard with Just for Men? Ironically the slogan for Just for Men is "Stay in the Game." But from a my point of view (and remember I'm a woman obsessed with beauty products) I do not want to jocky for space with a man at the bathroom counter so he can dye his beard. No, I would have to say that man would be out of the game. I suppose part of me just wants men to be men.

In the words of Americana storyteller and country singer Brad Paisley,

"These days there's dudes getting facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans
And creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tackle box
Yeah with all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
But I don't highlight my hair
And I've still got a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy."

I know it's very close-minded of me. I just like a man who can grip a tackle box. That said, I am not one to fight a turning tide - and as hefty portions of ESPN's advertising are now coming from male beauty products - clearly the tide is turning. So, if there is a man out there who wants to start writing the newest column for this blog, Beast's SPOT, send all applications to

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