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A whole new man-scape

A whole new man-scape

Sales in men’s grooming products are expected to hit $85 billion, with men trimming, clipping and shaving more than ever before. Gulf Marketing Review meets the razor-sharp Philips’ exec who’s capitalizing on the ‘man-scaping’ trend.

January 28, 2010 2:51 by

At time of writing I am recently returned from a break in the UK, where I ploughed my way through the daily newspapers, tiptoeing past the headlines heralding the implosion of my adopted city, Dubai, in search of more cheery fare. That was when I stumbled upon reportage of an altogether more sensational, if not lurid, nature: a series of grainy, long-distance pap shots of a prostrate, half-naked man, his face contorted in agony while an unseen force applies hot wax to his torso before ripping out all his chest hair. The victim? None other than music mogul and high priest of metrosexuals, Simon Cowell.

OK, so it wasn’t the FT or The Times I was reading.

The whole thing, it turns out, was a photoshopped spoof, prompted by the “news” that Cowell has taken to waxing his hairy hands.

Now, speaking truthfully, who really cares about the boring old economy when there are cataclysmic events like this to wrestle with? Not, it seems, the New York Daily News, which picked up on this nugget of 2009 zeitgeist and corroborated it with insight from an NY-based male-grooming pundit who vividly mapped out the extent of this whole men’s body hair phenomenon: “If he [Cowell] is getting his hands waxed, I am sure he is getting his back waxed and maybe his brows and ears, too. Almost any celebrity in film gets a lot more waxing done than you know about.”

And only last month ABC News went so far as to warn the unshorn that: “Hair anywhere except on the head seems to be verboten these days, and the modern male will take the razor where few men have ever gone before.”

There is in fact a new word for this phenomenon – man-scaping. Now that really was news to me.

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