An older man is distinguished, he greys with salt and pepper flecks. He can carry off style without the fear of being called mutton, but he goes bald. Unlucky. There’s no disguising age when your once thick barnet is reduced to a bush at the back and sides and some wisps on the top. Men do of course have the option of shaving it all off at the first signs of loss, luckily the ‘fashion’ of bygone decades of the comb over is long gone (Was that really a fashion or just blatant denial?). What though if you have a funny shaped head?
I have a friend who as far as I can recall has never had anything but a shiny pate. Another friend was looking forward to going grey, he always had a penchant for older men, the greyer the better, and although he was always pretty distinguished – how many students do you know wore silk house coats (aka dressing gown) and warmed their 2.99 merlot on the radiator? – he is now uber gentlemanly with his greying locks.
Other age giveaways for men? Well; ear hair, nose hair, mutant eyebrows (hair growth everywhere but the head) and the male equivalent of the muffin top; the beer belly, which appears with or without drinking beer. In my limited experience I have seen that men tend to a) care less than women and b) take up sports with more gusto than women which combats the belly issues although can’t help with the random hair growth.
In our age of male grooming and Mr. Metrosexual, men are more likely to own some kind of beauty product and doubtless many wives have had the tweezers out on their other halves to keep them well presented. A facial balm or a body scrub was probably unknown vocabulary to our fathers’, not so to our male peers. I do have to add a small disclaimer at this point as my husband wouldn’t know a balm if it smeared itself on his nose (perhaps not a bad idea).
Here in Israel the men are especially well kept. Due to the climate and the outdoor lifestyle, a Mediterranean diet and yearly army service until at least 40, a good proportion keep themselves trim (another disclaimer? No, I won’t involve specific people). Also people don’t really drink here. Yes I know it’s crazy but you’d be hard pushed to find an Israeli fella who looks forward to a few pints down the pub a couple of times a week. No offense to my fellow countrymen but the cold climate, bangers and mash and Stella Artois need more sessions down the gym and no weekly beach visit means less need to worry about stripping off in front of strangers for the Brits. Now before you all start I know there are many exceptions but I have been to the swimming baths in the UK and I know what I have seen (it still haunts me).
Someone recently told me that men lose themselves between the age of 40 and 55 and if you’re a single lady of a certain age you should grab them before or after this period if you want true fulfillment. When I asked for some clarity she said that the whole ageing, career, keeping up with the Brad Pitts is just too all-consuming for multi-task shy fellas and so trying to start a relationship with them is just destined to fail. This sounds like it’s one of my sweeping generalizations, but maybe she has a point. Most of the men I know of this age are married or gay so I have no evidence to prove or disprove her theory. I do know that career is paramount and providing for your family or maintaining a certain standard of living is key to many of my male peers.
I had a look to see which men are fellow 2012 40 year olds and lo and behold, my fave Hollywood male celeb Ben Affleck plus dishy Josh Duhamel, Chris Tucker and Eminem have had big birthdays this year as will Jude Law (speaking of going bald) just 2 short weeks after me. It’s hard to equate these men with us mere mortals, they have the time and the money to age sophisticatedly just like the women from this vintage. For some reason I was surprised, I really considered these men to be younger than me – especially Eminem, let’s face it he will always be 27.
So what’s the answer for men of my generation, well first and foremost it helps if you’re gay. Without exception every gay man I know who is 40 or over is very well turned out. Second, if you’re married; listen to your wife she really does know best, really, and third buy a nose trimmer, every little helps.