Maleness (Guest Blogger)
Maleness. Lately I've been fascinated with maleness. Actually that's a lie, what I've actually been fascinated with is Madison Avenue's fascination with maleness and what it means to women, men and most importantly advertisers. Now I do get pulled into it, seduced by the magic of a well-crafted message of a well-targeted luxury/high end product that is made just for a guy like me (or maybe the guy I aspire to be some day when I've arrived).
My interest was renewed when Men's Vogue came out a few months ago, and it has recently been sparked again by an article I read (http://www.askmen.com/fashion/austin_100/145_fashion_style.html" based off a new book (The Future of Men). It amuses me that in one breath men #1 have everything, #2 rule the world, and #3 yet we are also #4) insensitive and aloof, #5) unstylish and out of shape and #6) dispassionate and unconscionable. This dichotomy must then create an opportunity to address those who exist between the extremes yet are able to leverage the positives of the extremes and the latest term de jour is: ubersexual. While the term, the description, the very concept is laughable, at some level it is quite compelling. Compelling because in the list of famous uberguys, a high percentage are brothers (Jordan, Jay-Z, Diddy). Which makes sense. Many Black men have huge personal power, an uncompromising sense of style, strong sense of direction and that 'don't-give-a-crap-what-they-say' mentality (and yes folks many of us are weak, uncaring, broke and lazy -- but that's another commentary). It reminded me of some Morrison I once read:mean, I don't know what the fuss is about. I mean, everything in the world loves you. White men love you. They spend so much time worrying about your P#&^$ they forget their own...And white women? They chase you all to every corner of the earth, feel for you under every bed. Colored women worry themselves into bad health just trying to hang on to your cuffs. Even little children--white and black, boys and girls--spend all their childhood eating their hearts out `cause they think you don't love them. And if that ain't enough, you love yourselves. Nothing in the world loves a black man more than another black man. It looks to me like you the envy of the world.
-Sula, a novel by Toni Morrison
So if this new label is free license for real brothers to be real brothers, then call me uber-whatever. Then at the end of the day just call me me, drop all the labels and let the advertisers come up with a new and improved way to sell me stuff I really want, but don't really need.