Should men have manicures?
If you’re thinking of having a manicure, before heading off to the spa, you should first do the following: go into your bathroom, walk up to the mirror and a take a long good look at yourself. Give yourself a hard slap, if needs be. Go on, I think you’ve earned it. The very fact you are considering paying for a manicure shows just how far modern man has swallowed up the “metrosexual” marketing and, as is usually the case with stuff like this, it’s all gone too far.
Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” but this marks the point on our social development map where men should stop and realise that we are headed way off course. It’s the point where we should all take a quick glance back to the time of Churchill, take stock of where we’ve come since then and ask where we are all heading.
The current generation of men has become far too soft and flabby, or as Michael Caine said in Alfie, “poncified”. We’ve become increasingly susceptible to products being marketed at us that we clearly don’t need. My grandfather drove a tank in World War Two and he didn’t need to pay a load of money to have someone trim and buff his nails before doing it. He didn’t celebrate the end of the war by booking himself in for a manicure either and, as far as I know, nobody else ever trimmed his cuticles. That’s how it should be.
Men, of course, should keep their nails short and neat — anything else is wrong — but just buy yourself a decent pair of nail clippers. Unlike, say, dentistry, cutting your nails is not a specialist job where a qualified expert has to take care of proceedings; it takes five minutes at home. Somewhere in the recent past, however, marketing types thought they could jump on the metrosexual bandwagon and flog manicures to men. So, now there’s one spa in this region offering “Deluxe Mens’ Hand Grooming” that involves a whole hour of buffing, oil application, paraffin treatment and hand massages and it sets you back Dhs159. Another place has a treatment, which involves two “specialists” working on your nails at once. The idea of paying to have an hour with two women… and getting them to spend that time buffing your nails seems like an insult to everything my grandfather’s generation fought for. On so many levels.
We can’t blame the “grooming industry” for trying to market this to men. After all, we make up forty-nine percent of the world’s population, so it was inevitable that once men initially nibbled the bait on the issue of grooming, there would be an inevitable feast for sales further down the road. And the notion of looking after yourself is not the least bit offensive. But there comes a point when you have to ask yourself what sort of man pays someone to cut his nails, knowing they’re going to grow back again in a week or so? The Jonas Brothers have admitted they love getting manicures. Yeah, I bet they do. That’s the sort of person right there. Do you really want to be anything like the Jonas Brothers?
So here’s a new rule: If you’re male and have a manicure, then you instantly forfeit the right to shout “get up you great tart” at the TV when a footballer takes a dive and rolls about. You might as well be shouting at that mirror in your bathroom, because you’ve just taken a social dive yourself. Get up, you great tart, and leave the manicures to women.