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Sexualities, desire and ‘lifestyle’: masculinity constructs in three Greek - page 10 / 17





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Extreme individualism, ravenous desire of immortality, worship of youth, complete liberation and equality of women, insecurity, daily competition, family no more…

The assertion here is that the above factors have resulted in men using cosmetics as much as women, which evaluated negatively. The assertion functions as de-legitimation of the practice of men using cosmetics, and by extension de-legitimises any advice to a man on the issue. The author, however, has to provide the advice keeping in line with the interests of men’s cosmetics companies advertising in the magazine, but also promote the (desire for a) generally consumerist lifestyle which gives lifestyle magazines a reason of existence.

Some of the factors mentioned as illegitimate reasons for men using cosmetics are stereotypically associated with femininity, and, indeed, are used by women’s lifestyle magazines as perfectly legitimate reasons for using cosmetics or even doing plastic surgery (specifically, ‘worship of youth’ and insecurity). The author-expert of Status then provides a reason which not only is perceived as not shared with women (or gay men), but actually emphasises the presupposed heterosexual desire and its importance for men, that is, men have to look after their appearance so that they will be able to attract women. He focuses on specific parts (he suggests) women would like, which therefore men should look after using cosmetics.

(12) οι γυναίκες αρέσκονται σε υποβόσκουσες, αδρές μυρωδιές

women favour subtle, rough smells (about perfume, deodorant etc.)

(13) Οι γυναίκες μαγεύονται από τα σημεία αυτά. … Τρελαίνονται. Εκεί «εδράζουν» το βλέμμα τους και τα χέρια τους

Women become enchanted by these parts. …. They get crazy. This is where they “focus” their gaze and their hands. (about ‘hands, feet, fingers … nails… and ass’)

(14) Στοιχείο γοητείας στο οποίο πρέπει να δώσετε μεγάλη σημασία.

Element of charm to which you must pay much attention. (about hair)

(15) And for some unnecessary (not ‘main’) cosmetic usage:

Δεκάρα δε δίνουν.

They don’t give a dime. (about the skin around the eyes)

These assertions, in the form of declarative sentences, may well be providing new information, as the author claims to know what women like and don’t like, presupposing that the reader doesn’t. At the same time it is also presupposed that the reader actually cares about what women like, which goes against more ‘laddish’ and more traditional perceptions of women as the objects of gaze and evaluation, and men as agents judging rather than being judged. Thus, for at least some readers this reason (look after yourself in order to be attractive to women), may need further justification. As we can already see from example 13, the desire to be attractive to women is not framed in terms of insecurity, anxiety etc. (as is often the case with representing women’s desire to be attractive to men, both in men’s and women’s magazines), and also not in terms of love or other emotions. Rather, metaphorically, it is legitimated through the effect male charm would have on women, rendering them as losing their rationality and agency by becoming ‘enchanted’ and ‘crazy’. Elsewhere in the

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