Manly Man or Gentleman

Dear Reader/Shaver,

The fact that you shave- that does not make you a “man.” Unfortunately, some businesses out there, in order to push product, try playing on that tired old theme, that shaving “makes you a man- a REAL man!” Another thing: the fact that you shave with expensive high end shaving equipment- that does not make you a “gentleman.” Please allow me to present my case…

We all know that when the big consumer brands are pushing their product- their obscenely overpriced cheap plastic disposable multi-blade cartridges- they’ve always got some handsome muscular guy looking at himself in the mirror. He’s self satisfied and confident, and why wouldn’t he be- after all, he’s looking great, he’s got a perfect body, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, some hot blond is creeping up behind him, rubbing him up and down because she can’t get enough of her manly man. OK, reality check. Playing the fool and spending outrageous money on disposable crap multi-blade cartridges does NOT make you a man, it does not make you a handsome man, it does not improve your muscle tone, and it will not make you feel better about yourself. It will not boost up your virility, and it most definitely won’t cause some hot blond to appear out of nowhere and approach you for sex as you’re drying off your face, post shave. You are being manipulated. Why are you being manipulated? Because someone, somewhere, wants your money. Please, do not let yourself be manipulated.

Listen to me- I’ve made a total mess of so many things in my life, but this much I know- this overpriced junk disposable multi-blade cartridge business is a huge racket. The prices they charge for these cheap plastic disposable junk cartridges bear absolutely no relation whatsoever to how much it costs to produce these stupid disposable things. You can pay less money for a better shave by using traditional DE shaving equipment. The important point I’m trying to make though is this- as you move over to DE shaving equipment, I urge you to avoid websites and businesses that try running the same repulsive marketing techniques used by the monster consumer brands. Both play on the old “shaving makes you a REAL MAN” routine. No, it does not, and it won’t. The goal here is to enjoy shaving, to get the best shave possible, and to do so at a reasonable price. That’s it! DE shaving, and shaving in general, won’t make you a man, it won’t make me a man, and it won’t make any man anywhere a bigger, better, more manly man. Whatever it is that makes a man a real man, it sure doesn’t have a thing to do with shaving.

Now on to the second fact- that shaving will not make you a “gentleman.” By this I mean the following. I write to you, my friends, from London. However, I’m not English, I’m just one of the many many foreigners living in this great city. As a foreigner, what strikes me about London is this- they are really, really, really serious about the whole class thing here- but I mean really serious. I’m not just talking about the whole Royal Family situation- what I mean is, this whole society, or London at least, seems to take the whole class and social background thing truly and genuinely to heart. People from the “upper” classes speak differently, wear different shoes, behave differently, go to different schools… they exist in an entirely different social world. And from what I understand, you don’t, in spite of your merit, intelligence, decency, integrity, ambition, kindness, success, whatever- you don’t move up into that world. If you weren’t born into it, you’re not getting into it, period. They look down on you, and you look up at them, knowing they’re running things, and knowing they’ll never in a million years let you in- never.

Now let’s be honest, there’s rich folks everywhere, and of course there’s rich folks where I’m from, New York City. But in America, the real question is, what have YOU done? How much money have YOU made? If you’re from the gutter, but you’ve killed yourself building some business, creating something- and if you’ve made big bucks in the process- well you’re in! You are officially accepted into the club of the elites. Not so in England. In England there’s a deeply stratified system that was built centuries ago and is maintained today, whose goal is to keep most people out, no matter who they are or what they’ve accomplished. England is really exclusive, and I mean real deal!

The other day I went to the mall to see a movie. Guess what, the movie theater- I’m not talking about some special movie theater, and I’m not talking about the opera here- a movie theater in a MALL- had a VIP seating section. If you pay more money, you get the best seats in the house, not just in terms of the location of those seats, but the seats themselves- they’re leather, more comfortable, and each is clearly marked, “VIP.”

Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass about this VIP section because I’m a value shopper, and I’m happy with a good seat at a reasonable price. I’m not LOOKING to spend more money in my life, I am looking for value. But what’s important here is that this VIP section- in a movie theater for God’s sake- is just another example of this whole stratified system they’ve got going on here in London. In New York City, like I said, you’ve got rich people, you’ve got poor, and you’ve got people in between. But when the three classes go see a movie together, the seat you get depends on when YOU ARRIVED AT THE MOVIE THEATER. If you break your ass and get there early, you’ll get the seat of your choice- in a good row, not too far from the screen, not too close, in the center of the theater- or in the back of the theater if you’re with a date and you’re looking to cop a feel- the point is, there ain’t no special VIP section. ALL the seats are available for ALL the people, and who gets what seat depends on what YOU DO, how well YOU have planned YOUR evening. Now maybe New York, and America generally, will soon follow this class based system they’re running in the UK, but for the time being, I believe if you tried implementing this VIP seating section in a New York City theater, homeboys wouldn’t hesitate to slash the leather seats and throw popcorn at the people sitting in them. New Yorkers would be EMBARRASSED to be caught sitting in these seats. In New York City you’d pay more money to NOT be sitting in these seats, based on the potential liabilities involved.

The point of all this- some folks seem to believe that if they shave with overpriced shaving gear, it makes them fancier, more special people. News flash- it does not! It just means you spent more money on your shaving equipment than you had to, and handed over some excess amount of your cash to some stranger you don’t know, for no good reason. I am not talking about the obscenely overpriced cheap plastic disposable cartridges, what I’m talking about now are DE shaving products that are excessively and unnecessarily fancy and overpriced. Don’t spend more than you have to! Please, do NOT spend more than you have to!

When you see a website or a store putting on this whole jive routine that if you buy your DE shaving stuff from them, it’ll make you a GENTLEman- no, it will not, and this is ridiculous!!! Shaving is about shaving, it’s not about class, status, refinement, wealth, privilege, culture, pedigree or breeding. When you see some website that’s using fancy old fashioned script, selling shiny silver bowls, ridiculously overblown and overpriced skuttles, maybe some pictures of English gentlemen going fox hunting- OK, I haven’t seen pictures of the fox hunting yet but you know what I mean- if you see these signs of manipulation, then don’t walk away, rather turn around and RUN in the opposite direction.

In conclusion, shaving will NOT make you a man, and shaving will NOT make you a gentleman. Shaving is just something we as men have to do, so we may as well enjoy it, and enjoy it with good quality equipment sold at a reasonable price. Never mind “manliness” and never mind “gentlemanliness,” please don’t fall in for that crap, it’s just a sign that someone’s after your money. Please don’t give it to them. Your money deserves better and you deserve better.

6 replies
  1. Lord Stuffington Stuffy the Fourth
    Lord Stuffington Stuffy the Fourth says:

    HAHA, you’re in the home of monarcho-fascism! You expected the brits to give up their classist bullshit for your sake? HA! I don’t buy british and travel around them. Their shave products are lauded on badger and blade, like shitty and wildly pretentious penhaligons, or shitty trumper of old bond street, or douchy mcdouch truefitt and hill. All they make are products that make you smell like an octogenarian prostitute. What’d make me happy? If somehow britain fell into the goddamn ocean.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      I’ve lived in the UK my entire life and have spent a fair amount of time in London and haven’t seen a cinema with class sections. There is elitism and snobbery in the UK as there is in the U.S.belonging to the right club, being a wasp etc.
      We enjoy better workers rights and have more paid holidays than our American cousins, I hope one day your workers will also have these privileges but sadly we’ll probably lose them, now we’ve left the E.U.
      BTW do you know what an island is? Or do you mean sank below the ocean?

      • Phil
        Phil says:

        Dear Lord Stuffington and Kevin,

        I want to apologize for being critical of the UK. I believe that both of you are from the UK, and I am sensing a bit of frustration between the two of you, which I may have, with my abrasive article, aggravated. If this is the case, please forgive me. I swear to you both, I consider the UK to be a wonderful place. I have genuinely loved living in the UK. It is easy to find fault with one’s country- anyone can do that- but nowhere are things perfect, nowhere. I’m from the USA, and the more time I spend outside of the USA- and the more experience I build up learning about other countries, and about other cultures- the more I truly appreciate the virtues of the American experience, the incredible opportunities which the USA provides. Problems? Imperfections? Injustices? Yes. Of course. But also beautiful, incredible opportunities, and a simple kindness and decency in the people which is remarkable and unique. As I love those good things about America, I too love the good things about the UK. I’ve lived throughout continental Europe, but I mean for years- and there’s something remarkably different about living in the UK. There’s an openness in the UK that one doesn’t find in continental Europe- a readiness of the people in the UK to adapt, and respond to, and keep pace with, the world at large. Continental Europe, on the other hand, often feels stuck in rigid, conservative tradition- “this is how we’ve been doing it, so this is how we’re going to keep on doing it.” Example: there are over 300,000 French people living in the UK. Why? Why are they choosing to live there, in spite of the linguistic and cultural challenges they face? Are they doing it because they love the fish and chips? No. They love the dynamic energy and openness they find, for instance, in London, which absolutely does not exist in any meaningful form anywhere in France, and not in Paris, in spite of the fact that Paris sees itself as being a cosmopolitan, modern, international city. No, Paris- you are not dynamic. Compared to London, you, Paris, are just an elegant old lady, a museum- a massive, stunningly beautiful monument, but a monument to things past. London, you are dynamic- you are alive. And that is why people flock there. London is living, it is moving, it is alive. Things are possible. And all this is due, in my opinion, to the openness, and indeed the international experience and sophistication, of the English people. That is my opinion. I am not an expert, but that is my view. I don’t know about Brexit, I stay out of politics, and I absolutely stopped all voting over ten years ago- because ALL politicians are shameless despicable liars, power hungry duplicitous narcissist scum. But I love the UK. I just love it- even if I do sometimes poke fun, in an abrasive and childish way. I do the same thing with my own country- but I love my own country too. I try to find, and appreciate, and be grateful for, the good things, and the good people, wherever I am, wherever I go.

        Meanwhile, can you please both do me a favor? Look at the two fonts I used to visually illustrate the point of this article- “Manly Man”, and “Gentleman” (scroll to the very top of this blog post). You have to admit, that was a pretty clever selection of fonts, no? Doesn’t it get the idea across very well?

        Thank you both for taking the time to comment.

        Kind regards,


        • Kevin
          Kevin says:

          I do apologise Phil, I find it hard to ignore bigotry in all its guises.
          Spot on with the fonts. If you haven’t already seen the film “How to get ahead in advertising”, I think you will enjoy it.

  2. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    B and B is often not very masculin. Brands like Nancy Boy and Bath House are probably not popular with most straight men or the leather bar crowd. I think the best shave soap performs the best, the scent is of minor impotance. I often wonder if B and B is a gay forum (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    • Alan
      Alan says:

      lol, lots of super-dominant ultra-masculine alphamales on B&B.
      Wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of them are closet gays or in denial.

      Also they overly pride themselves on being so “gentlemanly” a forum. Isn’t being a gentleman more appropriate when applied to the presence of women? Another reason it makes me think there are some gay undertones to that site.

      Also, there’s nothing wrong with being gay, just saying.


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