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.