January 3, 2008, - 12:38 pm

Men–The New Women–Alert: Hello Kitty & Pearl Necklaces

By Debbie Schlussel
Did you know we are now in the “post-metrosexual age,” where anything effeminate on men goes and is celebrated? Pearl necklaces on men? Sad. Blame the baby boomers, the aging hippies who keep on “giving.”
On Friday, when I posted about a “seamy” hew product for men–girdles–one reader wrote that, at least, there isn’t Hello Kitty for men.
Um, think again:

The planned products mark the first time Sanrio is developing Hello Kitty items especially for males, Tohmatsu said.

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“Young men these days grew up with character goods,” said [Hello Kitty producer, Sanrio, spokesman Kazuo]Tohmatsu. “That generation feels no embarrassment about wearing Hello Kitty.”

Hello Kitty = Hello Girlieman.
And then there’s this from today’s Wall Street Journal–the newspaper which seems to have a running obsession with pushing women’s jewelry, clothing, undies, etc. on men. Yes, forget that song about diamonds being a girl’s best friend. Now, diamonds–and PEARLS!–are a (girlie)man’s best friend. They’re pimping pearl necklaces and bracelets for the male set. Eeuuww:

An enduring image of men and their jewelry is the 1970s guy with his polyester shirt unbuttoned to reveal a regrettable glimpse of gold chain. So it may seem strange that jewelers from Harry Winston to Kay Jewelers have been rolling out men’s pearl necklaces, pav?© diamond rings and gold bracelets.
Annual sales of men’s bling have taken off, nearly doubling from 2004 to 2006 and reaching $6 billion in the U.S., according to Unity Marketing, a research firm in Stevens, Pa. While we often blame trends on the young, it was a middle-age businessman seated beside me at a dinner last spring who unbuttoned his shirt collar to reveal a glowing black pearl on a leather cord. . . .
And there has been a recent run on $250 pearl bracelets for men at PearlParadise.com, where 5% to 10% of sales are for men these days, up from almost nothing five years ago. More than half of the 1,052 men surveyed recently by Harris Interactive said they view grown men wearing jewelry — other than watches, wedding bands and cuff links — as “fashionable” and “sophisticated.” [DS: More like, signifying testicles checked at the door.] . . .

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This Scene Now Being Reversed

A graying fifty-something man I know recently confessed to me that he purchased a necklace, saying it reminded him of one he wore back when he was in his 20s, the last time men’s necklaces were mainstream. This time around, “I just had to feel it on my skin,” he said, sounding primal. His wife rolled her eyes.
Some men may be taking their cues from celebrities. Among the men with gray at their temples who are adorning themselves, Pierce Brosnan wears a Tahitian pearl at his neck. [DS: No wonder he’s no longer James Bond.]
The growth in men’s jewelry tracks a broader interest among men in their own appearance, with sales of men’s apparel, accessories, and even cosmetics on the rise. Indeed, the jewelry boom may be the latest outgrowth of the now-aging metrosexual phenomenon, in which young, urban, heterosexual men began to adopt personal-care habits such as eyebrow grooming that had long been more common among women. “In the post-metrosexual world, with David Beckham wearing nail polish and sarongs, you have the baby boomer who’s not growing old gracefully,” says Michael Macko, men’s fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, which has been selling a lot of men’s jewelry lately. “He’s exercising and having cosmetic surgery — there’s so much more acceptance of what you can wear.”
Fifty-year-old Milton Pedrazza, chief executive of the research group Luxury Institute, posits that “men are beginning to adorn themselves more because women are so much more self-sufficient and successful and far more picky, and now men need to compete in a more Darwinian fashion.”

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Gender Identity Disorder

This is what you get with the further blurring of gender roles. Women act like men. And men dress like women. All hail the new liberation. Thanks, baby boomers and hip-hoppers.

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9 Responses

I have never felt the urge to adorn myself. I hardly ever even wear a watch much less a “necklace” or rings (other than wedding, of course). Just look and listen at kids in HS and college, the guys voices are more feminine than a lot of the females. For HS/college age kids it is all the rage to be gay/lesbian or bi, that’s the new normal. Makes me want to snapkick someone in the groin.

TheOmegaMan on January 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Men are both hunters and gatherers. The lack of any outlet for the hunter instinct is probably a major cause of male mental illnesses (in varying degrees, the lowest being mild depression so common today), but that is a different discussion. Men are not immune from the attraction to “shiny” objects, i.e. the gatherer instinct. The utter absence of utilitarianism in men’s collections is what strikes me today.
What separates this generation from the past is the way we collect. The instinct used to be channelled into appreciating fine craftsmanship on (quasi)utilitarian items: autos, tools, weapons, timepieces, religious items, cuff links, decanters etc. A man did not collect things simply because they are pretty.
Perhaps part of the problem is that the liberal pleasure police frown on things men ought to be adorning themseleves with: humidors (evil cigars=co2), pistols (no 2nd amendment), muscle cars (greenhouse gases), suits and ties (elitist/capitalist), etc.
I have taken a “girly”-man or two under my wing and coaxed them like scared kittens into trying a cigar and scotch, joining me at the pistol range, or watching a fight on pay per view. Initially they scoff and giggle at the suggestion like schoolgirls, but eventually come along. And guess who gives them the most encouragement to join me? THEIR WIVES AND GIRLFRIENDS. It is amazing sometimes that men labor under the impression that their wife or girlfriend appreciates their “non-threatening” masculine ways…its never true. Tender side=good. No testosterone=bad.

melchloboo on January 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm

TheOmegaMan and melchloboo both bring up good points that must be expanded. In the old days, the old timers had an ideology of, “If someone else can build it, so can I.” Those guys did their best to NOT purchase anything if they could help it.
Most guys I know have no idea how to build anything – much less repair a simple thing like a toilet.
Right now, my wife got after me to get us a second car; I said, “Honey, the only way we’re getting a second car right now is if I build the thing myself; like an old-fashioned Ford Model T.”
She called me on it.
I just obtained plans for several horseless carriages, and fabrication begins in March. I have to learn 8 new skills to do this, but you never know until you try!
Lets see today’s metrosexual/girly-man do that!

bhparkman on January 3, 2008 at 9:47 pm

Debbie, thanks to you, nowadays I wake up my oldest son with “get up, girlieman,” whenever he oversleeps to 11AM. Makes him grin (a pinkish sort of grin) every time.

Shy Guy on January 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm

I just love that necklace, I actually have something similar to that and I’m interested to find the stylish men’s necklace.

Mens Necklaces on December 23, 2008 at 11:47 pm

I find nothing wrong with the “issue” let men wear what they want to wear… so what now? People are going to make producers create a “Manly” character so the boys will be more manly? That’s like mind controlling they’re exposed to everything and they can choose what they feel they like. And I’m sorry how many men do you see wear hello kitty and pearl necklaces compared to ALL of the men in the world. The percentage is 1 maybe 2 possibly 3% out of a hundred. Quit making it a big deal and let people do what they want to do.

chi on November 2, 2009 at 12:21 am

I got a real kick out of reading this article. First because it shows that more men are finally getting liberated. Women have long since liberated themselves from most of the stereotypes of western society but men have only been backed more and more into a corner. I find it encouraging that men are finally starting to say “to heck with what you think I should be”.

Second, I got a big kick out of Debbie’s writing style. I’m not sure whether she is just trying to provoke a reaction or if she truly has such a blatant sexist attitude toward men. If the later, I’m happy to tell you Debbie, women’s time as the only liberated gender able to express themselves however they choose is coming to end.

PCD on November 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm

lol we have another anne coulter in the work s lol your article is so hurtful and sexist congratulations debbie on insulting people and making them feel bad

people continue to worship the gender binary but why? women can wear pants but when a man wears ONE LITTLE PEARL, WELL THEN EVERYONE LOSES THEIR MINDS!!!

lol and saying people who have non-masculine tendencies have mental illness, I think people who concern themselves with how other people live their lives like that have mental illness. lol labeling things as inherently “bad” and “good”. not liking guns does not make you girly it makes you a pacifist, there is a huge difference, there are a lot of girls who like shooting guns

trixie on November 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Yeah I agree with Trixie, this Debbie woman is a bigoted idiot. Hey TERFS, ready to accept a new member???? She looks like a prime candidate for TERF bigoted views.

Chelsea on November 10, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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