Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Grubby Look

Have you ever wondered how much work it must take for men to maintain the "grubby look"? First of all, I don't really understand the homeless unshaven appearance that a lot of men have adopted, and I don't find it attractive. But, I suppose it gives a look of masculinity to otherwise rather ordinary looking men. Both Bradley Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal have slightly asymmetrical faces, so the scruffy beard does -- in some way -- actually make them look slightly better. I wonder, though, how do they do it? Do they use special razors to maintain that oh-so-perfect five-day beard? Do they shave every few days and then hide away until it grows in -- just so? My goodness, it must be a lot of work keeping that maintained. Or maybe Gillette was not the best a man could get, after all...

The grubby-look trend for women is blonde hair and dark roots, the darker the better. At one time women would have been embarrassed to allow roots like this to be visible. Now it seems to be a badge of honor. It is no longer a fashion faux-pas, but an intentional look. Meg Ryan will be 50 years old next year, and Jennifer Aniston is no longer on the sunny side of 40, so the chances of their roots actually being picture-perfect brown are pretty slim. But never fear, there are salons that specialize in dying the roots of your hair dark, just so you too can have this look. It actually costs a lot of money to look this way.

I suppose the appearance of totally neglecting one's grooming has become the new style with a certain je ne sais quoi, and if folks can get away with it, well -- that's fine. Just -- please -- don't bring back the mullet, or hairy legs and armpits. I don't think I could deal with that.

32 comments:

The Bug said...

This is funny. I spent quite a while in the hair color aisle yesterday trying to figure out what I want to do about my hair. My hair is dark brown with a lot of gray (well, maybe not a LOT - I still have more pepper than salt). I've been using a medium brown with a slight red tint. Dr. M likes it when I go lighter because then the color matches my ditziness. But I want to stop messing with all this eventually - and I don't want all this visible root growing out business. I think I might just shave my head & start over. Sigh.

Katy said...

I briefly dated a guy who had the five o'clock shadow look, but he was a musician and I'm pretty shure (judging from other things)it was more of a product of his laziness than anything else.

The thing I really don't get though is the "messy poneytail." These otherwise pretty girls spend FOREVER trying to make their hair look like it hasn't been brushed in days. Its gross.

Paul C said...

I wonder if 'the grubby look' is cheaper at the salons? I doubt it.

A human kind of human said...

Jo, once again you have touched on something that has had me wondering for a long time. How do those met maintain those beards. My own hubby has a beard and guess who is his barber (lol) and I just cannot understand how they keep it so very short.

Single and Sane said...

My roots are certainly growing lighter all the time! I have wondered what those men would think if women went with the look of 5-days' growth on our legs.

It annoys me that they can camouflage double chins and sagging jaw lines with beards...including those wannabe beards.

PinkPanthress said...

Though I understand you view on this Look...
I have to say, some men do look good like that. *blushes* And I sometimes enjoy this look on a particular man.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Grubby? I think it can be cute looking. I think long hair and stubble suits me.

lakeviewer said...

Fashion tests the limits all the time. If it's new,and nobody has done it, it must be good.

Fortunately, at my age, I don't follow fashion trends.

Men are looking scuzzier and scuzzier. Who knew that was sexy!

Whitney Lee said...

I will say the grubby look has its moments. It's unfortunate that it's morphed into the new look.

What I find unfair is that I have the genuine grubby look going and it has apparently failed to make me any sexier!

Joyce said...

Peaking in at your blog today and I posted a few weeks ago my hair being colored and was proud to get rid of those gray and white roots. Guess when they get gray and white they will be quicker to do a touch up. Honestly they touch up all of their other body parts so what is with this hair thing? I just don't get it.
Joyce

SparkleFarkle said...

Even more unattractive is when more "mature" stars think they can pull off the grubby face. Not too long ago, I saw Michael Douglas sporting The Look. He was being interviewed by a Daytime talk show host, and was talking about his recent knee surgery and other assorted aches and pains, no less! It was like watching some old codger in line for a nursing home shave, swapping stories while he waits! LOL! (Douglas wearing suspenders didn't help matters either. LOLouder!)

Kimberly said...

Need I remind you of George Michael? I thought so.

L. D. Burgus said...

I really am so disappointed that the rich and famous have to have an ungroomed look. Kids in school today do not know how to clean up and comb their hair. Sometimes when I was teaching I would take a kid aside that I had know for quite of few years and say, you have a handsome face and you mask it with a trend.

Rebecca said...

I'm not a huge fan of the scruffy look. My hubby has to shave every single day or he truly looks homeless. When he was young and his beard was chocolate brown his narrow face was swallowed up with dark shadows if he went even a single day without a shave. Now that he's graying not shaving isn't an option. Again, he looks like the bag-man that lives downtown at the Jesus House if he loses his razor for more than 24 hours.

About the hairy legs and arms on women and the visible roots? No thanks to that either...

Brenda's Arizona said...

My husband wears a beard, but he keeps it trim. His beard trimmer/razor conked out, so we went to buy a new one. What did we find? Lots of razors that trim you to have the 'scruffy' look. HUH?

Love your observations, Jo!

Michelle said...

Great posting! Love it. My hubby has the 'grubby' look quite often, he has a problem that his beard grows in very quickly. I do like the look on him though, he suits it and also suits the shaven look! I am not sure about the dark roots and blonde hair style though - kind of reminds me of painted finger nails when the nail polish is chipping off...
Michelle

Jo said...

My husband hates to shave. He won't use an electric either. He has a mustache and goatee, all white, so even a day or two unshaven makes him look like an old billy goat - lol. So frequent trips to the barber are in order for his beard to stay nice.

As for the grubby look, I don't care for it either. Elegance is sadly old fashioned - just look at some of the get ups at the oscars.

Yikes, I am getting old.

DJan said...

So true, Jo. I like the grubby look on the guys, but I have actually wondered what is the deal with the dark roots. I guess I'm not very hip. Or it could be that I grew up in another era where we actually looked nice on purpose.

Cloudia said...

takes work to look "just so" disheveled :)




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The Panorama said...

Jo, I love men with a stubble but not a beard but yes, they have to carry it off well. There is a fine line between an attractive stubble and a shabby unkempt look.

Everything the stars do is acquired at the salons.

Firefly said...

I don't go for the grubby look. I shave only every other day cause of sensitive skin and that is more than grubby enough for me. LOL.

Wolynski said...

Most men hate shaving - putting a razor to your face first thing in the morning can't be pleasant. Full beards are unhygenic - particles of food and all that. The grungy look just requires some scissors.

Hair on women is a cultural thing. Personally, I don't see why women should shave their armpits, but not men. Most European women don't shave their pits and why should they?

Sheer stockings brought on the need for shaving legs. If women never started shaving them, they'd still have baby hair that's hardly noticeable.

I don't mind hairy women at all, but then I'm European.

A.M. said...

Okay this might be TMI but my sister dated this one guy for years, anyways way too long and his hair always had to be perfect. Over time I realized that the rest of his body had to be perfect as well. So one day he called me up when my sister was away and he asked me to shave his back :P. So what I'm trying to say is that men spend way more time trying to get ready and "perfect" themselves than women do and when a man spends more time getting ready than I do...it's time to hit the road :o)

Land of shimp said...

I don't mind the unshaven look. Some people carry off a mussed look well. Now, I almost always think that same person would look better clean-shaven but there are exceptions. I think there are a lot of ways to be attractive, and I like it when people don't all do the same thing.

The root look doesn't bother me, it's supposed to give the sun-kissed look. As if your hair has been lightened by the sun. It's neither here nor there for me.

My husband would just be an enormous ball of fuzz if he didn't shave. He's of Irish descent and he'd just be a pair of blue eyes peering out from a tangle of fur if he ever grew a beard. However, there's many a weekend where he doesn't shave, and it was at my urging. He has a very heavy beard, it's time consuming, and not all that pleasant to do. I know if I absolutely had to shave my legs everyday to maintain a smooth look...I likely wouldn't. I have exceptionally fine hair though, and not much of it on my legs, so I don't have to shave my legs that frequently.

Just saying, I can see why men might appreciate a look that encourages them to skip shaving on an everyday basis. It's not the same as not being clean, my husband doesn't shave on the weekends (unless we're having a date night) but he showers.

There's also something else: in terms of societal structure, part of the reason looks and styles change is to try and set apart the past from the present. It's a choice made to mark the difference from generation to generation. A cycle.

I'm personally glad that the Hippie look of the 60s and the hippie look of today has a key difference: Bathing and deodorant! Looking a little mussed can be endearing, and even attractive. Not bathing is just yucky :-)

Sam Liu said...

Oh the mullet - fear it, fear it! I've seen pictures, and I definitely don't want to see it for real!

As for the homeless (yes, homeless) look, I don't think those movie star men have to worry about it. They just sit back, sip their lat├ęs and ring for the make-up assistant :D

jblack designs said...

Good points...I've pondered it myself. To me stubble seems like it would be a spontaneous, aw-to-hell-with-it thing--but to maintain the perfect stubble that some of these actors have had for years--now that takes hard work.

As for our casual nature--I love a line David Sedaris once said at a reading about how slovenly American tourists are in France--"I don't think we should be dressed," he said, "looking as if we'd come to mow their lawns."

Sad but true.

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Sniffles and Smiles said...

Sigh...I'm rather partial to the grubby look...don't ask me why...And I would LOVE to look like Meg Ryan...she's one of my all-time faves!!!! Fun, fun post!!! I'm grinning from ear to ear!! Have a terrific weekend, Jo!! Love, Janine XPO

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Sadly, I have that look going on and I didn't even try to look like that! The last time I wanted my hair foiled, the hairdresser insisted on using a dark brown first, then proceeding. It's the new way to get the look just right, I was told. Nature is now ading different shades of silver and gray, same color at the roots...... oh, well.

Eternally Distracted said...

I am totally with you on the hairy legs and armpits... pleassseeee NO!!

I kind of like the scruffy looking man - but then, I'm a lesbian so who am I to judge ;)

and what has Meg ryan done to her face? She used to look so beautiful and now she is resembling the pages found in a plastic surgeons 'what not to do' book!

Laurie said...

Just saw a guy with a carefully cultivated mullet last night at a "hip" rock club. I couldn't help but stare and wonder if he knew how ridiculous he looked.

I'm waiting for white roots to be a hot new look...that way I'll be fashionable about one week out of six. ;-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The dark roots on very blond hair trend began with Debbie Harry of Blondie, who looked good IN SPITE OF IT because she was gorgeous. I have never dyed my hair because it grows very fast and I would have visible roots most of the time. (Obviously I am hopelessly untrendy.)

I have also wondered how men keep the 3-day old stubble going. There must be special razors that position themselves above the skin and only lop off the tips of beard hairs.

It's amusing that so much effort goes into maintaining a look that implies one doesn't care about his/her appearance. Even sillier than wearing a lot of makeup to look unmade up.