The Lumbersexual: What’s Really Going On Here?

December 10, 2014

Okay, I think we’ve had enough. Is this “lumbersexual” thing over yet?

The answer is no. And you can blame the original metrosexuals, David Beckham and Justin Timberlake, for growing up and paving the way for this evolution. (Yes, ladies. Justin Timberlake.)

These heavy-bearded, Red-Wing-wearing urbanites are creating a whole new category for themselves.  Many have said these men are more concerned with existing in the outdoors than grooming habits. But I totally disagree.

For some background, “metrosexual” is roughly defined as “young men in urban areas with a high disposable income and a penchant for grooming.” Just put a beard on that definition and you’ve got yourself a lumbersexual. They’ve evolved from today’s hipster, do care about their grooming habits (beards don’t just do this), and high-end fashion just means Red Wing boots, well-tailored denim and a hatchet accessory.

This trend shouldn’t seem out of the blue. There has been lead-up, research and work done in anticipation for this trend — it’s just taken a turn that no one was prepared for.

2010 was the year the big beauty players took aim at men, six years after the official arrival of the “metrosexual” couldn’t sustain mass marketing appeal. Unilever made men the focus of its biggest launch that year for its Dove for Men line, and 2010 also saw P&G taking its stance on masculinity with this memorable Old Spice ad:

It’s true. Although attitudes towards men’s grooming and beauty have been evolving ever since the famous Nixon vs. Kennedy debate, research shows that the minute a dude feels emasculated, it’s game over. I’m generalizing here, but if guys need to look like a rugged outdoorsmen to feel good about their beauty regimen, so be it. A British study recently found that men have been costing their girlfriends/wives/sisters an estimated £19.50 a month from sneakily using their beauty products. Go ahead and carry that hatchet in your Duluth pack when you buy your beard oil and Dove + Men body wash. If that means my stuff is safe and you all feel comfortable in the “beauty” aisle – more power to ya, boys!

Trends and popular culture phenomena can evolve from so many events and contexts, but they don’t just happen overnight. Whether you agree with me or not, one thing is for sure – I hope the lumbersexual sticks around. Joy for days.

Lumbersexual Meme