With the final series of Jersey Shore recently announced, phrases like ‘gym tan laundry’ and looking ‘fresh to death’ have now become common place amongst budding guidos wanting to live the Jersey Shore lifestyle.
After first fist-pumping onto our screens in 2009, the series that promoted beautiful bodies, fake tans, over-plucked eyebrows and blowout hairstyles (and that was just the guys) developed a cult following and inadvertently changed the way some men approach grooming.
However, this has led to the question – is it OK for men to put as much time and effort into looking good as women do?
For a long time Kiwi men have trailed behind women in terms of personal grooming. Traditionally, Kiwi guys aimed to portray the image of the rugged Southern Man, more at home on a Speight’s billboard than in the beauty aisle of the local Countdown. However, slowly over time, a simple regime of shaving with soap and water has changed to manicured stubble, full body waxes and anti-wrinkle under eye creams.
Is this the new generation of the Kiwi male? Are depictions on television influencing the grooming choices of the average Kiwi bloke? Or is there just a greater expectation from women to keep their men tidy and presentable? Either way, shows like Jersey Shore are putting male grooming and vanity at the forefront of this generation’s pop culture psyche.