Whether we take the vivid blue and red face of the Mandrill baboon, the massive mustache of the Emperor tamarin or the geometric shaped hairstyle of the De Brazza’s monkey, they all do it well.
Throughout my own life I have witnessed a change in how the modern man presents himself in society. To some extent - whether lesser or greater - the outward appearance of a man is an indicator of his inner self, what he thinks and how he feels. I remember as a child in the 70s witnessing the rise of punk culture, seeing young men with clothing festooned with zips, studs and chains, and bright circular saw blade-like mohicans. The punk fashion did indeed make a statement, alerting others to their rebellious response to the political and economic climate of the time.
Previous to this era, an era launched before my time, were the mods and rockers. Mods were the stylish kids wearing suits and skinny ties, cruising the streets on scooters. The rockers were the leather clad bunch with greased and slicked pompadours who rode motorcycles.
As I entered my teens, through the 80s, fashions and clan identity had further splintered into a number of subcultures, seeing at one end of the spectrum shirts, ties and pleated trousers, and at the other end, long haired, denim and leather garbed heavy metal grebs. Goth culture, characterised by black clothing, black hair and black makeup mingled in somewhere but remained somewhat elusive.
Passing quickly through the 90s, when we see many of those strong fashion images dissolve away, we arrive at the present time when it’s not so easy to identify any tribal affiliation. Anything goes, and many of the fashions from previous times are mixed and matched to create individual and very personal identities.
The fashions adopted by the mods, rockers, punks, goths etc. might not be everyone’s choice, but very often, they did it well. They did it well because they wanted (and some still do) to define themselves clearly. I’m always struck by the vast diversity of monkeys in the natural world. Whether we take the vivid blue and red face of the Mandrill baboon, the massive moustache of the Emperor tamarin or the geometric shaped hairstyle of the De Brazza’s monkey, they all do it well.
An unkempt, slipshod appearance suggests to others a diminished self worth, ill discipline, lacking self awareness. Though not always the case, this is often true, marked not only by a man’s lack of attention to personal grooming but also his countenance. It is a well documented fact that an individual’s mood can be boosted by his appearance.
At a time when our liberties and freedom have been shackled by government force, perhaps even feeling like they have been truly dashed to pieces, it is possible to introduce a narrow sliver of light into each day by paying closer attention to grooming and appearance. Perhaps having a shave or styling your hair might generate that boost to achieve greater things.
Whatever your fashion says about you, whether it’s a smorgasbord of eras gone by or a T-rex onesie, do it well.