“Man braids” are apparently the newest trend that will hit the heads of menfolk this year. I’m sure their braids will look pair so well with other trends like beard baubles, mustache glitter, and whatever other Pinterest-fueled fad that looks more fun than practical. Beyond the fact that braids can’t be a new trend (cough cornrows cough), my main annoyance is with the name. Man-braids.
It follows the same formula as the "man-bun". Adding 'man' in front of it is pointless. It’s a bun. You don’t need to establish that the bun is on the man’s head, because it looks exactly the same. It’s hair rolled up in a ball, tied with an elastic or if you're feeling retro, a big ol' scrunchie. Unless you’re growing a pair of testicles out of your head, I don’t think you need to establish that the hairstyle is directly tied to your manhood.
This formula of manning up hairstyles is just another symptom of #masculinitysofragile. It's a pretty common scenario in fashion, advertising and everyday life where men will jump through ridiculous hoops to preserve their masculinity. It's not just refusing to share products with women, it's making sure that products be made specifically to stroke the male ego. They mask their insecurities with slate grey and black designs, violent imagery, and adding 'dude'/'bro'/'guy'/'man' to separate themselves from the pack of women and beta-males. Sure, you could just buy regular tissues, but only real men by tough tissues. You could buy bodywash that describes actual scents like 'honey' or 'jasmine', but real men don't need that. Want to know some Axe bodywash names? Black Chill, Phoenix, Snake Peel, Anarchy.
Women's deodorant scents: rose, cotton, spring, meadow Men's: WINTER ICE, SHARKNADO, GLACIER PUNCH, ANTIFREEZE, GUN
— Sophie Gadd (@sophie_gadd) December 1, 2014
People tried to make "bro-gurt" a thing. Someone thought that yogurt was somehow too feminine to shove into their face-hole, so they had to change it to have more protein and come in man-sizes. Some people call men doing yoga "broga". Some people like to make up manly loofahs. You don't need to make up names for these things because the names already exist!
Do whatever you want with your hair. Braid it, bun it, curl it, but don’t you dare let your fragile egos get in the way. I don’t want to hear about brony-tails instead of ponytails, bro-outs instead of blow-outs, up-dudes instead of up-dos, or bobs with a capital ‘B’.
I won’t question your masculinity if you style your hair and beard together in one ouroboros of French braid and shove daisies into it, but I will question your maturity if you're more afraid of a hairstyle's name than the style itself.