Dos Equis has an a Most Interesting Man in the World campaign (click here to see one of their commercials), where the “most interesting man” (played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith) gives advice on various topics, such as “packages” (how men should leave wearing tight pants to the ladies), careers, mixed nuts (not sure about that one…) and grooming.
Here is one of their ads where the Most Interesting Man imparts his opinions regarding grooming:
So men who shave below the neck have too much time on their hands and aren’t manly enough? “Real” men aren’t supposed to shave below the neck? Goldsmith, as the Most Interesting Man in the World, has a lot of facial hair. So is that to say that in order to be a real man, and an interesting one too, one has to have a lot of facial hair?
This is interesting because it also speaks to social norms relating to masculinity and body hair. It seems that in today’s day and age, it’s more socially acceptable for men to remove hair on their bodies – on their backs, their chests, their stomachs, even their eyebrows, etc. However, is hair removal for men considered a feminine thing to do (especially since women are supposed to be hairless)? Does getting some part of your body waxed compromise your masculinity?
Aestheticizing the male body (getting one’s nails done, hair removal, wearing makeup, etc.) tends to be perceived as a very effeminate or a “gay” (or “metro”) thing to do. This Dos Equis ad campaign doesn’t challenge stereotypes. Instead it seems to highlight and support the construction of a rugged masculinity – a “real” man has facial hair and body hair after all.