The Most Interesting Man in the World

25 03 2009

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:

dos-equis

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.


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6 responses

28 04 2009
Lady vanessa

he is NOT interesting at all, just another typical dumb ass Macho Man! his ilk are a dime a dozen, and they are all boring as hell.

29 04 2009
sunny

models of masculinity…the print ad Marlboro Man, Ernest Hemingway, Rock Hudson, even Marlon Brando…..

…not all quite as it seems. And I’m not diminishing any of these men. Only pointing out that The Most Interesting Man In the World — for all the tail-chasing, safari hunting, jujitsu learning, espionage-doing, alcohol admiring, epicurean taste loving — inevitably he’s……a dud.

7 05 2009
Area Man

That’s the whole idea, at least what I gather from it. The Most Interesting Man in the World might be a dud, but the audacity and embellishment is what makes it what it is: It’s a joke, son, don’tcha get it? (as Foghorn Leghorn might say)

1 06 2009
Abyssal

I honestly was amused by the Interesting Man character. “He once had an awkward moment… just to see what it was like.” Lol.

4 06 2009
Cwes

People, it’s a commercial… and a good one at that!

28 10 2009
Pete75

In Australia we call shaving below the neck “Manscaping”. We all have a bit of a laugh at it but I don’t think anyone would (could) question your masculinity on that basis.

There’s a beer advert here (for VB) where marchers representing all of the various groups of people are carrying banners in a parade. So you’ve got “Blokes who’ve had their arm up a cow” with men dressed as farmers escorted by a couple of calves, “Blokes who Took a Sickie to be Here” and they’re covering their face, “The Historical Reenactors” with fellas dressed in varous historical garb, The “Streakers” with guys and girls runnning about naked and “The Manscapers” where the guys look particularly well groomed.

The idea being that it’s all good, everyone is different and accepted. The march ends in a pub where all the groups mix and share a beer and a tale. Everyone is accepted. It’s a bit of harmless humour.

Look, the “Most Interesting Man in the World” is just another bit of humour. I don’t think we should spend too much time overanalysing it. Nor do I think anyone would seriously reconsider their own masculinity on the basis of seeing that advert.

Much less a nice spot of “Manscaping”….

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