I’ve come back to this subject first aired yesterday, as I have a little bit more to say about it.
And I’ve finally remembered, after wasting hours yesterday flailing around and swearing, how to embed the video of Ollie Locke and his make up tips (see above) properly.
What has been pointed out to me since I posted this yesterday, by my lovely Twitter pal @breeplayer, is that I predicted this trend towards men wearing make up in ‘real life’ in my book Handbags and Gladrags, which came out in 2004. Oooh!
The heroine’s (ghastly) image-obsessed husband is a brand manager fora major cosmetics line called Slap and there is a plot point around the idea of ‘Slap for Chaps’ – make up for meterosexual men. I’d completely forgotten about it until Bree reminded me. (That’s normal for me. I forget everything about my books the minute I’ve finished them. Odd.)
Here’s a snippet from it: ‘Slap for Chaps was having a stand at the selling exhibition as well and he’d probably be parading around wearing it, I realised, with a sinking heart. I knew it had done amazing things for the precious ‘brand’, but I still didn’t enjoy seeing my husband got up like Hugh Grant from the neck down and Eddie Izzard fromt he neck up.’
What makes it even more thrilling is that the horrible husband’s name is… wait for it…. Ollie! How spooky is that?
But I have to say, this has happened with most of my books – something I’ve made up becomes an actual fact at a later point. It’s very odd. I’m not saying I have the power of prophecy (if only – Lottery numbers anyone?), but it fits in with Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious, which I’ve always found compelling.
Certainly, when fiction writing really starts to flow, you feel like you aren’t so much making it up, as having it fed to you. It’s most peculiar and other novelists have confirmed the same feeling. The less you think it, the more it happens. This is the mechanism by which plots seem to work themselves out.
I don’t think it’s some supernatural phenomenon, I think it’s allowing the bit of the brain we don’t actively operate – the subconcious – to do its thing. So thanks to Bree, for pointing this one out to me.
Now, back to Slap for Chaps (and resuming yesterday’s post).
Last week we wondered whether men can wear skirts and judging by the comments the majority view is: Yes, why not, and please do.
Then along comes Ollie Locke, from the guilty pleasure joy that is the new British TV show ‘Made in Chelsea’. Along comes Ollie with his bronzer…
Ollie wears make up every day and thinks all men should. He’s straight by the way. As he exhorts from the opening moments of this video clip: ‘It doesn’t make you any less manly…’
Actually, I think it does. I think it makes him look like a big girl. A rather mixed up lady boy.
Oddly, a girl it particularly makes him look like is Gabriella Ellis (lounging casually below), who features in the same show, which is in the ‘scripted documentary’ format, of real people in contrived situations. It’s made by the same company which came up with the first UK version of that genre, cult hit ‘The Only Way Is Essex’.
To get back to Ollie’s face slap, I’m confused by my reaction to it, because I do heartily stand by my belief that men should be allowed to wear all kinds of garments – just as women wear trousers, tuxedos etc. I’m all for freedom of self expression.
But while I loved David Bowie and Boy George as much as the next 80s kid – and totally get the Keith Richards/Jack Sparrow bad boy eye liner, I just don’t fancy a man in day make up. Although I do find Ollie a terribly engaging character. I think he’s got great comic timing in that clip.
I think it’s the idea of sharing a bathroom with one. My husband uses moisturiser, but imagine having to fight with your bloke for the hair straightener? Or even mirror time. Reckon that would be in short supply for anyone else in Ollie’s gaff.
One thing I am with Ollie on though – the time-saving marvel that is dry shampoo.
So what do you think about straight men wearing make up?
PS: This is really Saturday’s post, but it came along today and one thing I learned over years on newspapers is – never sit on a good story.
So this is instead of Saturday’s in case another choice item comes along.
And another thing – I do have to keep saying this – I have a new book out. Lots of columns. Marvellously good fun and all that.