maggiealderson

Slap for chaps

In Beauty, Book, Famous people, Men on May 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

 

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.

 

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  1. As soon as I read the post I thought “how weird – Maggie had that character Ollie who wore makeup”. Yet the author herself forgets!

  2. I wonder what Joe Jackson makes of it all – he prophesied blurring between the sexes in his song “real Men” from 1982. Google it for the lyrics. “Now and then we wonder who the real men are”.

  3. definitely not thick, Maggie. I think it’s the whole thing of moving on to the next creative project. Anyway, I am like you, I feel really ambivalent about men in makeup (mim), particularly to the level as demonstrated by Olliie ( although he is funny). I feel such hypocrite, I find men dying their hair to hide the grey in the hope of looking younger, cringe inducing. Whereas, apparently it is fine for me to do it!
    Btw – do eyelash curlers really work?

  4. I have no probs with men wearing eyeliner & mascara actually gnomonic can look sexy, foundation/bronzed? Well I guess if it’s done properly u shouldn’t notice it 😉 can’t imagine liking lipstick on a guy thou… Funny isn’t it? Btw loving yr new book it’s lovely having the collection 😉

  5. I think the key phrase that really puts me off is WEARS IT EVERY DAY. Heck, I’m a woman and I don’t wear makeup every day. I wear it to work, or for a big night out, but every day would be a total drag. Let’s face it, it’s a bit of a hassle and suggest you aren’t 100% comfortable in your own skin.

    Here’s my verdict:
    – If a guy has really bad skin (acne, wierd colouration)foundation is OK, likewise if he’s gay or working as an actor/dancer/model. Otherwise it’s a ‘no’ from me.

    – guyliner or a touch or black eyeshadow is fine, especially if he’s dressed as a pirate.

    -Bronzer? wtf? No bronzer, please. Or mascara.

    -Lipstick? If applied in an ironic, toungue-in-cheek Eddie Izzard way maybe. He really needs to have BUCKETS of personality to pull this one off.

  6. Dear Maggie, I would very much like to have your permission to quote (on my site) a small section of the comment you made on my work/site that appeared on maggiealdersonstylenotes.wordpress.com 2011/05/17. What do you think? And, if you agree, how do we do this?
    Many thanks and regards,
    Bernadette Green
    Bernadette Green Couture
    http://www.enrobe-moi.com
    (response can be sent via contact page in nav bar/home page on the site)

    • What did I say? Can you send me your email on here and we’ll sort it out. Thank you for asking – many wouldn’t… x

      • Dear Maggie, I would very much like to have your permission to quote (on my site) a small section of the comment you made on my work/site that appeared on maggiealdersonstylenotes.wordpress.com 2011/05/17. What do you think? And, if you agree, how do we do this?
        Many thanks and regards,
        Bernadette Green
        Bernadette Green Couture
        http://www.enrobe-moi.com
        (response can be sent via contact page in nav bar/home page on the site)
        Reply
        Bernadette Green 25 May 2011 at 8am

        What did I say? Can you send me your email on here and we’ll sort it out. Thank you for asking – many wouldn’t… x
        Reply
        maggiealderson 26 May 2011 at 8am

  7. Dear Maggie,
    Did you get my reply?

    Many thanks and regards,

    Bernadette Green
    Bernadette Green Couture
    http://www.enrobe-moi.com

  8. Dear Maggie, So funny, just re-reading your “Handbags” book at the moment – Ollie and the Slap for Chaps, etc. Emily, Ursula and crew – good to revisit. BX

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Maggie Alderson

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