Why the girly men? 4th attempt

I’ve generally stuck up for young Japanese guys with their hairspray and whathaveyou, including reminding disapproving Westerners of New Romantics and Glam Rock. I’ve always been, however, quite sceptical that women can really, truly find “new men” (of any kind) attractive, even if they think that is what they want.

A science programme on Radio 4, however, proves me wrong. With made up computer generated faces they proved that, unsurprisingly, men are basically predictable and we all like the same thing (I should remind you that we are talking about faces here!) Women, however, were clearly divided into those who liked and disliked macho, square-jawed men. Whether that could be culturally determined or change over time didn’t get a mention, but interesting none the less…

Should you be wondering, theories one and two were about reacting against their gruff but actually quite weak fathers and the influence of in the closet gay fashion leaders (similar to 1970s UK). Can’t remember what number three was…



  1. March 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Even if they think that is what they want? Wow, patronize a little harder, will ya? (Or maybe that’s defensiveness…)

  2. alexcase said,

    March 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Certainly wouldn’t claim that my own romantic choices are rational, if that helps at all…

  3. Kuristaru said,

    March 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I have lots of Japanese female friends, and there are many of them who are *very* much attracted to the ‘girly men’ – But I think it’s more in style than behavior. They’re non-threatening, and they look ‘cute’ – and many Japanese girls love cute things! Having a cute boyfriend next to your own cute self makes a cute coupling, and that’s super kawaii!!

    American men do it too – but to a much lesser extreme – with manicures, “manscaping” and all that typical stuff that only girls used to do.

    Men just try to give women what they think the women want. In Japan’s case – from my personal experience of being an American girl living here for many months – I truly think it’s what most of the girls do want!

    But not all the men here are like that. They seem to either be that cutesy type, or they are really, *really* bad-ass tough guys. (I chose the latter for my love.. :-) )

  4. crella said,

    March 28, 2011 at 1:07 am

    “they are really, *really* bad-ass tough guys”

    Like this guy? :-D


    • Kuristaru said,

      March 28, 2011 at 9:08 am

      Exactly! Thanks a lot for sharing that link, crella – I hadn’t heard that one yet.. There is something very tough and ‘bad-ass’ about honor, too, and I’ve seen a lot of that here! :)

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this question since first posting – and looking around at all the men here (like I needed an excuse to do that :p ) I still think that they do the ‘girly’ style for the attention of women, because most of those guys have an equally ‘cute’ girly girl on their arm.

      I’ve noticed when I’ve talked to guys here, they’re mostly painfully shy rather than effeminate. I don’t know if that’s just because I’m a girl, American, that I speak mainly English, or some combination of all those factors that makes them particularly shy towards me.
      I’ve never experienced that extreme level of shyness from guys anywhere else. It’s kind of endearing.. lol. I just want to give them a hug and tell them not to be afraid of me. ;)

  5. crella said,

    March 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

    You’re welcome! I loved that story.

  6. alexcase said,

    March 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Another possibility is just that the relevant companies just market their products to men better. There are also a lot more hair dye products for older men here than in a British chemist’s, and marketing has to be the secret of the success of the companies that dominate what is available in Japanese pharmacies, because every single product of Kao, for example, is complete and utter crap

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