When it comes to men we’ve got aftershave, ties, shirts, cufflinks, wallets and keychains, cool clocks and if they’re interested (and you have the budget) then electronics. Then there’s some levels; the Dad ones -- endless funny or sentimental mugs, monogrammed hankies, socks, and the boyfriend ones - laptop bags, cologne, watches, beer mugs, sexy underthings, chocolates. Also there is always single-malt whiskey. The list is finite and frankly, kind of boring. And sure, you might have cracked it with your boyfriend and got him some really amazing things he loved, but how many months before did you plan?
So is the answer men are boring and have no imagination or are they victims of the same gender stereotyping that thought your mother would be delighted by a washing machine for her birthday? And isn’t it time we expanded the horizons; smudged those boundaries between what men should and shouldn’t want? Sure the flowers and the chocolates are always sweet, but if you’ve ever done the online searches for ‘gifts for men’ they all seem to fit a certain image of how men should be. They’re strong and rugged and into outdoor sports and campfires. They have a commanding presence and are silent and stoic, with an herculean control over their emotions. They know all about gadgets and electronics and get really voluble when they’re more than two of them peering into the engine of a car. They don’t cook for necessity, only for pleasure and then it's usually something exotic. They also don’t need much grooming and self-care and already look sexy just out of bed in the morning.
Nope, you’re thinking. Thats not how it is at all! The men we know and love come in all shapes and sizes, and are emotionally all over the place, pretty much like women. Some are worried about losing weight, some have acne and desperately want it gone. Some are really skilled at cooking regular home food like rajma-chawal and bhindi fry and chicken curry. Some are terrified of cooking because their grandmother told them there is no place for men in the kitchen. And yet others really love the delicious herbaceous aromas of the spa treatments women put on their skin and they just don’t know how to legitimately get some without being ridiculed. They’re stuck with stealing samples in secret from the bathroom shelf.
Isn’t it about time men got to engage with stuff they both love and need and not only in shades of black, charcoal and tan? Where are the alternatives to pants and shirts? A majority of men love unstructured clothes and soft flowing fabrics once they try them. (There’s a reason those horrible stained old tshirts stay around- softened by age!) Many don’t ever return to jeans when they find soft cotton pants that breathe. And as much out here as it is, when do men get to wear skirts and things that don’t encase each leg, without being humiliated for their choices or having their masculinity questioned? Traditionally lungis, mundus and dhotis were the answer for our fathers and grandfathers, but what recourse do millennial urban men have?
So while you’re digesting all this, make a pact to get the men in your life a different kind of present next time, something that nurtures self-care rather than expects them to be strong and silent; an all-time moisturizer or a brightening skin serum. Who knows how they react? But they’ll probably love it.
Do your products work on Men as well ? Or are they specially made for Women ?