The Decade In Masculinity
Peak Year: 2007
Hipster men eschew many traditionally masculine activities—lifting weights, listening to butt rock, taking beer bongs. However, hipsters often compensate for the perceived femininity of their alternative lifestyle by adopting a series of hyper-masculine traits, only "ironically"—ironic mustaches, ironic racism, ironic Pabst consumption.
Ambassadors: Dov Charney's army of retail nymphs.
Uniform: Ironic child molester glasses, ironic mustache, ironic sweater.
Activities: Listening to records, snorting things, appropriating ethnic clothing.
Peak Year: 2008
The late-00's onslaught of virginal young men represent Boy Bands redux. Traditionally, the virtue of chastity has been pushed on little girls as a decidedly feminine trait. While Justin Timberlake's early-2000's girlfirend, Britney Spears, famously claimed she was waiting to marry J.T. to get it on (she didn't), Timberlake's own sexual history was never the focus of speculation. And more recent male virginal phenomenons—like the Jonas Brothers and Twilight's Edward Cullen—are marketed with girls in mind, as well. We know that Cullen's reluctance to sex up girlfriend Bella Swan before marriage means that Bella will stay a virgin until she gets hitched, but Edward's own sexual past is unexplained in the Twilight series. The Jonas Brothers alone have managed to shift chastity speculation onto boys: Rumors that the Jonas Brothers' promise rings aren't telling the whole truth run rampant on the Internet.
Ambassadors: The Jonas Brothers, Edward Cullen
Uniform: Promise rings.
Activities: Anything to keep their minds off things.
Peak Year: 2009
The cast of MTV reality show train wreck Jersey Shore offers up an interesting contrast between the masculinity of the self-described "Guidos" and the femininity of the "Guidettes." Both male and female members of the subcultureappear to spend the same amount of energy and time on their appearances—the men regularly go to the salon, spend hours at the gym, sun themselves in tanning beds, blow-dry their hair, and fastidiously apply glossy chapstick. Just don't call them metrosexual. The guido's traditionally feminine beauty regimen is accompanied by some hyper-masculine behaviors—competing with each other over laying claim to women, punching strangers, and making fun of men who cook.
Ambassadors: The cast of Jersey Shore
Uniform: Tan, muscles, glossy chapstick
Activities: Tanning, working out, dancing, fighting