The Sexist

Celebrate Gay Marriage In D.C. With A Heteronormative Haircut!


City Paper contributor Trey Graham subscribes to Living Social, a Web site that alerts him to daily deals in the D.C. area. Today—the first day that gay couples in D.C. can legally be married—LivingSocial offered Graham a very special discount at Too Hotties Haircuts, an Alexandria-based salon for "manly men" who aren't into all that gay shit. The ad:

We know: You manly men are a little sick of the froufrou salons. All you want is a good hair cut, not a pink-haired Angel razoring your locks and slicking them with 80-dollar "molding cream." So, how about this? $20 for $50 worth of high-class barbershop services from Too Hotties Haircuts—a man-centric salon with massage chairs, an Xbox 360, and plenty of HDTVs. Each haircut ($25) comes with shampoo, cut, style, hot-lather razor neck shave, second shampoo (to get rid of those itchy clippings), and a scalp massage. Also available: a classic shave ($25) with hot towels, citrus mint facial cleanser, shaving oils, and that decadent hot lather; or a haircolor for men ($25), using a "Camo" color that blends away gray in 10 minutes. Lest you ladies feel left out, Too Hotties offers a full line of services for women as well. Our thought: A good deal to double up on. While your highlights are processing, Mr. Perfect can get his shoe's shined ($5), then play a game of pool (free).

Sexist Translation:

THIS SALON IS NOT A GAY SALON. It is a "manly" salon. It is a "man-centric" salon. It is stocked with an X-Box and "plenty" of HDTVs. We can't even count them they're so plentiful! The only thing this salon does not have is some pink-haired dude touching your neck hairs, because that would be gay.

And we're not gay! We're just a couple of dudes, hanging out, applying some decadent hot lather to each other. Don't be shy. Slap on some "haircolor for men"—it's  "Camo" colored. Relax with our totally un-homosexual citrus mint facial cleanser. It's manly because there's an X-Box in the room—kind of like how a perfectly straight dude can get together with another dude and "feel the other man’s penis bump up against his own," as long as there's a vaginal wall between them, neutralizing the gayness.

Bring your girlfriends.

Graham, who is gay, was understandably disconcerted by this auspicious gay marriage day greeting, and called LivingSocial to tell them so. Something tells me that today's happy same-sex couples won't be getting their pre-wedding pamper at Too Hotties.

  • Katie

    wait. i'm supposed to believe that a manly man salon is named "Too Hotties Haircuts" ? similar to that whole butch cupcakes venture...i just don't think these people thought that name through.

  • Lizrd906

    Man-centric? Oh, you mean like pretty much the entirety of the planet? Heaven forbid the 300 square feet of the salon you visit every three weeks not be wallpapered with camo and titties for you to reaffirm your heterosexuality to the world every waking second.

    Welcome to the garden of Mancentria, where the plasma TVs grow plentifully from the trees and Xbox 360's scurry around your feet. Located off of the DudeBro exit.

  • Louise Barker

    Same sex marriage? Sad, just sad. As if DC couldn't get any lower.

  • Keith B

    A real man haircut costs $9.

  • TT

    I mean, with the exception of the casual homophobia at the beginning of the ad ("not a pink-haired Angel razoring your locks...") and the incongruity between the name and the supposedly masculine image, I don't see a problem with this. Hot shaving cream, straight razor shaves, HDTVs, XBox360's, shoe shines, pool table - I'm not gonna lie; that sounds like the best barber shop in the world.

    And contrary to the above commenter's knee-jerk disapproval, for most people, patronizing a place that offers those services isn't an insecure reaffirmation of one's heterosexuality. Believe it or not, people actually enjoy those things.

  • Lizrd906

    TT: The problem isn't that people enjoy the services advertised. I love big tvs, sports, and video games. The problem is that those things are set up as "SUPERAWESOME MANLY THINGS" and are opposite to "supersissy, frou-frou, lady things". Manly = good Girly/homo = Bad: thats the issue. My disapproval is not knee-jerk. We're exposed to this heteronormative, sexist dichotomy everywhere, and its really nothing new. Once again, we get to hear how awesome dudes and dudely things are because they are totally, in no way, remotely female (or homosexual, as the case may be).

    It seems they offer women's services as well, but you'd never guess from this advertisement that this salon would be willing to debase themselves so much as to cater to lowly lady hair.

  • TT

    Yeah, I see what you're saying. I guess I didn't really see the ad as saying girly/homo = bad. I saw it more like, "If you are a guy who basically fits the traditional, heteronormative defintion of masculinity, then there's a lot of stuff you'll probably like at our barber shop, so come on down." To me, there's nothing wrong with serving that market segment, especially when the average salon experience definitely does NOT cater traditionally masculine, straight men. But like I said, the casual homophobia at the beginning of the ad is fucked up, and obviously, any use of the word man-centric is inexcusable.

    I guess that, generally speaking, my only problem with this site and its commenters is sort of a perceived hostility towards people who actually like traditional, heteronormative gender roles for themselves. Of course, it's not right for these people to force those roles on others or look down on others who don't fit those roles, but it's equally wrong for people to disapprove of a man who enjoys being sterotypically masculine or a woman who enjoys being stereotypically feminine. That was kind of the vibe I got from your comment, and the vibe I get a lot on this site. Which is annoying, because I'm otherwise totally on board with almost all of sentiments expressed here.

  • Emily H.

    TT -- I sorta agree with you. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the role that's traditional for your gender, or advertising directly to people who enjoy those things. My argument here would be, this salon isn't offering anything traditionally masculine -- it's just pretending it does, to assuage people's anxieties. They're advertising scalp massages, second shampooing, hot lather, citrus mint face wash, and assorted scalp oils (or something) presumably because they think that's what their clients want. And in fact, those services do sound lovely. But the stereotypical "manly" American male wouldn't want them, because such a man doesn't much care whether his hair looks fashionable or his hair/skin feel pampered.

    So, I think it would make more sense for guys to accept that the qualities that make a good haircut/salon visit aren't particularly traditionally masculine, & that's okay. If I go to the hardware store with the best service and selection, the experience I have there won't be especially tailored to my desires and wishes as a feminine woman. It probably won't be as much fun as Bloomingdale's, but I won't feel particularly uncomfortable or out of place there, & I wouldn't require free manicures or glitter drills to lure me inside.

  • Bryan

    Ummm, I'm a homosexual male, and I don't pay 25 Bucks for a haircut. That's pretty gay. (Nyuk nyuk)

  • Eric

    Meanwhile, Andy Alexander (the Post's ombudsman) has to spent his day sifting through hate mail from the "family values" types because, ewwww icky, the Post put two (newlywed) guys kissing on the front page and this is not Thinking About the Children.™

  • former staffer

    I get my haircut at a place in Clawson, MI called Trim. It caters to men by serving beer, having flat screen TV's playing sports and having women with class perform the same services, just appropriately attired.

    Funny I can't find someplace comparable in the nation's Capitol.

  • Trey Graham

    For what it's worth: I let LivingSocial know directly that I was somewhat taken aback by that ad text. After a few rounds of phone tag, I've had a chat with a pleasant young man named Alan, who assures me that (a) no harm was intended and (b) they've heard me loud and clear, and will be watching their language a little more closely from here on out.

  • mdesus

    something totally unrelated. I am massively jealous of my dad's generation for the wealth of good barbershops they had. A nice hot towel shave (with a straight razor) is about the most luxurious thing this side of a massage, and yet it is virtually impossible to find a place that does this. I've been cutting my own hair for a few years now, but would readily switch to a barber if he offered a good hot towel shave.

  • Jeremy

    Sexuality isn't mentioned anywhere in the ad. Did you forget that gay men can be manly too? By contrasting "gay" with "manly", you're saying that gay men cannot be manly. Now we have a problem. I'm offended and I'm going to march right over to the phone and call somebody and tell them I'm offended and ask them to be nicer in the future cause, gosh, I just can't handle being offended.

    Oh, and what the f*** is a "gay salon"???

  • Jeremy

    Oh, and let's hope you never open an Esquire or GQ magazine. They're both full of editorial pieces about stuff for men. God forbid.