The overwhelming response to the question “what do you want from me” in last month’s column was (aside from the unprintable) that you wouldn’t mind a bit of insider information on the male grooming front, especially when it came to knowing what male models were doing to keep trim and tidy.
As I am obviously someone who takes their work very seriously, I went all-out in the last four weeks to bring you some prime cuts of sizzling information from fashion’s front-line. What did I come back with? Well… Let’s just say that things took an ugly turn quite early on in the whole ‘stealth-journo’ mission. Not only was I caught peeking through the curtain in a Winnebago as a male model was changing (I needed to know whether he trimmed his body hair!), a client felt that she needed to point out that I was “being kind of weird” when I did “that sniffing thing” whenever a male model (or MM for short. Mm..) was near. It became clear that I would have to be more upfront about what I was doing, and just come straight out with my questions.
“Do you wax your area?”
I asked one particularly game-looking chap. I say ‘game-looking’ because he was sat reading a copy of Heat magazine in just a pair of pants, whilst his trousers were being steamed.
said Game Looking. He was French. I hadn’t reckoned on a language barrier.
“No, your area…”
I said, uncertainly, whilst he raised his eyebrows and lit an illicit cigarette. You can imagine how I squirmed. Needless to say the conversation ended in rather an abrupt manner when I, quite literally, died of embarrassment.
My next approach was less ‘bull in a china shop’ and more ‘meerkat in a haberdashery’ – ie, softly-softly-peek-and-RUN – in which I sneaked (snuck? Snooked?) up on an unsuspecting MM, touched his hair and then legged it.
The idea behind this particular borderline-physical-assault was to establish whether or not the MM in question was wearing any gel, but once again I came off looking more than a little crazed. Needless to say I have been entirely ostracised from the modelling ‘community’ and the MMs now keep a safe distance when they see me at castings. At a job last week the MM, hearing that his ‘female lead’ was yours truly, actually asked whether or not we would be expected to share a dressing area. (Ha! I thought – why would I want to share a dressing area when what I really need is an adjacent room with a thin wall, and the use of a good old-fashioned -silent!- hand drill?).
For future posts on Madam Eve, I fear I am going to have to do my castings in disguise – rather a problem when one is booked for a job on the merits of one’s appearance, but ‘in the name of research’ and all that. So, seriously, what did I find out? Where’s all this bum-fluff (didn’t see any of that!) leading us? Well, all of my sniffing and peeking and…touching…wasn’t entirely in vain! I found out that the ‘scent du jour’ amongst the male models seemed to be Tom Ford for Men and that a popular deodorant was plain old ‘Sure’. I noticed that there were a lot of shaven heads – many had been razored on shoots but a few bandied the name ‘HeadBlade’ (Carter & Bond) about – apparently it’s the best razor to make sure you don’t give yourself unsightly nicks and cuts. Important for an MM.
Those with hair were having it styled with textured pastes and waxes that left a matte finish – I saw TommyGuns’ texturing paste (£5.99 Niven & Joshua) being used on a few occasions and the odd squirt of dry shampoo massaged into scalps.
The investigation continues…