Australian men become, after a certain age, sexless. It’s as if they give up on their appearance once they’re into their fifties and they just look awful.
So says comedian Lawrence Mooney and I don’t think he was trying to be funny. He was talking on the fabulous Agony of Life, Adam Zwar’s latest series for the ABC which chronicles the life stages with pithy observations and timely advice from Zwar’s TV friends. Over the course of the series (sorry, it just ended) Mooney proved the most astute and intelligent of the lot.
“It was Catherine Deneuve who said that getting ready takes so much longer as you get older. That the older you get, the earlier you have to get up to get ready just to look OK.”
It’s worth considering what he has to say about ageing men.
Mooney believes that men age badly compared with their European counterparts. They get to a certain age or stage and then they stop making an effort for the opposite sex and even themselves. It’s trackie-daks and general dishevelment.
It’s as if they’ve given up, Mooney says.
But in other societies older men remain fascinating and alluring to women. They take pride in their appearance and look after their bodies. They do their hair and dress well.
Why are we so slack in Australia?
You do see men in their lateish fifties – though they could be any age – schlepping about looking disgruntled with life and themselves. There’s a bitterness, a resignation.
What’s happened and why? Is it because other things have taken priority over appearance – demanding teenagers, infirm parents, unmanageable mortgages, unwanted celibacy – what is it?
Or has looking good just become too difficult? Takes too much effort? Isn’t ”worth it” any more?
I think it was Catherine Deneuve who said that getting ready takes so much longer as you get older. That the older you get, the earlier you have to get up to get ready just to look OK. She’s French, of course, but why don’t Australian men seem to do that?
Do Australian men stop caring about how they look and become sexless frumps? Why?
This may read a little strangely, but that’s because I have substituted ‘men’ for ‘women’ throughout the article. Yes ladies those of us not already in our fifties are destined to become sexless frumps because we don’t take the time to dress up for public approval every time we have the temerity to leave the house. Apparently even if your sex life is going just fine thank you very much we will assume that you are a sexless frump if you even look like you might have thought about considering thinking about a pair of tracksuit pants. Oh no ladies, heels, stockings, perfectly coiffed hair (leave it long, don’t want anyone to think you might enjoy the ease of short hair, but mind that you can’t just wear it in a practical braid or pony tail either and straightened or curled if your hair is naturally straight) manicure and lippy for putting out the bins on bin night if you please. Don’t even think about letting the dog out for a wee if you haven’t put your eye liner on. Those of us already past the half century mark have apparently just given up without a fight and been swallowed up by tracksuit pants. Because surely we don’t have anything better to do than dress up for the male gaze and have our hotness rated? I mean really where are our priorities? Why worry about mortgage payments, kids, schools, university, or any of the other myriad worries of daily life if we don’t have a full face of makeup, flashy shoes and designer gear on first?
You think I’m joking? Unfortunately not.