A new Man Trend has sent the thinkpiece index soaring: Lumbersexuality. But what does this mean...to you? If you're ready, allow me to explain what it means to be Lumbersexual.
To facilitate an easy discussion, it might help you to think of a Lumbersexual as a foil to the Metrosexual, the alleged nadir of masculinity from last decade. So, instead of slim-legged pants, envision pants with a little extra leg room (see: "regular cut"). Rather than be clean-shaven, the Lumbersexual has an unkempt beard. The Metrosexual is clean and pretty and well-groomed; the Lumbersexual spends the same amount of money, but looks filthy. Sartorially speaking, a Lumbersexual is a delicate tri-blend of L.L. Bean, Timberlake, and Sears. (Remember: Man Trends, and the thinkpiece index on which they are traded, bear only a glancing relationship to "real life" and "timeliness.")
But don't take my word for it. A website called GearJunkie ( "a top online publication for product reviews and news in the outdoors world" that "contains thousands of pages of content") has delineated the cognitive dissonance inherent to the Lumbersexual.
"He is bar-hopping, but he looks like he could fell a Norway Pine," writer Tom Puzak explains. "His backpack carries a MacBook Air, but looks like it should carry a lumberjack's axe." Wow!
See, what aligns the Lumbersexual with the Metrosexual is not the clothes or the skincare regimen, but rather intent—both kinds of men are working very hard to fashion themselves into a certain look, and presumably, a way of thinking:
Seen in New York, LA and everywhere in between, the Lumbersexual is bringing the outdoor industry's clothing and accessories into the mainstream.
Whether the roots of the Lumbersexual are a cultural shift toward environmentalism, rebellion against the grind of 9-5 office jobs, or simply recognition that outdoor gear is just more comfortable, functional and durable, the Lumbersexual is on the rise.
Whenever you suggest a quick Ikea trip for a new dresser, he jumps in and volunteers to build you one and next thing you know, nine months later, you have a new dresser. You go to the grocery store to pick up basil and he says, "No need. I'm growing my own." You go hiking and try to pack Power Bars but he tells you he already knows where the nearest patch of wild blackberries is. His beard looks long, bushy, and unkempt because he hasn't looked in a mirror in months. You know why? Because mirrors aren't found in nature.
With all this in mind, you might be shocked to learn that some of the men you've been looking at for years now epitomize the Lumbersexual ethos. Like...
....Luke from Gilmore Girls
...Aidan from Sex and the City (remember that cabin?????)
...those guys from Home Improvement
....Nick from New Girl
...Tom Hanks in Cast Away
...and most importantly, the Brawny paper towel guy
[Images: Top via Shutterstock // Luke via Warner Bros. // Aidan via HBO // Home Improvement via ABC // Nick via Fox // Nick Offerman via NBC // Cast Away via 20th Century Fox // Chuck Norris via AP // Hemingway via Biography // Gyllenhaal via AP]