Looking Good: Levels of Male Vanity

A blog post for all male creatures great and small

FILM READS and Commentaries:
SERBIS by Brillante Mendoza: GreenCine's Film of the Week
Kiarostami's Short Film: 2 Solutions to 1 Problem
Coppola, is that you?
Top 20 Seen Films of 2008


[a tribute to my friends
[i made some corrections]

Marvin, me, and pheg.

Sometimes when I think of myself fat, I would first touch my tummy. Then I would flex my biceps and look at it as if we're best buddies for life. The next thing I would do is to open my mini-drawer, get a bag of chips and eat it while lying on my bed without my shirt on. For some it’s pretty disgusting and lame but to me it is like heaven three times! So what about male vanity?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my fats today, and no, it's not about dieting or going to the gym, but thinking about the happy thought of being fatter than usual. I gladly comforted myself with the thought that I am fat and happy and not thin and sad. I bet some of my very good friends would agree, but others would look me in the eye and say:

“What is that?”

They usually gawk at my big tummy like a stalking eagle over a fearful mouse.

“That is sad, it sags like, you know, parabolic,” as some of my Engineering fellow friends used to say.

Those comments are one of the most fascinating experiences of my life. Well, this guided me to a brief reassurance that my psychological state is entirely of a normal being. i realized i am not insanely vain and i am not motivated by extrinsic factors though i am an abnormally cute contagious guy. What can i say?

So what is the point of this blog if not talk about male vanity? Just this afternoon, on one of my long walks, I was intruded by a thought: If male vanity can be quantized, what energy level am I? (Too much theoretical physics in head I guess… Been researching on gauge fields systems prior to my interest on superstring theory) And if there can be a chance to pay tribute to my close friends, this is the time to let them shine like stars!

So I propose a grand scale of male vanity according to energy levels, the higher the level the less stability you have. So try to look for yourself. (I'm sorry girls, I don’t know anything about your vanity levels, I guess your level one would be make-up, and sorry I’m not an expert on girl stuff…)

Here it is:


This group of people particularly take longer time intervals when they gaze at the mirror than usual . It happens incredibly frequent a number of days before a date with a gal, or before a grand ball at school. They may exceed the time frame to about 7 to 10 minutes of pure mirror gazing. So if you happen to be on this energy level, try to monitor your ‘mirror-capacity'. Get a watch or a timer, and simply gaze at the mirror until you get bored. If that time limit exceeds 3-minutes you are one of the 3-minute MIRROR GAZERS. Not bad, I think all of you passed this level. So let’s move on.


I bet you have a clue on what kind of guys belong to this category. They are, of course , 3-minute Mirror Gazers but with a tweak. They spend most of their time looking at one particular part of their head, the HAIR!!! There’s something to these people. They would fry themselves up in front of the mirror to get the true fix. In the course of their lifetime, they would have used a gallon of gel or wax, God, why the hair? Another variation would be is what I officially call the NR-HAIR-BRUSH Syndrome. It is an idiopathic disease. This vanity disease originated from my roommate NR. It can be contagious. It is characterize by abnormal frequent tugging and brushing of hair, usually observed during dull moments of the day or when in a catatonic state (walang magawa!) It can be a sign of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which in 30% probability that my ex-roommate NR have. So to all hair twinkers out there be well informed.

This is NR. He's holding a brush. (I'm sorry kuya)

FILM READS and Commentaries:
TWILIGHT SUCKS, I love Swedish Vampires

Mikhail Red: A Young Director, A Genius


Back in the province, where digital cameras are scarce, I thought cam-whoring are for girls only. I was actually wrong. This category pertains to those guys out there who not only satisfied by their mirror images but also addicted to their image in a digital camera. Of course, old cameras using film may not frequently be the medium for their abnormal self expressions. They usually tilt the camera at an angle from their front facial area to capture the hair, which make them also a different breed of Hair-twinkers. the "whore" word may not apply in gender-based conventions, but I'm not sure which of which is exploited: the camera or himself. Here are some examples:

Jomar - my high school batch mate,
currently taking B.A. Pol. Sci in U.P. Diliman.
Observe how he tilt the camera at an angle
an symptomatic indication of cam-whoring.

This one is my favorite--- Paul Jordan's wink.
Taking up BAA at UP Dil. My HS batch mate also.

This one jumps a little higher than usual. I don't know what on his mind when he took this shot but basically this he has a high symptomatic indications of cam-whoring.

Iscel is one of my avid user of my digi cam.
he borrows my cam just to take a photo of himself.
Anything, but himself.
This is the ultimate CAM-WHORE.
Taking up BS Com Eng'g at UP Dil,
he's a 3G.

FILM READS and Commentaries:
Thoughts about Avant-Garde
Everyone Talks about Waltz with Bashir

LEVEL 3: Skin Twinkers

They have this neurotic tendency to put something on their skin. A tattoo or a body paint and show it to the public like hell. These typical vanity level has a permanent effect the wearer. Sometimes it's temporary. Sometimes the wearer of skin-twinks considers them a ritual of some sort, a label. This particular vanity was observed through history. The historical element on this particular vanity level makes it a little higher that usual. So Henna tattooers out their, and those likes to make up and body paint.

An image form the net. imagine putting Mario and Luigi
on your biceps for the rest of your life.

FILM READS and Commentaries:
CUL DE SAC Again? Sam Milby is not hot on film!
The Wind will Carry Us (1998) Pre-Critique



This is not a vanity level but a lifestyle. it is one the over-the -edge lifestyle of men that concerns with how they look. This particular lifestyle is a post-modern concept, and is also philosophically rooted. The element of risk made it a little higher than Skin-Twinking though skin twinking involves some physical torment. Metro sexuality is a lifestyle and a culture that is new and greatly progressing to new limits. Male models can be classified at this level. metro sexuality is not a genetic-based characteristic but is acquired from mass media. most people who belong to this are laymen who crave for a fashion statement. This is not just a fashion statement but a STRONG fashion statement. Trendsetting is an example of a STRONG fashion statement. Metrosexuals also have obsessive-compulsive tendencies of staying clean. He takes care of himself into perfection. He at least may have not experienced being in a dusty place. He is usually prone to infections, and he uses a lot of cream: moisturizing cream, sun-block cream, hydrated cream for neck. THis is also a strong attribute to HOMOSEXUALS. He must also lived in a urban area, kaya nga "metro".

I have an example, a high school friend of mine:

This is Peter.
He has a true metrosexual blood
He currently studies in Bicol University
taking up B.A. Entrepreneurship

This is Mark Bryan.
he's once my neighbor in Molave
a friend
he knows a lot of things about fashion
and he knows a lot about Boy Abunda(hahah).
he also has a a metrosexual vibe.

FILM READS and Commentaries:
Serge Bozon's MODS, watch an Experimental Film!
Bibo no Aozora: A Sketch on the FILM MUSIC


Do you think this guy has anorexia?
hahaha a big NO!
he just my jolly goodie close friend KEITHLING.
He's more of a perfectionist than an anorexic.
He eats a lot of (toot!)

Anorexia is not a vanity, it is a mental illness. This is a serious thing guys. If you have anorexia, please be cautioned and talk to a physician. One thing that is not good about anorexia is that it can be fatal. Male perfectionists who are obsess in losing weight and would do anything to loose weight at cataclysmic levels have chronic anorexia. One observation is when he ate something he would chew it, after chewing it and tasting it he would throw it up. This is not as healthy and fun as you think. Anorexia is always accompanied by mood disorders like depression or manic-depressive illness. OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is also directly incidental with male anorexic patients.

Well, of course this is not one of friends.
But the point here is i don't want
to see you guys looking like this.
Remember this: anyone can be anorexic
especially perfectionists.
So keith, beware.


I have two photos above.
and this are my muscular friends.
meet Kiko(top) and Nikko(below)
and they are not muscle dysmorphic.
they have this sense of being endowed by
their musculature and physique.
i just included them to show you the lowest level
of such vanity.

This is the reverse of male anorexia. If an anorexic see himself as something abnormally large, a muscle dysmorphic see's himself as usually small. He is completely obsess with making his muscles big because he can't have enough. If you want to read more about male muscle dysmorpia see wikipedia (though not accurate enough for a description) They stereotypically subject themselves that men should be "big and strong". Their obsession with their muscles can affect their academic performance, their work, family and social functions. This is as bad as anorexia. It is a mental disorder.

So there you have it. The fundamental levels of male vanity. What level are you?

Remember, as what Keira Knightly said, "we only have one body, one life to use that body." If we're not satisfied by how we look then we have a problem. We usually have this sense of being in another body, in another face. But let us face it, we are who we are, and we are what we look like and nothing more... Image is one of the basic dread a human must face... If we think Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt is perfect-looking, we are wrong because there is no perfect-looking being. Everyone has some sort of physical imperfection. KYLE XY, though he's perfect, has no bellybutton.

The ideal image of men is actually based on the mathematical aspect of the face. We tend to look mechanical, in contrast to women who tend to look natural. Good looking men are approximately equal to the mechanical image which is determined by the GOLDEN RATIO. The mechanical image of men can be describe as having a face as if it was chiseled, carved by some tool, every musculature sculpted by hand. the image of Masculinity is the mechanical image. The more masculine you look the more mechanical the image you portray. However, women are beautiful when they deviate a little further from this image. But today, women are changing, form natural (of the 1940s) they tend to look mechanical (of the 2000). Women are biologically wired to seek their alter-ego, so they find mechanical looking men attractive.

But looks can be deceiving. That is why personality can highly categorize our self-image and how other people see it. Physical image is terminal, isolated and limited. But personality is unrestricted and varied.

Identity is based on image, Essence is based on personality.

What is more important, identity or essence?

Think about it! are you vain enough?


FILM READS and Commentaries:
La deraison du Louvre, dazzling short film...
Grave of the Fireflies (1988) a pre-critique