Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture   

Male Beautification and the Beauty Salon

Changing Perceptions of 'Masculinity' among Males in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Shabnam Naher and Mossabber Hossain
If you are a well-groomed and polished-looking person, you will get respect, all will give you importance. It is so much easier for a smart and good-looking person to create an impression to influence others. That is why men are now more beauty-conscious than ever. – Rezaul, age 25 years, interviewed in Dhaka, 2017


Preamble

It’s a challenging time for men in this age of globalized beauty regimes. One may argue that men have always strived to be stylish, handsome and appealing to women. However, beauty standards are changing with changing notions of gender, and with the media constantly displaying images of ‘ideal’ physical appearance that create new dimensions of beauty, not only for female but for male consumers too. While the barbershop was the ‘classical’ address for male grooming, a new dimension of male beauty that goes much beyond haircuts and shaves has been emerging in urban habitations in Bangladesh since the 2000s. Hair-, moustache- and beard-styling, along with facials and scrubs have now come to play a great role in male beauty, promising to make men (as the quote above indicates) look ‘polished’, and somehow equipped with an extraordinary ‘aura’.

Like other South Asian countries, Bangladesh is a developing nation with growing potential business sectors, and the business of men’s beautification is one among these. It has not been more than 8–10 years since the rapid development in this industry began. Even a decade ago, the services provided by men’s salons in Bangladesh were to a large extent confined to haircutting and shaving, but over the past few years the number of men visiting salons for varied beauty treatments has risen substantially.1 The target customers of beauty salons belong to the urban upper and upper-middle classes, but increasingly men from the middle and lower-middle class have begun patronizing these places. Most of the prominent salons are located in the capital city Dhaka, followed by Chittagong and Sylhet.

Fig.01
Fig.02
Fig.03

Parlours in Dhaka today advertise beauty treatments for men and women (Fig. 01), with special packages for wedding makeup offered to both bride and groom (Fig. 02), which is quite new for men in the urban middle class. A few years ago, it would have been a culture shock – or at least considered out of the ordinary – to see a groom going to a parlour for makeup, but nowadays it is quite popular among the ‘new urban’ middle class. Male beauty salons in this urban setting offer all kinds of spa and beauty treatment facilities that were previously available only in women’s parlours, including facial skin care, body massage and scrub, manicure, pedicure, nail care, ear-piercing, henna (Bengali: mehedi) art (Fig. 03) and the like.

This visual essay critically explores the new horizons of the business of beauty for men. So far, there has been little academic research conducted on this development. With respect to Asia, most studies in this field of changing attitudes about men’s physical beauty have focused on Southeast and East Asia: for instance, on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand or Japan.2 Developments in consumer perceptions and behaviour are still relatively unexplored and present an interesting new direction for future study.3 This fresh field of inquiry might even facilitate research in the area of masculinity studies, and enable scholars to address gender dimensions in relation to men and women and other categories in a more precise way.

Our underlining central research question was how young people perceive male beauty today. Although the term beauty is generally closely related to female appearance, men also have their own ideals of beauty conforming to current ideas of masculinity. Traditional male-centric socio-cultural attitudes – for example, women should be concerned about their beauty to attract men – have changed over time; men’s demands to beautify themselves are increasing day by day. This does not mean that the concept of physical beauty and fitness for men did not exist in the past. But now, along with physical attractiveness, the importance of ‘charm’ or ‘style’ has added a new value to masculinity that is considered desirable. To meet this demand, today several parlours are focusing on male physical appearance and grooming, catering to a large portion of the urban middle class. What could be the reasons for the birth of this new infrastructure of expertise? Does it mean that traditional gender conceptions and ideologies are changing, and if so, how?

From the viewpoint of visual anthropology, this essay sets out to explore the changing ideologies about male beautification and the dimension of masculinity against the dominant gender ideology in the context of aesthetic representation. It will use beauty style catalogues, media advertisements and other available visual documents from secondary sources, as well as primary data gathered from selected beauty salons in the Mirpur region of Dhaka city during October to November, 2017. We conducted in-depth interviews with several salon staff members (all were male) and its middle- to lower-middle-class urban male clients.4 Interviews were conducted in Bangla.

Fig.04

The Appeal of the Beauty Parlour for Men
The male beauty salon is the extended form of the barbershop, which has a clear male clientele and caters to different classes of customers. The salon is usually situated in a market, open daylong and easily accessible. It may also be part of an urban landscape that offers mixed use, that is, both business activities and a residential neighbourhood.

According to Hilda, today’s beauty salon is more than just a place to go to get your hair cut, coloured and styled.5 It is also a place of conspicuous consumption, of performative display and creation of a ‘new urban’ middle-class type. Treatments originating from all corners of the globe are available here, as we can see from the advertisement for the Men Valley Grooming Shop & Spa (Fig. 04). Thai and Swedish massage as well as aroma therapy are available in this little gents’ parlour located in Dhaka, appealing to young male customers.

Fig.05
Fig.06
Fig.07

Beauty parlours and spas that cater to both men and women are mushrooming too, in urban as well as some more remote areas in Bangladesh (Figs. 0507).6 Such a development is also witnessed in other South Asian countries, which is triggering new interest in and approaches to masculinity studies.7 As Sowad observes, the evolution of men’s perceptions of their own physical beauty influences both the global north and the ‘developing’ global south.8 The names of parlours often seek to reflect the influence of international trends (see Fig. 08). 

Fig.08
  
Fig.09
  

Gentlemen’s (often called gents’) salons and grooming parlours, in their efforts to attract more customers, are continuously adding new dimensions and value to the services they offer across urban and also some rural areas, to clients from upper, middle and lower classes in Bangladesh.9 For instance, in June 2017, a revolutionary new method of haircut was introduced in Dhaka by Adonis Makeover Salon (Fig. 09). The unusual and rather dangerous technique of using fire to cut and style men’s hair drew a great amount of attention, going ‘viral’ on social media. Further, men’s, women’s and unisex parlours usually present themselves as places that promote the urban values of style and trendiness, in a bid to appeal to youth aspirations, both male and female. In this way, dominant traditional gender norms are changing insofar as today, at least in the middle-class urban setting, a man who, for instance, takes care of his skin, is not immediately viewed as ‘girly’ but rather as the ‘new urban male’. For example, in Dhaka there is a salon named Playboy Gents’ Parlour (Fig. 10) which possibly encourages the idea that a man who goes to the parlour will gain in ‘masculine’ attributes that will appeal to women. The two representations of refreshing and glowing complexions after parlour treatment (Figs. 11 and 12) raise the question of whether the female image from Persona Hair & Beauty could be considered any more attractive than the image of the male from the Grooming Lounge Men’s Salon! The matter is not confined within the discourse of what is seen as ‘girly’ or ‘boyish’; it is more than that – it concerns what is considered as the ‘right’ kind of appearance for any person, whatever their gender identity.

Fig.10
 
Fig.11
 
Fig.12
 

A study on male beautification conducted in 2012 in Dhaka10 revealed that most clients came to the parlour on a regular basis, were aged between 15 and 35 years, and belonged to the middle, upper-middle and upper classes (with higher disposable incomes). Occupations ranged from service, business or profession to student. The study underlines that, among the offered services, the most in demand are haircut, shave, facial and hair treatment. According to this study, many consumers pay attention to the quality of services, the service provider’s behaviour and skills, the variety of services, value for money, the environment and physical facilities in the salon, as well as marketing communication and marketing mix factors that promote the value of beauty treatment for men.

Fig.13

Masculinity and the Perception of Body Image
Being a man or the attribute of manliness means showing or expressing the qualities of masculinity, manfulness, machismo, strength and vigour. Masculinity is seen to signify a set of behaviours or attitudes of men which define their gender identity – independence, autonomy, intellect, will, wariness, hierarchy, domination, culture, transcendence, product, asceticism, war and death11 – which are often opposed to ‘feminine’ characteristics. In the past men may have felt anxious about enhancing their physical appearance through the use of grooming products (and as a result being seen to care too much about their looks) because, as Etcoff observes, ‘beautiful men may get questioned about their sexual orientation’.12 However, men today believe that ‘beauty’ adds quality and value to their male traits (Fig. 13).


Shahajad, a 27-year-old employee in a men’s parlour, was embarrassed when asked about manliness and beauty during the interview for this research. For him, men are simply born with ‘manliness’ which is ‘natural’ to them, not an attribute that can be acquired.

A man is always a man by birth. Man achieves his masculinity from the beginning of his birth. Our previous generations think that a man’s role is to marry a woman and raise a family ... But this generation’s demands and performance go beyond this role.


From Shahjahad’s narrative, it appears that the role of a man in a society is not confined to the conventional one; rather he performs other roles. For this, self-reflexivity and self-management are required, which also includes the ‘supervision’ of one’s own body. Thus, bodies and embodied identities are constituted differently through particular relations of power.13 In other words, it can be argued that the roles are guided by socialized norms or tendencies which shape and reshape our taste. This is what Bourdieu called ‘habitus’, referring to ‘the way society becomes deposited in persons in the form of lasting dispositions, or trained capacities and structured propensities to think, feel and act in determinant ways, which then guide them’.14

A majority of the respondents in our study also have similar perceptions concerning manliness and beauty. That is, their notions of masculinity and of male beauty impact each other. The following narration by 31-year-old Rahmatul shows that a person’s choices are impacted not just by their own taste but by their wish to make an impression on others.

I have my in-laws’ house. Whenever I go there, I am aware of creating an impression on them. It seems that every time I am a new groom and have to approach my in-laws in a newer way. I am always concerned about how they will react when they first see my new look.


Abir, a 35-year-old banking professional, stresses the importance of a man’s facial appearance, saying that,

for a man, muscles are not important. It is the inner function which signifies our outer body structure. Rather, it is important to beautify the facial outlook. If it is good, all dresses will suit him.

Fig.14

This quote underlines that, in the informant’s view, a muscled body is not the first priority of a man who wishes to improve his appearance. Instead, it is his face, its expression and his character that make him look good in all types of dress. In Abir’s opinion, a man’s profession as well as inner character defines his look and also his manliness. In this case, organizational requirements or social institutions define the individual’s appearance and representation to others. Generally, in gents’ parlours the most attention is paid to the face (Fig. 14).

There are different ways of masculine grooming. Male customers are now using specialized products for skin-care (including bleach) and hair-care. They are increasingly conscious of their appearance and the need for others to see them as good-looking, youthful, healthy and in good shape. This differs quite substantially from the old ideal of ‘only sanitation’ (shaving, haircut and maintaining hygiene) being considered important for a man.

Fig.15

When we interviewed Badrul, 34 years old, the owner of a gents’ beauty salon, he stressed the prime importance of hair styling (Fig. 15) and facial grooming. According to him,

Earlier, men used to shave in their home setting. Now, they want to get the facial services, to setup their hair in parlours with exclusive haircuts. They also seek different beard styles. It is now a fashion.

 
This indicates that men, quite like women, are now following trends and tastes promulgated through the fashion and beauty industry. Thus, the urban beauty salon culture for men impacts discourses about men. Interviewees expressed the view that ‘a man can also be beautiful’ and to some extent ‘sexy’ (Rahmatullah, 27 years old, salon customer).

The Media and Changing Notions of Masculine Beauty
Views regarding beauty differ from person to person, varying on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, geographical location, culture etc. However, historically (and this applies to many places in the world) people who are relatively young, with fresh skin, well-proportioned figures, and regular features, have been considered beautiful. Studies from the field also reveal that young urban men are considered to be the most attractive and are more beauty-conscious than other men. Some men seem to be beautiful because they are committed to physical fitness. Miller links dieting and ‘slimming to broader social, political, and economic factors’.15 In sociology, this is often referred to as ‘care of the self’ or self-management.16

Fig.16

Many gents’ beauty parlours invest in their interior decoration, highlighting the fact that they offer different hairstyles with pictorial catalogues and posters (Fig. 16). Moreover, often poster-portraits of Bollywood and Hollywood superstars hang on the walls to increase the association of the place with up-to-date and upmarket fashion. On the whole, it can be argued that globalization, the social media and the influence of the free market instigate younger men to wish to become ‘more handsome’ than others.

The advancement of fashion magazines for men,17 together with the advent of economic liberalization, has boosted the growth of the leisure and beauty industry in urban settings. Along with good service, salons have introduced entertainment facilities, and devise diverse types of promotional offers and inducements to attract customers. These include discounts on certain special occasions, on bills above a certain amount, for regular customers and so on.18 Advertisements for skin or hair treatments and packages often announce special offers and discounts (Figs. 17 and 18).

Fig.17
  
Fig.18

Rafique, a 29-year-old respondent who works in a multinational company, thinks that the social media play a great role in concerns about male beautification. Social media generally impact the fabrication/shaping of gender ideals and imaginaries and allow the present generation of young consumers to explore their identities in a different way. Rafique argues that,

this generation has explored man in a different way through television, fashion magazines and other social media. They have got the experience of attracting others especially the opposite gender in a new way by presenting them with their smart body/figure, shining face and stylish haircut.

 
The power of the media is reflected in the frequency of respondents who come to gents’ parlours with a specialized catalogue in hand, or with ideas collected from the internet. They show these to the owner or employees of the parlour, asking them to make their hair or face look like that of the models in the pictures.

Fig.19

Kabirul, an employee of a gents’ parlour, 29 years old, stresses the influence of social media and other sources, such as Bollywood and Hollywood-induced fashion media, and believes that the inner and outer decoration of the salon also has considerable influence on young male customers (Fig. 19). He proposes the following:

Men come here with hundreds of photos downloaded from the internet and of movie screenshots of superstars to follow their overall style (especially hairstyle) and look. They just request me to do the same. We have to fulfil their demand as we also have to maintain our reputation and be up-to-date.

 

Fig.20
Fig.21

Attracting Loyal Customers
Consumers articulate high expectations with respect to the quality and variety of services of a salon. Likewise, the location and the exterior and interior design of the place are relevant to the customer’s social background. Figs. 20 and 21 show, respectively, a typical average gents’ parlour and a luxurious gents’ salon in urban Dhaka. These two types of parlour fulfil the demands of different classes; interestingly both are decorated in a way aimed at attracting the clientele they cater to, whether upper-middle-class or lower-middle-class urban men. In the case of the upper class, the more attractive the decor of a parlour and the more specialized its services, the more customers come. These salons are basically stand out from the others only because of their quality of service, high concern about hygiene, differentiated service, use of modern technology etc.19 Sometimes, convenient location matters in the choice of a salon.

Amanullah is a young independent businessman aged 31. We talked while he was visiting a parlour and he said,

I have been coming here for the last 3 years. I have Bakkar’s (an employee of the salon) contact number. Bakkar’s handwork is the best. Whenever I need to come here, I just call him to fix my appointment and then I come. Every time I give him some tip so that I can avail of the best service, although they are excellent in their services. I want the best. Of course, I have to be smarter and more dashing than others.


From this narrative it can be assessed that the service quality provided by employees of the salon plays a significant role in attracting consumers. Their behaviour is another factor as some men come to a particular salon only because of the qualities of the salon employees such as ‘smartness’ or ‘politeness’. These matter to the customer as much as the quality of grooming. Not only that, many customers appreciate the fact that their chosen employee understands their service requirements, and they feel comfortable with him. In turn, the employees sometimes utilize this to their advantage, persuading customers to go in for special or new treatments that the salon is offering. Kamrul, 29 years old, an employee at a beauty parlour, reveals:

We influence customers in many ways. Say for example, I say to a customer: ‘WOW BOSS!! Your hair is so attractive; you can try this haircut; this is the latest [trend].’ Or, sometimes I tell him, ‘You can try this facial treatment to reduce your sun tan quickly.’


In this way, gents’ parlour employees invite their customers to return, and also to recommend the parlour to others. A respondent named Kabir, 27 years old, who has been coming to a gents’ parlour for the last few months, was influenced by his elder cousin has lived in Dhaka for several years. His story goes like this:

I first came here with my cousin. He has used their services over the last few years and their review is better than other local parlours. Whenever I come here, I have to wait in the waiting room as there is such a rush in this parlour. I do not get bored as the waiting room is so well decorated. They offer coffee and tea, free Wi-Fi services, parking facilities, international magazines that have pictures of the latest hairstyles, dress, facial looks and so on. Not only that, Hollywood music videos are also playing here, on a large screen, which attracts me even more. When my turn comes, they just call me in.
Fig.22


Branding is another factor which stimulates men to select and keep returning to a certain parlour. Regular customers also get extra privileges. Some parlours advertise features that cater to a certain urban class of young men (Fig. 22), assuming for example that they will definitely have bikes or cars, smartphones and laptops, and a certain level of educational qualification. All this seems to matter greatly for many urban middle-class young men. As Farhan, a 31-year-old customer puts it:

I come here almost every week and I have received their permanent membership card free of cost. As they are a renowned brand, they are maintaining so many things. That is why I will always get privileged treatment.


Previously, there was a distinction between a ‘salon’ and a ‘parlour’, insofar as the salon was said to be a place for men, while the parlour was only for women. This duality stressed the heterosexual gender difference as well as different beauty services. However, with changing attitudes in urban settings, middle-class perceptions and practices relating to beauty are also changing.

Fig.23


Khairul, 33 years old, has been a regular user of gents’ parlour services for several years. According to him, the number of men having manicures, pedicures, facials and other treatments is increasing (see Fig. 23). His observation is that,

Once facial, haircut, eyebrow, manicure, pedicure were considered only as girls’ issues. Now, things are changing. Young boys are now doing all these things. Not only that, they are doing shampooing, body massaging, spa ... and even groom’s makeup and dress for wedding. Some gents’ parlours are introduced here [in Dhaka] to prepare the groom for their wedding.
Fig.24


The space of the beauty parlour, possibly one of the few domains available exclusively for women in public, has been cherished by them as precious. Even today, as many women’s parlours open their doors to men as well, others clearly indicate that they are a space reserved for women, and that men should stay out of this ‘social zone of women’. Our research findings (including some advertisements in the media) show that there still remain a good number of ladies’ beauty parlours designated as ‘only for women; not for men’, where ‘gents are not allowed’ or ‘gents are strictly prohibited to enter’ (Fig. 24).

Changing Gender Concepts and Ideologies Regarding Masculinity and Beauty
In 2006 a famous Bangladesh paper in its supplement named Star Weekend Magazine published a report about gents’ parlours.20 Considering different customers’ viewpoints, they concluded that a man’s look matters much in a globalized culture. Visiting parlours regularly is a factor in making men a part of this global culture, nurturing their self-confidence and raising their aspirations and chances for a good position in their work. Respondents who participated in our research also express a similar opinion, that is, going for regular beauty treatments (in the character of a metrosexual male) makes a man more attractive and enhances his style and appeal vis-à-vis others (Fig. 25). Tahsin, a 26-year-old customer speaks for these men when he says, ‘Beauty is not only for women.’

Fig.25
Fig.26

Our research found that a large number of the men who go to a beauty parlour or salon are representative of a particular class and socio-economic background; many of them being university students and members of the urban elite. To be seen as ‘smart’, ‘dashing’, and not as a ‘half lady21 or ‘half girl’ and so on, men try different ways of beautification (Fig. 26). Sometimes they are influenced by their peers, more often through the social media.

Rifat, age 34 years, emphasizes that he visits the parlour and makes use of its services almost as an everyday habit. For him,

For any sort of official appointment or to meet with others, it is a must to have a good shave or well-trimmed beard, shampooed hair, smartly cut and styled. The gents’ parlour is the best way to have this service exclusively. Like a woman, a man has to go to the parlour for facial or other beauty treatment to match with others. It is like a regular task.


Most study respondents perceive that men should have strong physical attributes, and that they have to take care of their appearance to prove their heroism or masculinity. Strong physical appearance is closely linked with a strong personality. By enhancing their appearance, men gain in confidence and self-motivation to have influence and excel over others.

To ‘make an impression’ is a central means of self-management. Physical attractiveness is regarded as one of the reliable markers of human health and genetic quality.22 Our research findings revealed that men have a strong belief that they can make a good impression on others if they are well dressed, and look fresh (or even suntanned); this is more important, they feel, than other strengths and qualifications. Miller called it the ‘politics of appearance’, the role played by hegemonic European beauty ideology, media acculturation and media socialization—the ways and means that ‘beauty treatments and ideas actively journey around the world as part of a global body transformation enterprise’, among others.23

There are some other prevalent social ideas about men which lead them to seek to become beautiful by visiting parlours and salons: for instance, the cliché that a handsome/beautiful man can influence others. Sometimes the idea is conveyed that good looks are a pathway to develop a better career in a globalized world. A strong man is often identified with a man with a strong body rather than a strong mind.24 If someone cannot conform to suit these ideas, they may run the risk of being marginalized or even excluded and stigmatized by others.

Evidence from the research also suggests that a man having smart looks is not enough; as one would expect, it is his financial stability which defines his social position and status in a society. But on the other side there is also evidence that handsome physical appearance and the appearance of good health (such as a tanned face) may carry extra value in getting a good job.

So, it is not always correct to say that all men are participants in hegemonic masculinity to dominate or to subjugate other people, especially women. This is because patriarchal dominance is not shared across all male populations in the same way. In fact it varies from person to person.25 Even with the evolution of masculinities, and changing views on men’s bodies and the construction of masculine beauty, the hold of patriarchy on society has not changed as the system is deep-rooted. Men perform and represent diverse patterns of masculinity depending on their positions within the hierarchy of power which determines their social status. Accordingly, the concept of masculine beauty has to fit in with the broader purpose of hegemonic masculinity, of establishing power over others (women primarily, but also other men). Thus, discourse the regarding the place of beauty in masculinity occupies common space with the discourse on masculine power.

Conclusion
Patriarchy itself generates the very power that it possesses. It is the power which can either give or deny an individual the potential for personal growth; depending on who s/he is, in which place, time and location. While patriarchal societies are slow to change fundamentally, the concept of masculinity has been transformed in certain ways. One instance is the idea of male beauty. In the age of globalism, the male body has become a focus for capitalist expansion; beautifying men is but another avenue in the development of the free market establishment.

In Bangladesh, the study of masculinity is an emerging area in contemporary gender studies, with a scarcity of strong evidence-based literature. The male quest for beautification, reflected in the extensive proliferation of gents’ beauty parlours, is creating variance in gender attitudes and perceptions, and is changing conventional norms. Following Dhaka city, other metropolitan areas of the country are also witnessing an expansion in the gents’ parlour business with commercial success. The day is not far when gents’ parlours will be easily accessible, like those for women, in smaller peripheral areas as well. In the words of one of our respondents named Rahmatul:

Men will plan their houses to accommodate a separate room as their beauty room in the future.

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NOTES

1 In 2016, the global cosmetic market grew an estimated 4% over the previous year; skincare was the leading category, accounting for about 36% of the global market. For details see https://statista.com/markets/415/topic/467/cosmetics-personal-care/ (retrieved November 2017). In Bangladesh, the beauty service industry currently stands at a total revenue worth of about Tk 150 crore, according to a 2015 Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics report. It is estimated that about 30% of this is contributed by men’s beautification centres or men’s salons. Some of these salons get a daily average of 10–15 customers on weekdays and 20–25 on weekends, while there are others that get 25–35 customers daily during the week and about 40–45 during weekends (for details see ‘Men’s Care: A Thriving New Business in Bangladesh’, Dhaka Courier, 6 July 2017, retrieved 20 June 2018, from http://dhakacourier.com.bd/mens-care-a-thriving-new-business-in-bangladesh/).

2 Morry, M.M. and Staska, S.L., ‘Magazine Exposure: Internalization, Self-objectification, Eating Attitudes, and Body Satisfaction in Male and Female University Students’, Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, Vol. 33, No. 4, 2001, 269–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0087148
Conant, A., ‘Liberal Studies: The Changing Body of Man’, 2015, retrieved 15 June 2018, from http://yp.scmp.com/news/features/article/95751/liberal-studies-changing-body-man
Country Report, ‘Men’s Grooming in Taiwan’, 2018, retrieved 20 June 2018, from http://euromonitor.com/mens-grooming-in-taiwan/report
Chow, V., ‘Why this Taiwanese man is the dream husband of so many women in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China’, 2017, retrieved 15 June 2018, from https://qz.com/1033194/why-this-taiwanese-man-is-the-dream-husband-of-so-many-women-in-hong-kong-taiwan-and-china/
Chaipraditkul, N., ‘Thailand: Beauty and Globalized Self-identity through Cosmetic Therapy and Skin Lightening’, Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, Vol. 13, 2013, pp. 27–37.
Thamthada, W. and Punnakitikashem, P., ‘Exploring Thai Men’s Shopping Behavior for Clothing and Fashion Products’, Asia Business and Economics, 2015, pp. 46–59.
Monden, M., ‘Japanese Men’s Fashion Magazines’, Berg Online Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, Vol. 6: East Asia, 2012, Oxford: Berg.

3 Peiss, K., ‘Introduction: On Beauty ... and the History of Business’, Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2000, pp. 485–506.

4 Among the different class categories, the middle class is the most heterogeneous in nature, defined in terms of the economic resources, educational achievements and qualifications and culture of its members (for details see Reeves, R.V., Goyot, K., & Krause, E., Defining the Middle Class: Cash, Credentials or Cultures? Washington DC: The Brookings Institution, 2018).

5 Hilda, V., ‘The Difference between a Beauty Parlor and a Beauty Salon’, 2012, retrieved from http://scottsdalephoenixhairsalon.com/the-difference-between-a-beauty-parlor-and-a-beauty-salon/

6 Star Lifestyle, ‘Men’s Grooming for Eid’, The Daily Star, Vol. 4, No. 40, 9 October 2007.

7 Ahmed, S.M.F., ‘Making Beautiful – Male Workers in Beauty Parlors’, Men and Masculinities, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2006, pp. 168–85.

8 Sowad, A.S.M., Masculinity and Male Beauty: Changing Perception among the Male Students of University of Dhaka, LAP (Lambert Academic Publishing), 2010.

9 Ibid. For details about the ‘fire cut’ see ‘Set your hair on fire for a new look’, Dhaka Tribune, 14 September 2017, http://dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/dhaka/2017/09/14/set-hair-fire-new-look/

10 Khan, P.I. and Tabassum, A., ‘Beautification for Male in Dhaka: Exploring the Customer Groups, Services and Selection of Service Providers’, World Review of Business Research, Vol. 2, No. 4., 2012, pp. 71–85.

11 Jaggar, A., ‘Feminist Ethics’, in L. Becker and C. Becker, eds., Encyclopedia of Ethics, New York: Garland, 1992, p. 364.

12 Etcoff, N., Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty, New York: Anchor, 2000.

13 Grosz, E., Volatile Bodies. Toward a Corporeal Feminism, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994; Shildrick, M., Leaky Bodies and Boundaries. Feminism, Postmodernism and (Bio) Ethics, New York: Routledge, 1997.

14 Bourdieu, P., The Logic of Practice, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1980; Wacquant, L., ‘Habitus’, International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology (edited by J. Becket and Z. Milan. London, Routledge, 2005), cited in Navarro, Z., ‘In Search of Cultural Interpretation of Power’, IDS Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 6, 2006, pp. 11–22.

15 Miller, L., Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006, p. 173.

16 Giddens, A., Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Cambridge: Polity, 1991.

17 Souiden, N. and Diagne, M., ‘Canadian and French Men’s Consumption of Cosmetics: A Comparison of Their Attitudes and Motivations’, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2009, pp. 97–109.

18 ‘Men’s Care’, Dhaka Courier.

19 Ibid.

20 Star Weekend Magazine, The Daily Star, Vol. 5, Issue 104, July 2006.

21 Sowad, Masculinity and Male Beauty.

22 Kanonowicz, M., Sorokowski, P., and Sorokowska, A., ‘Born to be Beautiful: Season of Birth Influences Adult Females’ Physical Attractiveness’, Journal of Education Culture and Society, No. 2, 2013.

23 Miller, Beauty Up. 

24 Sowad, Masculinity and Male Beauty.

25 For the arguments that follow in this paragraph, see ibid. and Connell, R.W., Masculinities, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

This essay is part of the 'Manly Matters: Representations of Maleness in South Asian Popular Visual Practice'

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