Remarks: Male Grooming

The Lynx Effect.

Head to the “male grooming” aisle in Boots. Grab the mattest, blackest bottle of body wash on the shelf. Click in the lid and apply pressure, sneaking a dribbling peek at its insides. Viscous black matter lugs through the small opening. Now check the bottle. Anthony Joshua’s bulging, beefy physique, in monochrome silhouette. The suspicious treacle oozes into your fingers, as all of big AJ’s charm and success comes out to befriend your body. The word “YOU” anchors the image. Woah, this is “Limited Edition”?! Amazing.

An uneasy contradiction – called the Lynx effect – hangs awkwardly. The word “YOU” finds itself placed, rather despairingly, next to a photo of someone who definitely isn’t you. In fact he’s better than you. He’s Watford’s favourite bad boy-turned national icon. He’s 6 foot 5 and 113 kilograms of prime British beef. You reassess yourself. What are you, then? 68, maybe 69 kilograms? Generously round your height up to 5 foot 9 and you’re still far from prime beef.

He’s got a better face than yours. He’s biffed and banged better men than you on his way to the top, attaining success that you’ll never comprehend. Yet he’s had less opportunity than you. After further consideration, you might be a complete fuck up.

He steps coolly into the public sphere of the TV ‘chat show’, teeth ablaze with that whitest white, celebrity-grade smile, indulging every cheeky jibe made by Graham Norton. But don’t expect explicit arrogance. Far from the throwaway, thuggish rhetoric spouted by Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather et al., everything that comes from his mouth is so modest, so contrived, so sincere. The raw physical stature and non-verbal nonchalance of the man is the only tell-tale source of arrogance. AJ can afford to be understated when the average chump has to stand on his tippy toes and shout to be heard. The key to success according to Anthony Joshua?

“Just stay humble, man.”

Perfect. I’ll have to stay bloody humble in that case. Work on my skills of false modesty. And keep buying limited edition Anthony Joshua Lynx products. Probably should try and grow an extra foot and put on about fifty kilos of muscle as well. Bleach my teeth. Start wearing my retainers at night again. Floss. And finish my degree. He’d also say to never forget where you come from. It’s alright for him to say, coming from ‘London’, albeit Zone 7. It’s just not that cool to come from Wiltshire… please, let us forget about it. Let us forget about Swindon.

Whoever clocked that the key to marketing is the commodification of the ‘individual’ was a fucking genius… Find a male role model. Roll him out for your homoerotically-nuanced campaign as he lathers your body treacle on his torso, and watch the red mist gather as floods of furious virgins storm Boots. They’re here to buy your bodywash on their pilgrimage to the land of big biceps and gyal – the land of Anthony Joshua. You aren’t exempt from this farce – Anthony Joshua’s just a bloody nice guy. Handsome lad as well. You’ll take two bottles.

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