The rise of the Lumbersexual


Model: Tommy Hamilton

Heather Inglis

Warning: The subject of this column may or may not steal your girl. Guys, hold onto your beanies and boat shoes. Ladies, read on.

As some of us are starting to realize, in a college world full of eco-friendly indie rock guys and the ever-so classic frat boy, there’s a new breed of man on the block.

He’s broad-shouldered, rocks a flannel and can probably put his hair in a messy bun that would put any girl to shame. Not to mention the fact that he may have the most facial hair any of us have encountered.

Behold, ladies and gentlemen: the Lumbersexual male.

The men now classified as Lumbersexual are described pretty simply by GearJunkie:

“He is bar-hopping, but he looks like he could fell a Norway Pine.

He looks like a man of the woods, but works at The Nerdery, programming for a healthy salary and benefits. His backpack carries a MacBook Air, but looks like it should carry a lumberjack’s axe.

“He is the Lumbersexual.”

For the past 10 to 15 years, the Metrosexual male has dominated the scene of what’s hip for men’s style. He’s clean-cut, knows how to match his tie to the rest of his suit (and he can tie it all by himself, too) and is outwardly confident in both his looks and his personality. Think David Beckham anywhere but the soccer field, or Ryan Gosling in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

But with time, millennials have taken a liking to a wilder look. As the indie scene grew in popularity throughout the past few years, so has the idea of longer facial hair, beanies and work boots. The concept of Lumbersexual is, well, to bring back the manly-man. Think Jared Leto and his luscious ombre locks, or Chris Hemsworth and his rugged style.

Buzzfeed users have gotten ahold of this movement and ultimately supported the claim. “Lumbersexual men have a CALCULATED look with the desire to be (and be seen) as rugged and the heteronormative version of ‘manly,” according to one Buzzfeed article.

So what’s the manliest look one could have?

Looking as if one was about to chop down a tree while sporting a man bun and a MacBook Pro, of course.

My mother will be the first person to tell you that guys today aren’t as manly as they used to be.

“Some don’t even work on cars,” she’ll say as she rambles on with her baby-boomer idea of what a man should do.

Now, apparently, some guys are trying to prove her (and probably other baby-boomer parents) wrong.

Through my time in class, coffee shops and local bars, however, I’ve discovered the movement isn’t very prominent in Kent. While you can spot more than one guy in a flannel at Ray’s on any given weekend, that doesn’t exactly make him Lumbersexual. He’s probably just trying to keep sort of warm in case it starts snowing by the time he leaves.

As Cosmopolitan puts it: “He dresses like the Bounty paper towel guy if that guy carried a backpack and opens his beer with a Buck knife because that is a thing he owns, and all his photos look as old-timey as he does.”

But because this kind of man is rather difficult to find in Kent, that doesn’t mean some ladies here aren’t attracted to that kind of man.

“I’ve always found long hair attractive on a guy,” said Victoria Wallis, a junior fashion merchandising major and expressive man-bun lover. “It takes confidence and self-certainty to pull off (the lumbersexual look) which is equally attractive. It says a lot about a guy. He can be laid back and free spirited, or professional and put together.”

Joanna Lees, a sophomore communication studies major, agreed with Wallis.

“[This look] is very manly,” Lees said. “They’re super rugged.”

While Lumbersexual may be the new manly-man movement, guys, don’t think this has to be you.

If rocking a suit and tie makes you feel like a stud, then wear it like it’s your job. Or maybe skinny jeans and a T-shirt make you feel macho, and if you’re that guy, keep wearing those skinny jeans and that T-shirt.

But for those Lumbersexual men hiding in (or possibly chopping down) the Kent State woodwork, you’ve definitely got a place here, too.

Contact Heather Inglis at [email protected].