Most of us guys are on a perpetual quest to look badass. It’s the world we live in. Nice guys finish last, which means badasses must finish first. Unfortunately there’s no scientific equation to looking badass, so some things get added in the mix that are the opposite of badass. Here’s a short list of dumb stuff guys tend to do searching for the look.
Shaving the Head
-Why it looks tough: Because it’s mandatory for anybody that joins the military. Because it’s almost mandatory for anybody currently incarcerated. Because long, lush hair is for pretty-boy, namby-pamby, Tom Brady types.
-Why it’s actually not: The majority of guys who shave their heads regularly are either a) going to extremes to hide their receding hairlines, or b) a part of some neo-Nazi/white supremacy subculture. There’s a difference between looking tough and looking crazy.
-Do this instead: Wear a skullcap and leave the hair alone. Just make sure it’s at least cold out so you don’t come off being all hipster.
Getting a Tribal Tattoo
-Why it looks tough: Design-wise, it’s black, looks like melted barbed wire, and tends to be worn by guys with Viagra in their biceps. Meaning-wise, it invokes a simpler time in the history of man, when he built fires, killed stuff with his hands, and crapped on the ground, the way God intended it.
-Why it’s actually not: There’s nothing tribal about you, guy. You depend on electricity. You’d rather sleep on a mattress. You’ve never speared an antelope, married a 12 year old virgin-bride, or danced by campfire to bring about the rainy season. And what exactly makes everybody so sure that this wasn’t made up and called “tribal” by some bored art school student somewhere instead of a mystical Polynesian warlord from deep inside the jungle primeval? It’s become the guy’s version of the tramp stamp—a once moderately cool idea that’s now a bad, oversaturated parody of itself.
-Do this instead: If it’s a tattoo you want, get something that demands a little more attention and thoughtfulness than a popcorn-fart social trend. Tattoos should be an expression of your individual personality, not a quick and easy way to look cool now and hate yourself for doing it ten years later.
-Why it looks tough: It’s primarily done by guys who hit the gym like they’re chasing the muscle dragon—a chest full of hair is a chest that can’t properly demonstrate your bulging pecks.
-Why it’s actually not: You look like your body forgot to go through puberty. Or at the very least like you were born sliding the wrong way down the testosterone curve. And that goes double if you insist on going all the way and waxing the groin area, too. It’s true, the ‘tree’ does look taller when there’s no ‘underbrush’, but it also looks a helluva lot weirder.
-Do this instead: Treat body grooming the same way you’re supposed to treat drinking—with moderation. Trim, but don’t wax. Most women prefer guys to fall in somewhere between caveman and Bieber on the grooming scale, which is a pretty wide chasm as it is, so there’s no pressure to get it perfect.
Accessorizing the Vehicle (Dubs, Subwoofers, Decals, etc.)
-Why it looks tough: Movies starring Vin Diesel say so. And you probably remember that adding stuff like subwoofers and decals to your car equated to being a badass back in high school.
-Why it’s actually not: Now that you’re not 15 anymore, tricked out automobiles give off too easy the impression that you’re trying to compensate for lacking other important things in your life, like a girlfriend, or a large penis, or running water in your house…because you forgot to pay the utilities bill…because you spent all your cash on rims that keep spinning every time you stop.
-Do this instead: Drive a car that doesn’t need accessories to give you a boner.
Will Kriegshauser is a writer who could totally take you down in a hot dog eating contest. You can find more of his work on The Smoking Jacket, FunnyCrave, Cracked, or just reach him at email@example.com.