I take pride in my reputation as a quintessential metrosexual with an impeccable appearance -- custom-fitted suits; polished Italian shoes; coiffed hair; buffed nails; and, most importantly, smooth, clean-shaven, moisturized skin.
Maintaining my appearance-conscious lifestyle is not an easy feat and requires considerable time, money and effort.
My bathroom is filled with a plethora of personal-care products, including (but not limited to): cleansers, moisturizers, lotions, exfoliating scrubs, aluminum-free deodorants, shaving creams, tongue scrapers, whitening strips, shampoos and conditioners. I visit Kiehl's
and The Art of Shaving
more frequently than the grocery store.
My aesthetic-enhancing efforts have not been for naught. When I was a contestant on "I Love New York 2
," Ms. New York honored me with the title "Tailor Made
," paying homage to my collection of tailor-made suits.
All this somehow led to me being challenged to a "man makeunder" (i.e., no "excessive grooming" for 14 days).
I will admit my personal-care regimen is a tad over-the-top, consisting of weekly MANicures (buffed, not polished); biweekly haircuts, pedicures and mini-facials; and monthly chest, eyebrow and underarm waxing.
When my girlfriend and I first started dating, my daily application of a moisturizing aloe vera mask caused her to scream so loud one morning that my neighbor called to see if everything was all right. I even remove the hair from my nostrils using herbal wax on a stick, which is so worth the pain.
So Asylum's definition of "excessive" is much different from my own.
For two weeks, the only personal-care products I was permitted to use were generic brands of soap, antiperspirant and toothpaste. I also had to trade in the $2,000 suits for jeans and T-shirts.
I am extremely competitive and have never backed down from a fight; however, this was one challenge I wasn't quite sure I could handle.
The first day of the challenge, my throat developed a sizable lump, as I stared aimlessly into my barren medicine cabinet. I felt unnaturally naked as I showered with nothing other than a block of orange soap.
I dressed myself in a wrinkled, black American Apparel T-shirt, ripped jeans and a pair of Converse. I was ready to go, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Maybe this is why those Bohemian-types are so laid back.
I stopped at Starbucks and ordered a venti black tea. The barista did a complete double-take. I thought, "I can't look that bad, it hasn't even been nine hours."
By day seven, things started getting really ugly: a scruffy goatee was developing, my hair was disheveled and, mother-of-pearl, a blackhead appeared on my nose.
I strolled down Lexington Ave. noticing pedestrians no longer greeted me with smiles, boarded the 6 and headed to my cousin Mike's office in Soho.
When I arrived, his assistant neglected to offer me a Pellegrino like she normally did.
I totally flipped out, grabbed my BlackBerry, and speed-dialed my local spa -- Mike intervened, "Dude, you need to chill out! Stop being so paranoid. Don't fall off the wagon now; you're halfway there."
Yet a few days later, I received a voicemail from my daughter uninviting me to a basketball game at her school: "Dad, if you're still doing that man makeunder thingy, don't come to my game. Thanks, love you. P.S. Seriously, I'm not kidding!"
Later that evening, my girlfriend refused to kiss me, claiming my stubble "irritated" her skin.
Despite the negative reactions, there was a silver lining. After 10 days I had already saved over $150 ($15 manicure, $30 pedicure, $35 mini-facial, $60 haircut, $40 dry-cleaning, $10 shoe shines) and even though I looked like a hobo, I still smelled very "fresh."
The $2.69 Speed Stick fresh scent antiperspirant I had switched to was far more effective than my usual $17 Men's Science Advanced Deodorant (I was concerned, however, by the toxins in the antiperspirant). With only four days to go, I was confident I could pull this off.
On the final day, with victory in my sights, I was on the homestretch, gliding down the street without a care in the world. I stopped, and just as I was ordering a shish kebab from a street vendor, a woman approached me and said, "Hey, aren't you that guy, from that show on VH1? What's it called?" Before I had a chance to respond, she yelled out, "Yeah, Celebrity Rehab
, that's it!"
I headed straight to Bliss
and ordered every treatment on the menu.
George Weisgerber is an Asylum contributor and reality television star.
How Much Do You Groom?
|1-2 hours a day -- they call me metrosexual. Cleanliness is next to everything.||3204 (6.6%)|
|1 hour a day -- manscaping is a necessity, I get a 5 o'clock shadow at noon.||8328 (17.2%)|
|30 min. a day -- my biggest concern is remembering deodorant.||31081 (64.3%)|
|Bath time is on Saturday. I'm lucky if I don't clear a room.||5741 (11.9%)|