Why This Outdoorsy Gal Says It’s Ok for You to Be a Lumbersexual

©istockphoto/Tempura

©istockphoto/Tempura

New words are born almost daily on the internet but, perhaps, the most controversially creative term to come out of the outdoor industry in the past decade is “Lumbersexual” which is scathingly defined on Urban Dictionary as follows:

“A Gen-Y or later man whom is trying desperately to be masculine by looking the part instead of being the part, eg, dressing up like a lumberjack. This is done primarily to capture lost or missing masculinity due to being emasculated by things such as his childhood environment, feminism, modern urban culture, and “Sex In The City” reruns. He tries to achieve this masculinity by mimicking real men, and in this particular case a lumberjack due to their connection to blue collar work and an outdoor workplace.”

First, calm down Urban D. contributors. Glad to see you can completely deconstruct this fashion phenomenon based on the ONE psych class you took in undergrad.

Secondly, I must admit that my kind of men are far from Lumbersexual and lean more toward the rugged, Grizzly Adams, end of the spectrum. You’ll never see my current (and very hairy) beast of a boyfriend putting product in his beard, nor does he give two shits about your craft beer. You can keep that costly stuff—He’ll stick to Coors Light, thank you kindly. About the closest article of clothing he has to “metro” are a pair of darkwash semi-Luke Bryan-esque jeans that even Luke Bryan wouldn’t wear because they’re nowhere near tight enough. Otherwise, you’ll find him in camo, a cut-off t-shirt, or a 10-year old Carhartt jacket with more holes in it than swiss cheese. He does not, nor will he ever, Instagram, and he has a very crude joke about what a “Twitter” is. He owns guns. Many, many guns. And he uses those guns to hunt delicious elk, antelope, turkey and other critters which, did I mention, he field-dresses and hauls out of the mountains with his bare hands? Note: Vegan-ladies need not apply. So, that being said, he’s what’s traditionally known as a slightly redneck version of a “Man’s Man”—hold the expensive scotch. And that’s alright by me (Nether-regions currently fluttering).

My best gal-pal, on the other hand, needs Lumbersexuals in her life. She needs a man who smells good 100% of the time, doesn’t much like guns but will shoot one if he has to, recycles, has several nice pairs of shoes and may even rock a scarf or man-bun from time to time. Should he be outdoorsy? Absolutely. But in a Ryan-Gosling “Imma row you across this pond to see some ducks, Girl”, kinda way. She’ll take a short scenic hike in the sidecountry, over a long grueling one in the backcountry and hopefully her man is willing to carry her pack, should she get tired. She likes ’em cultured too. Art, photography, fine-dining, the whole sha-bang. In other words, if my perfect date is my man-beast dressed in overalls hauling felled trees, hacking them into chunks with his chainsaw, and then chopping them up to provide me with firewood whilst we snuggle under the glowing stars of the Rocky Mountain wilderness…Her equivalent is her dude rocking a stylish flannel shirt, hair slicked back, buying her a sampler of craft beer after a few hours of sightseeing. If he also happens to be the owner of a hip nonprofit that saves sea-otters—fan-flipping-tastic!

And you know what, the world (despite what some naysayers may think) needs both types of men. All types of men, So. Many. Mens. As long as they’re kind, honest, men. Because, just as women don’t want to fit into anyone’s narrow view of femininity, men shouldn’t be expected to conform to an equally narrow and limiting view of masculinity.

So, to the “Lumbersexuals” out there, just do you, dude. Even if that means wearing skinny jeans and Toms. Do you. Even if it means you never own a gun, chop your own firewood, or go “hardcore” in the outdoors. Do you. I won’t date you (and you probably wouldn’t want to date me) but there are plenty of girls out there who dig your style. What’s more, by being who you are 100% of the time, you encourage other men to be themselves more fully too.

Chances are, if you’re truly comfortable with yourself (and your lack of true blue-collar skills), then you don’t need my permission anyway.

Not to mention, this trend encourages men to grow facial hair. There can never, will never, be anything wrong with that.

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