Trendysomething in somo
If there's one thing I learned in rehab, it's that I can only rely on myself. Because when shit hits the fan, all of us twentysomethings are drifting about in our own self-involved states. No matter how "sweet" a gal pal or "nice" a bro, at the end of the day, we've only got one person's interest at heart.
So why not own it? A string of couple-y holidays starting in December has finally come to an end (I will not discuss the shame of showing up at Passover solo), and with swimsuit season on the horizon, this is the moment to strike out on your own and stroke your ego. Some may call vanity a sin, but consider it an act of humanitarian aid — after all, you are your own endangered species. Follow my lead:
1. If you can't tone it, tan it.
I've chosen to preserve my Rio Grande Valley glow by sampling Kiehl's new "Facial Fuel Healthy Bronze" moisturizer. It lends a gorgeous, gradual tan without the hefty, new tan-tax. Better yet, it contains Ginkgo biloba. I honestly can't even be bothered to Wikipedia what that is, but it's fun to say and dropping the name is always a surefire win at farmers markets and post-kundalini class chit chat.
2. Wrap it up.
Had I known that there is now Spanx for men, I probably would have avoided an embarrassing clasp-popping conundrum at Bunnies on the Bayou. In fact, I've recently learned of a whole range of men's equal opportunity shapewear. As an ardent activist for men's rights, I'm pleased to have finally broken through the glass ceiling of synthetic undies. Brands like RIPT FUSION, Equmen, (sculptees), Tommy John and of course, Spanx allow us to highlight our better bulges — representing the final frontier in men's empowerment.
3. Toss the Fun-Saver.
There's no point of looking pitch-perfect if you're not going to take a topnotch picture. You could always just say a thousand words, but trust me — nobody wants to hear it. Like therapists and hair removal professionals, finding the perfect professional photographer for your needs can be a drawn-out process. If you somehow find your personal pic portfolio a bit thin, then get to a studio immediately. Something to keep in mind: if you use just-snapped portraits in this year's holiday greetings, you'll have the added bonus of looking eight months younger.
4. Stay hydrated.
Having saved face and tucked away your extra bits, the next step is to accessorize. In case you're not already intoxicated enough by your own good looks, it's time to activate your mobile liquor cabinet. Common knowledge says it's bad luck to buy oneself a flask, but I've had my name misspelled enough times to preempt any monogram mix-ups.
No longer will you be that creepy nobody chugging snog at the Opera Ball after-party, but the sleek somebody sneaking sips while pretending to listen to equally vapid dandies. And while you're in the market for engraved indulgences, I highly recommend scouring the offerings by edgy design collective CITIZEN:Citizen, whose wares are often on hand at Peel Gallery.
5. Shine like the star that you are.
Enough of fluff and flasks — let's get down to business. Make your disco stick dreams a reality with dickdazzling, the male counterpart to vajazzling, in which an aesthetician decorates one's nether region with rhinestones and the like. There's no reason for Jennifer Love Hewitt to capitalize the entire stick-on Swarovski crystals market.
Realize that this is an opportunity to express yourself — ditch the butterflies and Lisa Frank paraphernalia — and bling that baton with something a little more cocky (see image, right).
6. Look smart.
Congratulations — you're close to earning your "shallow chic" certificate.
It's advisable to add a façade of substance to your shtick. I like to create an illusion of depth by wandering around museums — it's a great way to get your face out there and passes the time while those personal electronic devices are charging. The current Maurizio Cattelan show at the Menil is non-stop punchy fun, although the security guards did get testy when I fell into the mirror of Michelangelo Pistoletto's wall-mounted piece, squealing, "Me, me, me!"
The world might not be ready for your vamped-up vanity, but who cares? I always brush off accusations of arrogance with declarations of self-awareness. And if I can talk my way out of rehab within a week, then you can trust me on this one.