Good news for dudes endlessly manscaping to appease the charms of significant others or at least attract a few. Pectoral foliage is back bigger than ever, and to highlight that barrel-chested broadloom, shiny medallions are the perfect accent for the revival.
It’s not certain why hairy chests and medallions have made the proverbial U-turn to popularity when it comes to grooming culture. Last year, proponents of hairless-he-men were ready to declare the shaggy torso was officially dead. Millennials especially embraced the shorn look as symbolic of how men should get in touch with their feminine side. And athletes still swore by shaving and waxing to create less environmental drag, especially in the pool.
But in lockstep with a consumer return to organic lifestyles is a return to more natural looks, and in that regard, hairy chests fit that movement to a tee. And if the hirsute seems to be unsightly to those favoring the more polished look of a shorn chest, a medallion offers the right accent and distraction from that messy matrix. Besides, having all that hair didn’t stop Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz from winning seven gold medals at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. And by no means has the hairless detour sidelined the career of Tom Jones.
For sure, retro fans would like to take some credit for pointing out the sexiness of the infamous Burt Reynolds centerfold that shocked Cosmopolitan readers in 1972 and crept back into public scrutiny shortly after the actor died earlier this year. But, oddly enough, it’s been younger generations that have been trumpeting the look.
On the other side of the pond, Poldark star Aiden Turner got BBC watchers in a tizzy when he showed up shirtless in a scene showing off his frontal rug. Elsewhere, Kanye West, singer Robbie Williams and One Direction warbler Harry Styles have displayed more than a bit of fuzz with jewelry after undoing a few buttons in front of the cameras.
Fashionistas are quick to point out the look also arrives congruent with a return to more '70s styles, as evidenced by catwalk appearances by the likes of Scottish model Chris Millington and retro-style wardrobe lines by designers like Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.
With those icons in his corner, it's safe to say that Medallion Man has arrived.