April 10th, 2004

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09:25 pm - And I now present a cultured and sophisticated man about town...
And so it shall be and so it has come to pass...

A month ago I had this idea. I stated that I would take a simple geek and turn him into a stunning metrosexual. Some were excited. Some laughed. Some said it couldn't be done... Over the course of the last several weeks, there was much discussion about the subject and what could and couldn't be accomplished. There was concern that I might try to make Kenn (the geek) into something that he wasn't. There was concern that he would resist or that I wouldn't do enough. Sad though I am to report, there were even a few nay sayers who doubted my brilliance! Pshaw! Pshaw I say! So today, was the magic day. And here are the results.

Oh, and if anyone has actually seen Queer Eye. This is the part where we compliment and bash and generally talk about the results. So please, I look forward to commentary. I'd like to know what people like and don't like. Any further suggestions. Any first impressions... Anything that comes to mind at all. kenoubi and papertygre are probably pretty interested as well.

Oh... final tally for the entire treatment, including purchase of all new clothes, shoes, haircut, razor and much styling product: $177.70

And without further ado:

So what do you think?

EDIT: Ratha took some pictures of the makeover in progress. They are here.

Current Mood: [mood icon] accomplished

(116 comments | Leave a comment)

And I now present a cultured and sophisticated man about town... - And I now present a cultured and sophisticated man about town... - graffiti.maverick Page 3 — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: blk Date: April 12th, 2004 - 11:21 am (Link)
Saw this link on s&e but forgot to comment. Very well done! The clothes aren't a style I prefer, but they go pretty well with him. I think the haircut and removal of the facial-chia were the biggest and most important parts. Even though I'm not a fan of any facial hair, that well-styled bit of fuzz is much much much MUCH more attractive (and fitting to his age) than the earlier poof.

Congrats again, Mav. I'd love to see you keep this up. :)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 12th, 2004 - 03:33 pm (Link)
Congrats again, Mav. I'd love to see you keep this up. :)

Honestly, I enjoyed it... dunno who I'd go with next though... nor how much should be charged or anything like that... will have to think about all of that... perhaps I'll have ambition to post an LJ poll.
[User Picture]From: marmal8 Date: April 12th, 2004 - 12:43 pm (Link)
Nice work, Mav. The essence appears to have been combed and trimmed without being disturbed. You're the Fab 5 all rolled into one.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 12th, 2004 - 03:35 pm (Link)
well really, we just concentrated on 2 of the Fab 5 areas... but yeah, I was pretty happy with the end game... So thankyou for the praise...
[User Picture]From: papertygre Date: April 12th, 2004 - 03:34 pm (Link)

What my mom said

All I can say is that Kenn has to be the very best sport in all of human history. Tell him I think he looks great EITHER way!!
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 12th, 2004 - 03:46 pm (Link)

Re: What my mom said

good, good... I was hoping they were pleased with their investment...

how is Kenn feeling about things anyway... both of you have been... well... uncharacteristically comment-eriffic about the process since it ended and I was curious. He seemed rather excited before, and I figured he'd pop in here and say something sooner or later... or post on his blog or something...

as is, I was afraid that perhaps you'd killed him...
[User Picture]From: papertygre Date: April 13th, 2004 - 06:00 am (Link)

Re: What my mom said

In a way, it's been scary. It's been difficult enough to adapt to his physical presence, now that he's no longer visiting and not being held at arm's length as "a friend." I have come to frequently compare myself to him, for example; his memory tends to be clearer than mine, his coding skill and knowledge of technical information better, and he speaks more confidently on the first pass. In a way, we were better matched on IM, because I had time to compose more intelligent responses. (A topic of ongoing conversation between us is whether it is possible to "think without words": he claims it isn't possible, because as soon as he has a thought he has words for it, but I claim that I usually do think without them and then when I go to speak, I have to translate and it is relatively awkward.)

So, before, it almost seemed that he simply didn't care for mundane things. It was beneath him, he didn't have the time to be concerned about frivolous things like fashion. This provided a bit of balance, possibly. But now it's as if he's mutated into something supernatural, something I can't be sure I know the preferences and motivations of. Whenever he's concentrating on something and in serious mode, so that his personality is hidden for a minute, I sometimes find myself gazing at him and thinking, Who is this? Do I really know this person?

As Kenn mentioned, I do like the shorter beard. But even that is hard to get used to. Maybe I would prefer it all trimmed the same length rather than partly shaved; perhaps that would seem less affected. I suppose that some time is just required to get used to it.

I think I share some of his reaction to the comments on this journal entry, although I am more reluctant to come out and say it. Somehow, when people were bickering to the tune of 80 comments in my journal about his and my potentially dating, it didn't bother me. I was going to do what I decided I wanted to do, and most of the time people qualified what they said to indicate that they realized this was ultimately none of their business. But when people whom I didn't even imagine read Mav's journal came out to comment positively, it was, as Kenn noted, just like a big fat insult to Kenn's former appearance, which had been self-created. I mean, a few positive comments, sure, but over 100, from strangers, most of them bubbling over with enthusiasm? Unlike with the threads in my journal, I felt like it was personal this time. At least, I sort of took it personally.

Well, that's the raw opinion. I still think a very large "thank you" is in order for all of the time, and energy, and caring you expended on this project, Mav. And I am sure that the commenters on this post mean well. And the fact that with the healthier hair and shorter beard he has gone from cute to heart-stoppingly adorable may well be a good thing, disorienting as it is. But now when he smiles I *do* almost want to just kill him...
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:39 am (Link)

Re: What my mom said

I'm not going to get into all the "nature of thinking" stuff here. 1) because i already spent the better part of the morning composing my response to kenn, and 2) its just kinda deep for the context of this post... maybe in another

(Anyway, allow me to psychoanalyze for a moment here... you know I love you, and you know I don't mean anything hurtful by anything I will say)

but for the otherstuff, I think you are being overly hard on yourself and on Kenn. I know its not what you're "trying" to say, but basically what it sounds like is "Kenn is better than me in all these ways, I liked that he was inferior in this way... now he's too damn perfect." Well first of all, he isn't perfect. Second, it should be good if he is. I talked a bit about this on Friday and I have been meaning to compose a 1KWFFH for a while on it, so maybe I will soon. But why is appearance mundane? I will grant that some intellectual pursuits might be more important, but is he any less than he used to be because now he suddenly looks good as well. In some respects, I think it might be a fear. I think that there might be a sense of "ohmigod! now people might realize he's cool" in there. "Maybe someone else will realize how cool he is, and they won't be put off by his appearance and I won't be important." Or maybe it's the other way. Maybe before you were able to defend his personality behind the guise of "you guys only think that because he looks this way." that's all suddenly gone. Now if people hate him, its not going to be because he looks scary.

I dunno... really, I'm just grasping at possible straws. Truth it, its change, its major change, and that's going to hard for you to get used to. What actually makes it worse is, you are starting to realize what some people were saying before. Despite a gazillion aim and phone conversations, you don't really know each other. Most people go from nothing to a date, to casual dating, to serious dating and then perhaps to a long distance relationship, and then back to seriousness. You went from nothing to a long distance relationship to a serious one and yet you're still in a learning phase, and now there's been a sudden large disruption to the status quo. Its been constant changes, with nothing concrete to use as a basis. And this is another change while you're still disoriented. And really, you sometimes deal with change less well than other people anyway. (which doesn't mean you can't)

Suffice it to say, I think any of those fears (if you do indeed have them) aren't really necessary, nor are the ones you specifically detailed yourself. That doens't mean they aren't there. I just think you can get past them. You're plenty nice, pleny smart, plenty pretty and plenty worthwhile in your own right. And for better or worse, he is still the same person essentially that he was before. If that turns out that he's perfect, fine... if it turns out that he's not and you didn't really know him... well... that's just how it is.

Anyway, there's no need to feel threatened, and there's no need to feel inferior and even though I'm sure you will anyway, I just want you to know that I still do love you, and keep in mind, that I don't really know Kenn enough to give a damn about him at all (no offense, Kenn). I did this for you, and I hope you can be comfortable with that. And hey... if you want to go out sometimes and buy nice pretties for you, I'm there for you then too...

[User Picture]From: kenoubi Date: April 12th, 2004 - 11:54 pm (Link)
I know I'm a little late, and thus probably few will see this, but my comments are here.
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: April 13th, 2004 - 06:47 am (Link)
Hi Kenn, I'm Mav's Mom. I was really glad to see your responses this morning. Just last night I told Mav that I was concerned about how you were doing with all of this. While I was one of those that really liked the transformation, I was also concerned whether you would be overwhelmed by the volume of responses. I guess it's my Mama radar at work! Be assured that the comments ARE superficial as they are comments on your appearance only, not on your inner self. As most of us don't actually know you, the comments on improvement refer to the new look; not a new you. I hope that you find that the changes bring positive responses from others. That said, I hope you are comfortable with the changes, because ultimately that's what matters.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:13 am (Link)
Yeah... I was kinda trying to get at that. The overwhelming response is something that's probably hard for a lot of people to get used to. I'm used to it... he may not be. But also keep in mind, the comments here are actually, (and this sounds egotistical, but it is what it is) a commentary on me, not on Kenn. Many people don't actually know Kenn. So its more they are responding to a change that I did. He's sort of being objectified here. But he isn't actually one of my paintings, he's a person, so its kinda weird. People comment on anything I talk about here. And if Ricky Lake and Jenny Jones have taught us anything, its that people really LOVE the makeover episode, so they comment even more. Anyway, the initial onslaught of "look what Mav did" should be over now. So here comes the really exciting (though subtle) part. What do people in the real world think of him?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:03 am (Link)
Not gonna hit every point you made since I just don't have the time at this moment, and also, I'm not sure you actually care about my opinions on every one of your points... but if there is something in particular you want my take on, by all means feel free to ask me here, or online or in person or whatever...

Touching on specific points:

1) Permanence. As I pointed out when this started, everything we did to you in temporary and quite reversible. Obviously the beard and hair are slow to return to their original state. But its doable. Since its slow, that's why we spent so much time talking about the hair and beard in particular and less talking about the clothes. I for one think the clothes really matter. I'm much more of a clothes guy than I am a hair guy. But the clothes you can take off and put your old stuff on and never think about it again. The beard and hair will take a few months. So I wanted to make extra sure you were happy with them. That's why I had you make the ultimate decision on the mustache. And why I double checked every thing I was thinking of with you and showed you all those magazine pics and stuff... I really needed to make sure you were going to be happy with the end result there. Or at least reasonably so. Granted, I knew it would be scary and you'd be apprehensive in any case, but I was fairly confident by Saturday morning with the general grooming decisions I was thinking of. And wonder of wonder, I was actually planning on having you shave the mustache, but then, I think it looks fine the way it is now too... adds a bit of distinguishment.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:04 am (Link)
2) Other people's opinions. My mom sort of touched on this below, and I might expand on it when i get around to responding to her. I think you are somewhat upset by being "judged" by a bunch of people you don't know. And that's fair. Suddenly, at least for a couple days there, you are just "under the microscope" so to speak. A couple things to keep in mind though. This is extraordinarilly temporary. Literally like well over a hundred people read anything I happen to write here. And then they talk about it. I consider it a blessing, actually. In this case, you happen to be the subject of the discussion. But really, they'll forget about you in another day or two (if they already haven't) on their own... or especially the next time I decide to post some essay on politics or sex with teenaged girls. So part of the uncomfortability is that you are suddenly in the midst of my "fame" mediocre though it may be. Trust me, I know what its like, because I am here all the time. Maybe I should have warned you better. That's my fault. Sorry.

That said, like my mom said, they are judging how you look. not who you are. Now in your case, they might also judge who you are. I think I pointed out when I first brought this up that this isn't going to make you any more or less nice. And its not going to make you any more or less of an asshole either. I have no control over that. All I am affecting is people's first impressions. Look, you have several really good friends. I don't know you all that well, but I do know Ratha and Ed and Theadana, and I tend to think that they aren't morons, so, I assumed that there must be something of substance there inside your head. That's the reason I decided to do this in the first place. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. If I really thought you were absolutely without social value, I frankly would have said "fuck you, I have better things to do with my Saturday" and gone out and gotten drunk or something. So I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. But Theadana in her comment stated this herself. You're approachable now. That's all anyone is saying... Yes, it is sort of a direct attack (as you put it) on your old look (not on you). Frankly, you looked like a crazy person. A serial killer. The fact that you weren't was immediately secondary, because you were so unapproachable to start with. Now at least you look a way where you at the very least make a more or less neutral first impression if not a favorable one. What you do with it after that is your business. You can be aloof. You can be nice. You can be funny. You can be smart. You can be an asshole. Its just that now there are people who are going to stick around and find out who the real you is rather than just making the assumption "I don't want to talk to that guy, because obviously he kills and eats people." Is that a fair assumption to make? Maybe not, but that's just people. At one point, I thought you were specifically rebelling against that, but when talking to you a month ago, I got the impression that you really weren't. So at least now, I feel like you have a fair shot to be a nice guy or asshole on your own merrit as opposed to that of a mound of facial hair and some pants that don't quite fit right.

[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:05 am (Link)
3) Tie dye and going out of style. Ok, I think you're taking me too seriously here. Maybe I should have explained better. The reason Mike and I went on about the tie dye is that you happened to have tie dye so that sort of implied that you might like it. If that's the case, then hey, since its "in" right now, you might as well position yourself at the top of the fashion trend because really, why the hell not. I honestly never expected you to suddenly be this chic fashion bug. I was trying to tailor your look around something that made you look, as you say "important", and as I see you "quirky" (that's a good thing, don't worry about it). This is why I put you in the freaky tie, with the jeans. Its actually kinda late 80ish. Its kinda Boys II Men maybe. Retro. Same with the bright green blazer. Its very "Corey." I wasn't really trying to modernize you as make you definitive. I personally would never EVER wear a bright green blazer. I think it suits you. You'll also notice that a lot of the people commenting here said "ewww, I don't like the tie" or "ewww, I don't like the blazer" and I basically gave them all a nice polite "fuck you, he looks good in it." And keep in mind, a lot of these people are my really good friends... Hell, one of them is my mother. So yeah, wear it as long as you like wearing it. For the record, the plaids for instance are kinda not in. And as Mike and I joked, with anyone else, I probably would have said "what are you thinking, this ain't 1994" and told them to burn all the flannel. But it works for you. Anyway, I say keep the tie. I say wear more ties. Its like you said, it makes you look more important without being expensive. See comment from xthlcm for a pretty humorous example of why. Actually, others have also pointed out that it makes you look "professorish." What more can you ask for? I think it gives you the "important" look you were going for without costing you a lot of money in the ways that your previous attempts didn't. See, and I did that without you saying anything about the need to look important. Damn, I'm good.

From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:06 am (Link)
From: chrismaverick Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:07 am (Link)
[User Picture]From: mamarayne Date: April 13th, 2004 - 10:25 am (Link)
now there are people who are going to stick around and find out who the real you is

That's the Whole Point! If it hadn't been so early in the morning out here & I'd had sufficient coffee, I might have said it as well as you! :-)
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