Sunday Sauce - The new era of man?
Oxy Moron, Contributor
When I was a youngster, which is not many years ago, it was taboo for men to wear white pants and shoes, pants without back pockets, floral clothes, anklets and bangles, anything pink, earrings, slippers, to press and cream their hair, to 'carry news' and gossip, and to join a school's dance troupe. Today, Jamaican men have broken from the shackles of gender stereotype. It's the age of liberation.
Body-hugging, very short-sleeved, short, floral shirts. Cream hair. Exposed polka-dot boxers. Pink pants with its waist at his knees. With passengers he pleads, "give the baby-mother a seat".
Two earrings, perfectly arched eyebrows, glossy lips. White knee-length cargo pants and purple slippers. On a shop piazza, somewhere in rural Jamaica, he's getting his hair done. Further down the valley, Farmer Joe, as old as yonder hills, is tilling the soil.
Bleached face and neck, black lips, mass of unkempt hair. Red, heart-shaped tattoo on neck. Lean, shirtless torso. Right hand kneading vegetable matter in left palm. It is 10 in the morn. He tells a passerby he wants to "eat a food" because "nutt'n nah gwaan".
It's the end of lunchtime. Face is washed with bar of blue washing soap. Face is pat-dried by pink fluffy rag. Small, pink-frame mirror is consulted and eyebrows are rearranged. Lip balm is applied. Soap, rag, mirror and lip balm are replaced into pink shoulder bag. Then, off he 'skanks' in his khaki pants cum tights.
Three earrings in one ear, shoulder-length plaited hair. Cropped jeans, extending just below the knees, are harnessed to his waist by a bright yellow belt. In matching bright yellow slippers he goes, flip-flopping on the construction site, donning yellow-frame sunglasses to protect his sight.
Downtown Kingston. Tall, black-skinned vendor selling panties and brassieres, one of which he stuffs and wears, shouting to people to go and buy his wares. They are oblivious to the fact that he's also donning shimmering slippers, blond braids, plastic hoop earrings and false fingernails.
'Brown boy in the ring, shalla-la-la-la. Show me yuh motion, shalla-la-la-la,' the music blares. Out-dancing and out-styling the girls they are, executing every move under the stars. Arms in arms they twirl, around and around they go on that television dancin' show.
Yesterday morning, he told her, "Dem man deh fi dead!" She retorted, "Mi like him, a so him stay." "Man a thug," he scowled. Last night. She and her thug man were at the front. She was dying with laughter, but still contained herself. And he? Thug spent most of the evening on the floor, rolling and laughing uproariously at Shebada's jokes.