The Modern Chonmage – The Man Bun

contemplativebun

The year is 1585 and a drip of beaded perspiration slowly meanders down the nose of Okudaira’s servant as he carefully shaves his master’s head to accentuate the grand chonmage of this great samurai. His trusted servant is all too aware that should he impart the slightest blemish on this feared warrior’s scalp, he too will quickly experience an even larger, and yet more terminal, cut upon his own head. After a few more tense moments the servant finally relaxes as Okudaira grunts with approval as he gleefully looks at his long, oiled, black hair topknot, now fully emphasised against his scar ravaged battle weary freshly shaved smooth skin.

But this chonmage was not worn for fashion. No, it was used by the mighty Japanese samurai to securely affix their helmet in place during battle; otherwise it would slide off their servant shaven heads leading to unthinkable catastrophic consequences. As the years progressed, this small clump of hair came to signify their high standing in society and a symbol of their fearsome military innovation and creativity.

Today, the samurai no longer roam the Japanese countryside, but the memory of their fortitude still remains and is seen on the heads of many young men and women in the form of the “man bun” or the ponytail.

Why is it done? Well, hair just seems to get in the way of those individuals who display that “can do” attitude and aggressive fighting spirit. Therefore, the only solution left to these hair embellished individuals is to tie it up and keep it in submissive order, or go the full head shaven bald look, however, not everyone suits that suave look of awesome sophistication.

Yes, it seems that there is a directly observable correlation between an individual’s ability to participate successfully in a physical activity involving agility and fortitude, with that of their hair containment (or no hair). If you like to have long hair, the obvious answer is to focus on those restful pursuits where your hair can avoid repressive entanglement. However, if you want to have the best of both follicle worlds, then maybe seek out the career of a Judge, as you have enjoy the benefits of minimal hair retardation, and can wear a wig.

So if you want to be a winner in life, control your hair, wear a “man bun”, grow a ponytail, or shave your head for maximum benefit.

Or, be bold, be bald.

Claim your Pantaloon Freedom

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On standing up from my desk chair, I immediately felt the unexpected gaze of my colleagues. Some of the looks were based on admiration; others on envy, there was even the occasional involuntary gasp of astonishment. However, to me, the experience was refreshing and reminded me very much of my younger days.

Regardless of your sex, you have all experienced the feeling. It was in the days when we were unashamed to flaunt it all, our bare skin, free to the world, purposefully unhidden below any wads of consolidated fibres of corporate cloth.

We wore our innovative adventures with pride, and accumulated countless scars that testified our forays into the carefree and creative world in which we lived, unperturbed about the potential future consequences.

In our unprotected state, we immediately experienced the changing moods of our surrounding environment. For those of us with an abundance of hairs, these quickly stood erect in complete barometric harmony with the prevailing climatic conditions.

Yes, we were the wearers of shorts and our knees relished in their uncovering.

But at a certain age, our lives changed significantly when we decided, or were instructed by those that knew better, to wear trousers. At this point in time we became pantaloon conformists. No longer would our knees enjoy that continual breeze woft that symbolised our youthful exhilaration of openness.

As the years progressed, that haphazard child-like naivety and knee-free explorative thought slowly became extinct, particularly for those in the corporate office who habitually and unthinkingly wear a suit.

But relax, yours knees are quite resilient and will with the right air stimulation quickly revert back to their native state of youthfulness and inspiration. The corrective process is simple, just start wearing shorts in the office.

Don’t worry yourself about rules of fashion, you can wear long walk socks, short ankle length socks, or go ankle commando.

For that professional look, a tailored short does look the best, together with the belt that used to reside in your conservative suit trousers that will instantaneously welcome your new, and refreshing lease of life, now less rigidly “waistful”. Should you wear a business shirt, tie or jacket with your shorts? The choice is entirely up to you, but definitely not the corporate branded T-shirt, as you will want to vehemently maintain the creative personal innovation that your knees have fought so hard to physically obtain.

Yes, I was enjoying the experience of wearing shorts in the corporate office. My knees were once again unhindered, and so was my thought. In direct thoughtful knee correlation, my mind now gratefully welcomed its cloth shackle-less freedom, and acknowledged that I had once again rediscovered my true source of innovation.

Read My Lips

Jumbo Mumbo Doll

“Read my lips”, was the instruction.

As always, my earplugs were deeply inserted into my ear canals as I tried to block out the unwelcome background noise on my early morning Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Sydney.

The air-hostess, dressed impeccably in her swish fashionably styled Virgin Australia uniform was making an announcement on the PA. I heard not a word, but I understood everything that she said. Yes, I was reading her lips.

A few minutes later, I pondered why? Then it dawned on me. It was her intensely bright red lipstick. Yes, I was fixated on those lips! It wasn’t the form, nor the shape of her mouth, it was the colour. This was the beginning of a theory that needed to be tested further, and I was the man for the job.

That day, I focussed on trying to read the conversations permeating from those around me, what influenced my interest and receptivity in how they delivered their words. You will be pleased to know that I was very academic in my research. I ensured that my analysis environment included a vast number of different types of cafés, restaurants, office foyers, and a rich and random selection of outdoor locations where a full range of men and women (some nude lipped, others lip coloured) were talking. I racked up a long list of expenses on my corporate AMEX card as testament to my investigation, just in case some yet unknown university wanted to continue my research at a later date.

That night, as I sat exhausted in my lush hotel room in Darling Harbour, I collated the copious notes that I had taken throughout the day. After what seemed like hours of intense analysis, the solution became all too clear. The key was in the lipstick colour, the winner, most definitely being bright red.

Now, there is a learning here for those working in the corporate office. Should you want your colleagues to listen to what you say, or to read your lips (should they be audibly challenged, or not really paying attention), then make sure that you wear bright red lipstick as it is the visual reader’s colour of choice.

Although diversity is indeed a requirement in business, I’m not suggesting for a moment that my male colleagues adorn the bright red lipstick (Note to HR: yes, I know, not unless they want to), but a bright red pocket hanky will suffice just as well.

Yes, embellish your body with red, and you will be seen, and most definitely heard.

The Joy of Male Stubicular Freedom

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It happens every morning, and is particularly accentuated following a long weekend, or an extended period of annual leave. It’s when men throughout the world have a good hard look at themselves in the mirror, sigh loudly with despair, and then initiate that reluctant deed of mass facial hair follicle removal. Alas, a few minutes later, a corporate looking face peers back at the observer as they prepare themselves for the look, and appearance, that complies to their traditional business standards of grooming acceptance.

Let’s stop for a moment and analyse just what’s actually going on here as this facial “stubicular” growing experience is not what it first seems to the onlooker, particularly for those that are female. No, it’s not an act of corporate rebellion, nor another demonstration of male laziness. It is a feeling that men of all ages immediately relate to, sacredly cherish, and have done so since the age of time when the first hair remarkably sprouted from their noble chin. Rather, it is an innate psychological behaviour that typifies the fundamental essence of being a man which is commonly unleashed when relaxing in a non-work environment.   

But, it is more than this, it is a unique masculine feeling that is directly proportional to a man’s sense of creativity and innovation. University studies of some yet to be published academic research, will undoubtedly affirm that when a man frees his mind to think, and to allow ideas to permeate unhindered, his facial hairs have a propensity to grow.

Any Marketing Managers, or HR Managers reading this blog post, please pay attention as the clue to the development of an innovation culture within your company has just been provided. Yes, you need to encourage your male employees to resist the urge to shave. They should be encouraged to grow moustaches, beards and portray long side-burns as “hair fuzz” does indeed equate to innovation. Any advocates of corporate safety will also applaud and support your hairy male decision as the days of facial razor cuts will soon be a unwelcomed sight from the past. So what are you waiting for? As that Nike® slogan says, “Just Do it” so you can quickly reap the furry rewards of creativity.

PS: And should your organization be blessed with menfolk that have a massive hairy chest, well, you are sitting on a copious and hugely under-utilized innovation resource just waiting to be unleashed from their business shirts!

Free your Hairs

Woman holding hair

I am indeed honoured to receive the 2015 Nobel Prize for Science!

I’m particularly pleased that my academic peers, and the international science community, have now finally accepted my many years of extensive research into hair receptivity and now recognise it as a credible scientific theory into innovative psychology.

Yes, we can now prove without a “reasonable” doubt that there is indeed a direct causal link between an individual’s hair and their ability to think creatively.

It appears that woman throughout the ages have inherently understood this little known fact which is exemplified by their willingness to have long, free flowing hair. Men, on the other hand, have considerably disadvantaged themselves creatively via an interest in having that clean shaven look (face and head), and their hair far too short. To exacerbate the male problem, those with a hairy chest, and those lucky enough to have a hairy back, have hidden their follicle prowess under garments (see the blog post titled “Membership in the League of Hairy Chested Men”) [1]. Age should also no longer be a reason for eliminating bushy eyebrows, hairs permeating in your ears and other less spoken about facial areas.

Thankfully, our proven research will now change this archaic hair behaviour for good.

This ground-breaking research indicates that the volume of hair, regardless of where it is located on the body, acts as a transmitter of creative thoughts, the more hair, the increased ability of the individual to think imaginatively. Yes, this theory does indeed explain the innovation behavioural problem evidenced in cyclists who shave their legs, and swimmers who like that total all over body nude look, specifically high platform divers.

For all you HR Managers reading this blog post, the key to creating a culture of innovation in the corporate office is for your employees to be encouraged to have long hair (both men and women) and for men to grow beards and moustaches. Now for those men fortunate enough to have a hairy chest, yes, the choice is obvious; all business shirts should have no buttons.

Yes, there is one casualty with this research and this relates to the activities of the hairdresser. Demand for haircuts will indeed decrease, yet hair styling will remain constant, so should you be thinking about a career in this field of employment, you have been warned.

In summary, be hairy and let your innovation grow to the fullest.

[1] https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/membership-in-the-league-of-hairy-chested-men/

The Choice is in Your Hand – Left or Right?

Thinking Mode 1

For many years now, men of all ages, have been daunted with one of the most important life choices that needs to be made on a daily basis first thing each morning. This decision is not one that should ever be rushed, nor should it be trivialized, as the resultant selection will linger for the remainder of the day until eventually corrected that evening with a potential, and welcome, sigh of relief.

For most men, symmetry is the most common selection criterion, but some do like to go with a surprise methodology that may invoke that well known law of uncertainty and mystique. Others may match colour, size and complexity to complement their prevailing mood. Some may utilize a delayed surprise and shock strategy that requires a pointed unveiling, at the appropriate time, to reinforce and embellish an important event. For me, I go with an approach that is built entirely around complete randomness, however, having them is a non-negotiable life necessity.

Women and children have also been known to partake in their use as they reinforce diversity and are not bound, nor limited, by any classification of stereotype, nor allocated gender.

The items are ageless and can be passed down between generations to signify belonging, prestige, heredity or just plain and simple usefulness. Some are priceless, others may be worthless, but their value is indeed calculated in the eye of the beholder.

They are typically seen in the corporate office, but no restriction applies to their use as they are not bound by any regulations, statutes, or HR policies, and are free to participate in any public, or private, work, or social environment.

Some say they were first observed in the 16th century. I say their use is timeless, and they shall prevail for many centuries to come bringing a sense of satisfaction and continued personal self-esteem for all generations!

They are a sign of personal innovation, creativity and confirm your undeniable link to shirt fashion.

Yes, they are cuff-links. May you wear them with pride, savor the experience, and enjoy the looks of nodding approval from your colleagues, friends, and even those you don’t know yet (but they will undoubtedly know you)!

Membership in the League of Hairy Chested Men

Hairy chest

There are many “taboo” topics that are typically not talked about in a public forum, and particularly not in the corporate office. Similarly, these items of private interest are also not privy to the benefit of being found in numerous blog post searches, nor other forms of the social networking media.

No, I’m not talking “women’s issues”, I’m talking one that has been baffling men for thousands of years and I think it is time for it to make an appearance without any fear of reprisal or public humiliation!

I for one, have embraced my DNA heredity right of manhood and display my male characteristics to the fullness. How do I feel you may ask? Brilliant, and I encourage all men to follow my lead and embrace their god given right to show it!

Yes, I’m a full member of the “League of Hairy Chested Men”. That’s right, I have copious amounts of chest hair and I’m not ashamed to show it, in fact, I flaunt it whenever possible!

Now all you clothing fashion designers reading this blog post, take note as there are some important and key learnings here for you. Now that I have your attention, please consider the following points when next you develop a shirt for men:

Buttons: There are too many. You can increase your profits by eliminating the top three buttons, as they are superfluous for the hairy chested man. We like to flaunt our masculinity and these additional buttons just get in the way of our exhibitionist tendencies.

Fabric Thickness: Don’t skimp here! Men’s chest hairs are sneaky little creatures and they just love peering through the cloth. The result is an itchy chest and a look that can be a tad prickly to the observer.

Colour: Not white, as we don’t want our hidden hairs taking over the surreptitious show from those that have been formally allowed to preen in a public and approved manner.

So, to all you women read this post, the future of men’s chest hairs are indeed in your hands. You have the power to encourage your menfolk to show their hairiness and to join me in the global quest for chest hair freedom!

To all you hairy men…..be seen, be hairy! It’s a great feeling of empowerment!

Image: Shutterstock

Neck Naked Innovation

32 of 365.

It’s 6 am in the morning and many woman of all ages (and some lucky men) with long locks of hair all over the world are having to make a strategic decision that will impact not only themselves, but also their work colleagues, family and friends.

That key decision is, should my hair be up or down? Now before you scoff at this important question, please understand that this key piece of personal grooming will influence their mood throughout the day, and potentially into the evening!

As I’m follicley challenged, I’m not that familiar with this mood influence, but according to “extensive personal research”, I’m now convinced of the data validity and the direct behavioural correlation. So for those of you looking for a worthwhile topic for an elaborate and complex government funded research project, look no further, this one will keep you mentally, and financially equipped, for years!

According to the “extensive data”, it’s not actually the length of the hair, but the feeling of the hair on the individual’s neck. The presence of neck hair apparently provides a feeling of protection from the surrounding environment, whereas no neck hair (the technical term known as “neck nakedness”) yields a sensation of freedom and potential optimism for the acceptance of new challenges! (yes, it’s all seen in the “analysis data”).

So, should you be planning to introduce a culture of innovation in your corporate office, may I suggest that an internal memorandum, issued by your HR Director, be quickly distributed instructing all employees to wear their hair up to ensure the best chance of success!

Now I can all hear you asking about those with a bald head. Well, the “data” suggests that these highly valued employees are the obvious candidates for the esteemed position of “Innovation Champions” as they have no creative inhibitions!

So next time you look at yourself in the mirror as you prepare yourself for your day of work, remember, the hairbrush is your key to corporate innovation!

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