Three random thoughts from a Hong Kong millennial.
My friends and I were talking about our height the other day — they are both 170cm and up, and I’m 155cm — when I remembered how I’ve never met a man in this city who said he was under 170cm. I find this hilarious.
I first noticed this pattern when I went to university. Before that, I went to a girl’s school, so it wasn’t until university that I met more guys. And when I did, it seemed like all guys — whether they’re a head taller than me or clearly at my eye level — told me they were 170cm.
But I really only made the connection when a really tall male friend, whose shoulder was at my eye level, said he was 170cm tall. That’s the same height that a guy I really liked, but who is obviously shorter, also claimed to be.
Clearly, some guys lie about their height, and in Hong Kong, 170cm (or 5’7″) seems to be the threshold for confidence. It’s funny — guys and their fragile masculinity.
Another funny thing that I’ve observed about Hong Kong men is an obsession with hair styling. Gravity-defying hair is everywhere. I’ve heard more than one heated debate among men about which styling products best hold their hair. And when I observe a guy looking in the mirror, nine out of 10 times they’ll check and reposition their hair.
In Hong Kong, men’s hair-styling is often compared to women putting on makeup. I’ve even heard people say before deciding whether or not to date a guy, you better first know what he looks like without any hair-styling products.
My guy, who usually styles his hair really tall and spiky, told me that he used to be a natural hair kind of guy. But then his best friend told him that he got more attention from women after he started styling his hair. My boyfriend confirmed that, yes, more women really looked his way.
Personally, I prefer men with more natural hair. I think it looks much less ridiculous and projects more confidence. I’ve told my guy this several times, until I thought, ‘Hmm, is this the same as when guys tell me they prefer me without makeup?’
I mean, double standards aside, it is just something that helps make me feel better about myself. My guy agreed, saying when hair-styling is the norm in the workplace and in social settings, it makes him feel more polished.
So, I’m really not here to criticize anything or anyone. Like with fashion and makeup, to each to their own.
The Economist found a correlation between ice cream consumption and reading ability. “Ice cream consumption, it seems, has a strong relationship with reading ability, based on the OECD’s PISA educational performance scores.”
Hong Kong, sadly, seems to be an exception. “In well-off Asian countries, by contrast, children are book-rich but ice cream poor.” A sign that we need MORE ice cream, maybe?