“Be the man you used to be,” booms the macho baritone voice on the car radio. “Get that energy back for a game of golf with your buddies. Rediscover some real passion for the one you love …”
In Los Angeles, it’s impossible to escape these unnerving adverts informing you that you’re now a shadow of your former self. Men, we’re told, are suffering a widespread malaise. We’re tired, our waists are growing, our hair is falling out, and our sex drive is plummeting.
Of course, in the UK, losing some follicles and gathering a few extra pounds might be considered an inevitable rite of passage. But here, where the march toward self-improvement and perpetual youth is relentless, backsliding is perceived as an illness. A genuine sickness. There’s even a catchy medical diagnosis for it: Low T – or lack of testosterone.
LA Man’s “T” appears to be vanishing faster than the ozone layer, and it has set off a panic along the sun-drenched beaches and palm tree-lined boulevards. Hypochondriac male Angelenos are buying up supplements with names like “Manimal” and “High T” by the bucket load. If that doesn’t make them feel manly again, doctors will prescribe a hormone-infused gel.
It’s now become impossible to watch a baseball game in peace without one of these ads telling you to “have a serious conversation with your medical practitioner” or to “get your T-level checked”. Some of the symptoms you’re told to look out for? Feeling slightly grumpy or sad, or not wanting to go to work.
All-American types with jaws chiselled from granite will pop up on TV screens telling you to “live strong” and “fulfil your life goals.” Former American football player Daryl “Moose” Johnston earnestly reassures us that even he was a sufferer, but “got back in the game” through treatment.