You watch a specific group of people for your entire life and you start noticing certain patterns. We’ve recently noticed that many Egyptian men are perpetually stuck in the 80s. We’re not talking about the kind of men you see at hip hangout spots around Cairo. This phenomenon manifests – very strongly – in very specific groups of men.
The first – and most vast – group is middle-aged men. Think of your typical Egyptian man. Average Joe, or Average Mohamed in our case. Have you imagined him? Let me tell you what that image probably looks like. Checked shirt, pants hoisted up so high they might as well be overalls, hair parted at the side and my-oh-my if he’s got a moustache! In short, you’ve imagined Ahmed Abdel Aziz, the 80s-90s inexplicable heartthrob.
Surprisingly, some younger men adopt this style as well. We’re not talking about hipsters who wear checked shirts with skinny jeans and “ironically” sport a moustache. These are men in their 20s whose outfits are no different from their fathers’! We can’t figure out for the life of us why this is still such a common thing. We’ve come to notice that many of them get the highest grades in school and college, too. This, however, says nothing about their wits. They just have a passion for academia.
You are not what you wear. That’s a fact, but we’ve come up with the conclusion that some men just don’t care. While we admire their courage to not even mind the fact that no one has worn their pants so high since the 1980s, we do feel like this fashion choice has deeper implications.
After long hours of grueling investigation, we’ve come to this conclusion. Egypt has an abundance of men who will hold onto the past for dear life. Sometimes, they will even hold on to a past which they’ve never experienced. Older men dress like that because to them, it might as well be 1986. While younger men dress like that because all they want in life is to be like everyone else, starting with his father. The other side of the “we have a 7000 year old civilization” and “we built the pyramids” coin is a man who still wears safari suits!
Egypt has been living in a constant Groundhog Day since the 80s and up until 2011. Further proof of how sheltered most of us were in our 80s bubble, is how the media reacted to any new subculture. Metal fans were dubbed Satanists, for example. Change – regardless of what it is – is perceived as a threat. It’s no surprise at all. If the environment you are in never changes, you will definitely panic when other people around you change.
They’re not frightened by the idea of other people changing their wardrobe. They’re scared of what it implies; people are moving on. They’re changing outdated, ancient customs and ideals. A man stuck in the 80s is stuck there because it’s safer for him. He’s scared of those shedding chauvinism, elitism and obedience and donning more liberal ideals instead. Their problem isn’t their narrow closet, it’s their narrow mind.
The next time you see a man who looks like they could have been in one of those nostalgic commercials, show them that change isn’t so bad. While old is gold, there are things to celebrate in this day and age too. They can enjoy black and white films and also watch new blockbusters. It won’t hurt to try out something new every now and then. And seriously, get rid of the moustache. It was never a good look.