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There are times when I am totally unaware of a prejudice I may have until I am up against the proverbial wall of narrow thinking.  Being pinned to a mental wall by my own subjectivity brings my awareness around to recognizing chemically set beliefs that feel like unyielding bricks. Bricks in my own thinking that I have strewn about my minds narrow path. Wow! I love facing myself. I love pushing myself. I love spanking myself for being stuck in a mental imagery rut and I love pulling my proverbial arse out of that rut!

Rut? What rut? Well, you try this though out: I was challenged to discover  10 images of the OPPOSITE sex that are unconventional in beauty. Here is where the prejudice comes in: in my concrete left thinking mind (when taking on a challenge)  ascribes beauty to a form in nature that is not human or to the female of the human species. My concrete brain cell does not use the word beauty as a masculine reference. I have to get my thinking off that wall of belief about the word beauty or I will never find any imagery of men who communicate unconventional beauty!!! Holy Moly! Am I that narrow thinking? I did not feel my limitations until I began my search for those elusive images of beautiful, unconventional men. My internal, mental monkey minded chatter and grumbling consisted of the mantra, "If I were a man this hunt for unconventional beauty in the opposite sex would be easy!" Call me silly but I am calling myself beauty prejudice.

I need to breathe and explore the dictionary meaning of the words conventional and unconventional. Conventional is conforming or adhering to accepted standards, as of conduct or taste and behavior. Conventional can be ordinary and from this point on you get the drift ... run of the mill "stuff" and perhaps what a person would experience in one's everyday interaction with life. This is where my prejudice comes in ... I view men in my world in a very conventional way. I don't or have not graced the male form (before now) with the word beauty.  Now that I have the word conventional refreshed in my mind on to the word unconventional. Naturally, to me, I assume that because of the "un" that precedes the word conventional the meaning will be the opposite of what one would call conventional; Duh. Oh my head is hurting! An on-line dictionary defines unconventional as "not bound by or conforming to convention, rule, or precedent; free from conventionality: an unconventional artist" ... blah blah blah. Did finding and refreshing my understanding of unconventional make this quest easier? NO! I am still stuck inside of my head where I have been living and breathing without defining beauty relating to men in an unconventional way! Wait, I just found the synonyms for unconventional and what a huge help for my unyielding mind: eccentric, individualistic, idiosyncratic, atypical! YES! Words to help me get out of my rut! Words to un-stick me where I am stuck! Ahhhh, feeling much better now so ... on with my discovery of 10 images of Men that I believe convey unconventional beauty ... and I finally flipped over to my right side of my brain :-)


(Website for this imageProject: Left Brain Right Brain Client: Mercedes Benz Agency: Shalmor Avnon

 I love dance. I love watching the human form engaged in the expressive art form of dance. I would argue that most of us, when we close our eyes see women dancing as we mentally visualize "dance". I would imagine that if a person is encouraged to see in their minds eye a male form dancing their brain will serve up an image of Rudolf Nureyev or maybe even Jose Greco. Yep, I would argue that point, and maybe not the exact same dancers and art forms but you get my drift. Today, I discovered a man whose moniker is Zorba and I knew immediately that I was witnessing beauty in male form. I was taken in by the expression of pure joy and maybe even ecstasy on Zorba's face as he is engaged in his artform. I can see his passion. I am drawn into his world. To me, that is the beauty of Zorba's male form that I am interacting with when I am gazing at this image of a MAN expressing and living his unconventional beauty. Thank you Zorba for being you! It is because of Zorba that my mind opened even more and softened as I let Zorba lead my way in my search for more images of unconventional male beauty.

Zorba ~ The Veiled Male Belly Dancer ~

Once I saw the beauty of expression on Zorba's face in the image above, I just had to keep looking at male belly dancers! I so enjoy stretching my small neuropathways! I discovered the image below of Rachid Alexander and admit he most certainly is a beautiful specimen of a man being unconventional in his expression of self. I love this photo because of the artist graceful lines he creates with his arms, and torso. My eyes repeat the pattern of flowing from finger tip to finger tip over and over with pauses to take in the beautiful costume rich with color and texture. This image is for me a beautiful experience.

 (Google image of Rachid Alexander

I certainly would like to think that my discovery of this new form of beauty does not get me in trouble. Trouble because I now am wanting to find a nightclub where there are male belly dancers that I can witness in person. I mean ... seriously, just look at the image below! Can we all say: Unconventional beauty? Why yes, I think we can ... oh, and it is artistic too!

Arish lam 16.jpg, originally uploaded by Jeremy Shane.

Male belly dancer, nuff said.

Pause. The quest for unconventional male beauty is exhausting. Mentally exhausting because I am not wanting to take a break and because of that I am not thinking properly ... I captured a picture and cannot rediscover the link to give credit. I simply used my finger pad and slid the image off to the side and .... oops! Even in searching my history I am stumped! Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe being stumped helps me remember my quest, my goal of discovering and sharing the artistic beauty of the male figure/form presented or captured or whatever that is not the norm, that is unique ... to me. In my haunting of the internet my eyes fell upon this beautiful image of an older man.

(google image)

My eyes become riveted to his eyes, held by the wisdom, the knowing, the blueness, the way this being is so unconventional to my world. I find him very beautiful, very alluring, very interesting and would love to sit and share worlds with his blue eyes. I know in many cultures the turban is for religious reasons that I am ignorant of. I find the plaid pattern of his head wrap unique and thinking that maybe his head dress is for environmental reasons and not religious? What ever the reason for this beautiful soul has for wrapping his head is a mystery but adds to the imagery and to my collection of the beauty of the male form. I want to touch his face.

(Coffee break! I'll be back shortly. During this intermission you can go get yourself a cup of whatever too! Remember to return!)


(Website for this image)

I have always had a weak spot for men who don't project gender roles onto parenting. Men who have no problem with embracing the responsibility for bringing up our children are truly beautiful souls. The image below is of one such beautiful soul. This unconventional male is in a very conventional setting and I find I smile when I look upon him and his child. To me, this is what the soul is made of and to me this image captures the beauty of the male form expressing as loving parent ... no gender issue .. and that is extraordinary! Is this image artistic? The interpretation is always up for debate because art is so subjective and if I say this is artistically beautiful then it is .. for me.


I don't like tattoos. Okay, don't get your panties in a wad because you have a tattoo. There are reasons I don't like tattoos and because of those reasons I will not ever get one. I do find many tattoos beautiful, especially on young people who have tight skin, but after working in the medical field for too many years I am here to share with you that tattoos tend to migrate as a body ages and those tight little rosebuds bloom into peonies!  Use your imagination! Now, getting away from my personal opinion about tattoos I have to admit that I do enjoy looking at Maori people's body art. The Maori call their face art Ta Moko.

Website for this image

In looking at many pictures of Maori men, young and old, I have not found one image that makes me say "what were they thinking"! The Ta Moko of the face is absolutely beautiful. I love the patterns, the meanings that are tied to each area of the face and it just seems that when our Creator made the Maori the Maori were meant to be adorned by their unique ink body art. Even the Maori tattooing of the rest of the body is to me, mesmerizing. Maori male body art is unconventionally beautiful and extremely artistic in addition to each Moko telling a unique story.




For Adult Eyes Only!

It had to happen. When you type into the search engine "unconventional male beauty" you are bound to get some skin .. uncovered with conventional clothing. This beautiful image of the male form graced my screen and I must share. Beautiful because the pose is not for the conventional audience, but to me it speaks of how we .. maybe just me ... views the male body when posed. My mental imagery of the nude male form usually pops up as Mr. Atlas or sexy fireman posing in their boots and suspenders holding up pants ... no shirt (is that anyway to dress for a fire?) , or sometimes that blue eyed hunk that needs a shave. My mind never presents to my viewing pleasure a male form as sleek, trim, not too muscled and standing on a column like Adonis himself.


This image is very unconventional in its portrayal of the male form .. and to my eyes, and to some other eyes that I can only imagine, this half human, half god like male form could inspire a mythology for an entire mythological nation and that is amazing.


End of Nudity You can open your eyes again


I am digressing back to my female hormonal mind set and when I saw Mr. David Lee Roth's picture the image screamed Unconventional Male Beauty! Oh yes, and after the scream of his artistic beauty I smiled with the memory of the 80's and how his image (or one like it) graced my locker at work .. at a hospital .. and in between surgical cases I would get to Jump! when looking at David in my locker. Yes yes yes, I know it may seem like I am treating the image of David like he were an object. Not true.

For me, David Lee Roth is a beautiful specimen of the male form and he adorned himself with his individualistic style with perfection. It appeared to me that everything this man did was a form of art. His clothes were art, his dance of course was a form of expressive art, his voice, his photos, just everything. And for all those reasons he has earned a place among my 10 images of unconventional beauty of the opposite sex. Thank you Mr. David!

I am always ready to stare at Seal. I just can't take my eyes of of him. The scars on his face add to the beautiful form and presence of this man. His scars are like random acts of visual art that nature took liberty to grace him with. Seal did not intentionally scar himself. This is his body's natural expression in this life. He wears his blessings well and that is what draws me to him. Truly a beauty of nature.


I always appreciate the ability for any person to accept themselves "as is" and embrace their unique physical expression. Redefining what beauty is has been a "beautiful" adventure for me. I have appreciated artist such as Seal for many years. I have loved the boldness of those who do not fit nicely into what society splashes all over the place as what is beautiful or good looking or handsome and .. with those words I found myself genderizing (could be a word!) words again to conform to what I was taught to believe. Now, when I look upon Seal's face I can use the word beautiful and feel it. The same is true in regards to societies portrayal of what is physically appealing for everyone when it comes to one of  my favorite actors Steve Buscemi. Steve Buscemi has a grace and beauty about him that defies convention!

(Website for this image Top 10 Unconventional Leading Men. Bob Berg / Getty Images

Steve Buscemi's physical form which is slight is at odds to what many think the male form should be like (raising my hand!) but now, I am rethinking all of my prejudices and understanding that I was so self limiting. Steve has a beautiful body and his face is amazing because of his unique facial print. There is no mistaking Steve. His artistic form allows him to give expression to his characters in a way that he can make me believe he is a dork and at the same time Mr. Suave! Wow, if that is not beautiful I don't know what is! His unconventional appearance and his artistry are his gifts of being different. He has amazing features that are perfect for black and white photography; just look at his eyes in the above photo! Beautiful. 


I could go on, but then this challenge/project would become a lifelong adventure and I have other things that need doing. I will sum up this experience with this thought: we all should challenge our beliefs. We all should question what we take for granted without question. We all should pause when we are judging a person and step outside of our narrow thinking and experiment with redefining the words we use to define people. 


(forgive any typos ... my eyes are tired from all this beauty!)

Thank you Lisa for asking me to join in!

Maryanne Mesple 

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Comment by Maryanne Mesple on May 3, 2012 at 5:40pm

Oh, and Robert ... there is no bar but thank you for the compliment  :-) I am excited with anticipation to see all the photos you have picked! Your eye for images is amazing and I just know you are going to be sharing something wonderful!

Comment by Maryanne Mesple on May 3, 2012 at 5:35pm

Thanks to everyone's supportive words! Great idea to submit but from my own personal experience this little blog needs a  lot more editing ... more accurate credit for the photos and I am not sure I am up to that right now. Anyone want to make improvements and submit for Wiffle please do!

Again, I will state finding unconventional male beauty  was a CHALLENGE that provided a great learning experience frosted with big scoops of fun! Now, to get me some quality high fat content coffee ice cream ... :-)

Comment by Maryrose Orlans on May 3, 2012 at 3:48pm

This is absolutely wonderful!  The descriptions and images weave together beautifully!  Thank you, Maryanne!!

Comment by wiffledust on May 3, 2012 at 12:19pm

ooooo, gini! what a fabulous idea!!!

Comment by Gini Steele on May 3, 2012 at 11:42am

Great read, Maryanne, very entertaining and thought provoking!  You should submit to a few magazines for publication...or Huffington Post's Beauty section.  And if you credit Wiffledust for the assignment we're sure to get many more fascinating creatives heading our way!

Comment by Robert P. Meyer Jr. on May 3, 2012 at 11:14am

Wow!  Maryanne, you have set the bar awfully high!  I will attempt some pale comparison as soon as I'm able, but meanwhile, you have stated your concepts so very well!  Thank you! 

Comment by wiffledust on May 3, 2012 at 11:00am

oh i enjoyed this SO MUCH! i'm going to share while you're at the aquarium. or perhaps a bit later. coffee ice cream soda....get some GOOD QUALITY coffee ice cream. you need a high butter fat content like edy's or baskin robbins. and then add some plain ole seltzer water. no soda. seltzer. see what you think! :-)

Comment by Maryanne Mesple on May 3, 2012 at 10:44am

coffee ice cream soda? you must reveal what that "looks" like :-) I just could not go to bed without finishing "the challenge" knowing I am going to the Denver Aquarium today with my grandson :-) I am glad that you liked my response to your challenge! Let me tell you, thinking outside of convention in regards to "beauty" and my view of the male form was a great learning adventure for me. I hope others enjoy what I discovered and shared. Take care Lisa and thank you so much for challenging me!

Comment by wiffledust on May 3, 2012 at 3:32am

p.s. a. i took a coffee break on time. i have a coffee ice cream soda next to me. and b. i didn't close my eyes! gasp!

Comment by wiffledust on May 3, 2012 at 3:31am

oooooo! i knew i stayed up late tonight for a reason! :-) lookey lookey at what i found! i knew i picked the right person for this assignment. yes indeedy! well before i comment on the choices, i sure do love the way you said you stretched your neuropathways! that's precisely why we're doing this. and what fantastic job you did! i have to be honest and say when i think of male beauty, i probably would not have thought of one of these men. but seeing them here, they make perfect sense to me. they are indeed all beautiful! and unconventional in their beauty. what a treat! for me, it's like a wonderful recess to see things in a new way. when would i have thought of a maori in facepaint as gorgeous? but isn't he? look at the care put into that painting. and the end result is unquestioningly masculine. ...the belly dancer. love it! oh and yes yes yes! to the man and baby. that is so very beautiful. i am not sure which is my favorite, but i am drawn to the old man. he has such beauty radiating everywhere. he's masculine and handsome and sexy and wise and someone you are just immediately drawn to. what a fantabulous collection, maryanne. i can't thank you enough for taking the challege. i look forward to sharing!!!

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