By Claire Makley
You haven’t heard of peacocking? Ah, but you have. Urban Dictionary provides many definitions but the best way to explain it is with a simple scenario:
Thirsty Thursdays at the bar means you and your girls are going out for a few pitchers of PBR (as much as you’d like to think, you are not the Sex and the City characters). So after making an entrance into the bar, you casually walk up to the bartender to order. Out of nowhere, you are temporarily blinded by what you thought was the remnants of your Bedazzling phase. But alas, it is yet another ornate Christian Audigier shirt. The too-tight rhinestoned tiger is flexing at you, targeting its prey, as Mr. Tool saunters up for the kill.
As he tries to not get caught looking down your shirt, he makes small talk (“so you come here often?”), but you cannot focus. The tiger is still flexing. And so the only thing running through your mind is, “Why the hell is he wearing that shirt?”
There we have it folks: peacocking. A god-awful t-shirt that is in no way unique or cool (as every guy believes he has) but is oh-so flashy. Intended to be a conversation starter, it has been so horribly mutated that a whole clothing line has resulted from it. But prior to Ed Hardy, peacocking was an actual art, with an actual guru, and was actually effective (the founder is notorious for his lady luck).
It started with a man known as Mystery, or Erik von Markovik. He coined the term “peacocking” and gained popularity on VH1’s The Pick Up Artist. He taught the idea of standing out in a crowd or wearing an interesting accessory that allowed for a female to start a conversation. Good idea, right? Show some individuality, perhaps a part of your personality, and see if a girl takes to it. Sadly, too many self-conscious guys decided this was too much of a risk and instead tweaked Markovik’s advice to include flashy shirts with crude sayings, pretentious watches, or embellished jeans. So now the girls are left with something in between The Situation and a Frat Boy, which does not benefit either party involved.
I would love to say that I am offering a theory on pick-up lines or even a solution to the new-age Peacocking. But I am not, nor do I suggest throwing off every societal norm and wearing whatever so tickles your fancy (as even I believe every Trekkie deserves a second date before his true allegiance is revealed). But I will say this: Boys, try wearing something that stands out in the sea of blinding rhinestones. We like a guy who’s easy on the eyes.