BEING something of a girl as a teenager didn’t cause too many problems. Except for perhaps the many arguments which developed as a result of wearing my sister’s clothes. Not all of her clothes, I have to add. Certainly the little cropped jumpers. She said I stretched them. (The boys’ jumpers you could buy weren’t so snug. And you also had to pay for them.)

I can also recall wearing her brown trousers (flaired, crimpolene/cotton mix) to a job interview. Which I didn’t get.

But wearing rainbow-coloured tank tops, pinks and lemons and purples wasn’t uncommon. And clothes weren’t the only manifestation of my androgynous appearance. There was the feather-cut hair style, as created in Eric Black’s unisex hair salon in Johnstone High Street.

Yes, I grabbed onto the unisex movement. It was perfect for skinny boys in the 1970s who had no chance of ever growing up to be Bill Travers’ Geordie, who hoped instead to follow in David Cassidy’s slipstream and become adored by every teenage female in the world.

Now, it seems the unisex is returning in a big way. Following “extra-ordinary trial results,” John Lewis has announced it will stock War Paint for Men. (It does exactly what it says on the tin.)

You can see why the department store chain is keen to grab some of the slap market. Male grooming in the UK is worth £100m while the global cosmetics market, including male and unisex offerings, is worth a staggering £60bn globally.

And already, 59 per cent of British men use facial products as part of their daily routine.

It certainly makes sense that men should have the freedom to look their best. For too long us non-females have been derided for adopting anything but the Desperate Dan look. Look at the adverse column inches Paul McCartney attracted for having the nerve to dye his hair. (Can you imagine the uproar if a female were attacked for reaching for L’Oreal?

And I’m certainly not with the 42 per cent of UK men who believe that any self-care beyond a scrub down with a bar of Lifebuoy and a twice a week head hosing with Vosene is all you need.

Each morning, the Nivea lotion is plapped onto my face. (It denies the texture of Dead Sea parchment, perhaps helps slow the decline into looking like Rich Hall). I only use Aussie shampoo (no chemicals) and Aloe Vera deodorant (ditto).

Yet, I can’t ever see me applying panstick. I just don’t go along with this drive down metrosexual boulevard, with signposts along the way directing us men to being painted, waxed, buffed and toned. I don’t subscribe to the fact the male coupon should be foundationed, based and scraped.

I think there’s a thin line between taking better care of yourself and turning into a selfie-obsessed dandy. Yes, all the world is now a mini-television stage – but there’s no reason we have to take out a subscription.

Look, for example, at the Love Island Dorian Grey-level narcissism. You wonder if the first thing these blokes think of in the morning is not, “Lover girl, here I come” but, “What have I done with my foam and tanning mitt?”

I ask you; did Steve McQueen ever have his eyebrows shaped? And I wonder if comedian Des Clarke, who favours the Bernard Matthews plucking style of eyebrow maintenance ever reckons his look is rather Phyllis Diller?

Men’s grooming website reveals The Idle Man says men get their hair cut every two weeks. It’s an example of overkill.

Yes, men have long played with make-up, from Victorian times to Bowie to New Romantics – and didn’t Jim Kerr look fetching with his Dusty eyeliner.

But the worry is the drive is coming not from within but from the cosmetics industry. I’m concerned men are being told they’ve been trapped in the carbolic closet and it’s their duty to break out, ie; immediately purchase a range of gels, lotions and preening aids.

There is another problem in the recruitment campaign for the unisex army: why would you want to look like your girlfriend? (Or, indeed, your same sex partner?) Why would you want to smell the same as the person you climb into bed with?

Let’s keep it in perspective, lads. I’m all for buttering on the Nivea. And hold onto the self-respect. But I’d suggest we don’t grab too tightly at the toner, the cleanser, the eye creams and skin-tightening serums.