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Satori
02-10-03, 12:10
Here Come the Metrosexuals

By Genevieve Roja, AlterNet
September 29, 2003

My boyfriend is stylish to a fault. He knows what works for him (merino wool sweaters) and what does not. No tones of camel or toffee, please! He is familiar with my Kiehl's skincare regimen and has a penchant for the natural skincare line Zia. He washes his hair with Biolage and carefully combs conditioner through it. He won't settle for anything other than Calvin Klein when it comes to his bed sheets, and shops at the only Banana Republic outlet in California (I didn't even know one existed).

When your man one-ups you in shopping, you know you're in trouble. Yes, I confess. I'm in love with a metrosexual. That's the term for a new generation of hip, urban men who can shotgun their beers and tell the difference between Levi's and Diesel. You can see them in your beauty salon getting their facials and pedicures. They compliment you on your shoes because they actually like your shoes. They're like my brother who says stuff like, "No carbs after 8 PM," and lets me know that tennis skirts are the latest summer rage in New York. These are straight men who appreciate the value of looking good and don't need an army of gay men to help them do it.

What in the hell is going on? Are straight men turning gay?

The most-commonly used label to describe this trend is "metrosexual," a term defined as straight men living in urban, metropolitan settings who are embracing their feminine sides. Once the preserve of urban twenty-something hipsters, it's a term that has gained so much mainstream cred that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd recently decided to ask none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger if he was that kind of guy. Dowd claims her question was inspired by Arnie's appearance: "In person, he looks a little unreal, like a top-of-the-line Madame Tussaud figure: taut skin, buffed nails, designer shades." And it is a credit to our metrosexual times that the king of macho was not in the least bit insulted, but instead launched into an elaborate description of his shopping skills: "(My wife) always says, 'Why don't you go over in the men's section?' and I say: 'No, no. I want to stay here and I want to help you because you'll find something great.'"

The heterosexual American male is without a doubt making inroads into territory that has long been the preserve of women and gay men. Conde Nast, the magazine publishing powerhouse, has now created a male version of the very popular women's consumer magazine, Lucky, called Cargo, which is reportedly set to launch in 2004. Men are no longer considered an afterthought when it comes to new grooming product lines. But, of course, to preserve the straight male ego, companies make sure they serve up the most feminine of products with a healthy dose of macho. Take, for example, the skincare lines Jack Black and Heavy Duty. Jack Black is a skincare label that dates back to the Civil War, when they provided soldiers with shaving and grooming kits. (Guess a man couldn't shoot a gun with a five o'clock shadow.) Heavy Duty packages some of its products to look like motor oil and then dresses them with a graphic of a woman jacking up her car ? and is reportedly a hit with Aerosmith lead crooner Steven Tyler.

Axe's body deodorant is gaining a new following with its cheeky television campaign, which speaks to the age-old preoccupation of straight men with hooking up with more than one woman at the same time. In one commercial, when a man is caught staring at another woman at the bar, his girlfriend murmurs understandingly, "Beautiful isn't she?" Another features a woman asking a man, "Do you mind if my best friend joins us?" Lest we forget: Men may be getting cleaned up on the outside, but that doesn't mean the primary message about what it means to be a man has changed.

Gay writers such as Mark Simpson also use "metrosexual" to satirize consumerism's toll on men. As Simpson wrote in a now infamous Salon article, capitalism needed a new "It" boy ? not a hetero schlep who didn't spend enough money, but "a new kind of man, one less certain of his identity and much more interested in his image." A man, Simpson writes, "who is an advertiser's walking wet dream." Traditional masculinity meant providing for the wife so she had money to burn. Today, beaten down by Madison Avenue's assault on his ego, men are being pushed to do just as much of the spending themselves. There's nothing better for the corporate bottom line than to have both husband and wife haunting the corridors of the local mall.

The trend may be Madison Avenue's dream, but it also has to do with changing expectations of the 21st century woman. What modern-day woman doesn't appreciate a man who loves his mama, works out, makes a mean rack of lamb, has patience while shopping, can take in a play, exhibit fashion sense and trim his nose hairs? That's nearly a golden ticket to the bedroom and a lottery ticket for a promising future. Didn't everyone see what happened when Kate Hudson fell for Matthew McConaughey's metrosexual shtick in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?" She didn't just fall; she crashed into his arms. But at the end, Kate got the very best version of Matthew, the kind she probably envisioned falling for: a pretty boy with the most earnest heart of gold.

It's the reason why a show like Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is such a megahit with women. Despite their affection for ghastly color-blocked polos and polyester pants, these men let the Fab Five make them better not to get the hottie in the bar, but for the wife that wants his eyebrows waxed or the girlfriend who wants him to throw her a nice party. It's clear that these "Queer" candidates genuinely want to impress the women in their life. To do so, these men shed not only their nasty grooming habits and that dastardly pair of high-waist jeans, but also some of their manly pride. The message is not, "I love Prada," but, "I love you, honey."

Not all women are impressed with this new-found feminine side. Salon writer Sheerly Avni wrote about an old boyfriend who made her dinner several nights a week, putting to shame her poor, if any, culinary talents. "At the time I was touched, but little did I realize that intentionally or not, he was refining and perfecting a strategy for future domination by homing in on my neglected domestic sphere." He may be the one who will want to shop till he drops, tag along with your girly gang of Sunday brunchers and book both your hair appointments. By the time he finishes reading this article, he may have already picked out your living room furniture from Pottery Barn. Most women, however, are not as worried as Avni ? perhaps because their men are so far from the metrosexual ideal, any change seems like a god-send.

Besides, the encroachment of men into female territory is an encouraging sign of progress. The greater willingness to accept homosexuality indicates not just a broader definition of sexuality but also of gender roles. The walls of gender identity aren't necessarily being knocked down, but rather rearranged. Let's face it! If women start kicking butt a la Jackie Chan, there's no reason why a man can't have eyebrows that rival Catherine Zeta Jones.

Genevieve Roja is a freelance writer living in the Bay Area.

teardrop
02-10-03, 14:45
Very interesting article! I too have read a similar article on metrosexuals in Singapore papers some time back.
Hmm.... i find that quite a large proportion of Japanese young men can be classified as metrosexuals. They have their eyebrows shaped, put on makeup, have regular pedicures and manicures....

Carolgirl00
02-10-03, 23:39
yes, very good article! I've also read a couple articles on this new trend that has been starting in America. And yah I would say that a lot of Japanese boys are metrosexual. <-- Part of the reason I like them. I just never really got western masculinity. ugh. Thank GOD it's changing quickly! ^.^;;;;;;

Satori
03-10-03, 02:03
Carolgirl00, I know what you mean about "Western masculinity." I've never agreed with most men's interpretation of what it means to be masculine. To me, what makes a man masculine is a man who knows who and what he's about and who loves being male. You can't get any more masculine than that! And I think the same is true for a woman--that what makes a woman feminine is a woman who knows who and what she's about and loves being female. I've seen some women who look as though they just stepped out of Playboy, and yet they don't come across as very feminine because they are still unsure of who and what they are in the world. And some men who aren't being true to themselves just don't come across as very masculine, in my opinion. It's more about a person's essence and confidence. And I think as more men and women are comfortable with themselves, they will have a greater sense of style and enjoy pampering themselves more.

But teardrop, they are wearing makeup?? That's a first. But, hey, if it makes them feel good about themselves, go for it, I guess. :-) (Not so sure I'd be attracted to a man in makeup, though).

In any event, it sounds like men are enjoying themselves more, which is what it's all about.

maji
03-10-03, 12:54
i guess half a year or smth ago i read an article about nylon-tights produced by a company for men only.
i guess thats just a part of this trend of gender-borders falling apart now in two directions instead of one.
since its all just a "can do if you want to" and no "must" it cant be bad i guess.

teardrop
03-10-03, 16:47
Ya... they DO wear makeup as a matter of fact Satori and it's mascara in particular. I'm ok with men who pluck their brows and carry facial blotters with them but MASACARA??? Yucks!

Satori
03-10-03, 18:04
My sentiments exactly! :-)

Chipi
03-10-03, 23:00
Hmmm.I think this is just very,very interesting, and Im curiously waiting for how this phenomenom spreads and changes...and how the men will look like in,lets say, 5 years.
A man with a make-up good be also good-looking and stylish,like with everything in life: too much is too much.
Im positively open to this thing... :happy:

Carolgirl00
03-10-03, 23:33
mascara? wow.... *can't really imagine a guy applying mascara* lol, hrm that is a bit diff. but i don't think there's anything wrong with guys wearing cover up or anything. I wonder if they were eye liner too? o.o

Carolgirl00
03-10-03, 23:40
oh and Satori! well I think that a man is masculine when he gives off a masculine sex appeal. I mean, trust me on this, a guy can wear tons of makeup, be sporting a DRESS, and still give off masculine sex appeal!! (me and my jrock. :p ) But, I think that there are some guys who can give off female sex appeal...and that's kinda when it's a bit odd. Don't really know how it happens but it does. :D lol. It's kind of like the concept of tomboys. even though they where guy's clothes and even sometimes act more like guys, some men find tomboys very sexy. Same thing really.

Satori
03-10-03, 23:49
Carolgirl00, I totally agree. That's what I was talking about when I said that it was all about essence and confidence--and the fact that they love being male! In other words, the exterior doesn't matter as much as the interior.

:happy:

Of course, a great exterior is always nice! ... but it's just not what determines their masculinity.

teardrop
04-10-03, 15:50
Oh ya Carolgirl00. Although i'm not a big fan of J-rock (Visual-kei), i agree that there's still the masculine sex appeal. I guess it boils down to the whole package. How one carries oneself...

neko_girl22
04-10-03, 16:24
I wish my hubby was slightly more metrosexual lol
He doesn't care about clothes at all. He did painting in some of his good casual wear and still wears them. When we came back to Japan people actually thought he was being fashionable (paint on clothes is "in" now???) but I had to laugh and explain no, he didn't buy them with paint on......

He also only brought one, yes ONE, casual pair of shoes to Japan his reason being he only has one pair of feet.......:p

as you can imagine it's no fun going shopping with him!
That said, he is very manly which I like ;)

Satori
04-10-03, 19:03
Nzueda: That's so funny!! :D
By the way, you both make a great couple. Loved your photos!

Teardrop, Maji, and Chipi: I also loved your photos as well. Thanks for sharing! :happy:

Sgt. Wang
14-10-03, 03:36
hee hee, metrosexual....................
:giggle:

Kinda gross, but I guess if they like it,...........................

Satori
14-10-03, 04:56
While I think it's great that men are enjoying and understanding themselves more, there is a downside this article points to--that now men are being assaulted by Capitalism just like women have been for years:

"Today, beaten down by Madison Avenue's assault on his ego, men are being pushed to do just as much of the spending themselves. There's nothing better for the corporate bottom line than to have both husband and wife haunting the corridors of the local mall."

Kintaro
30-01-04, 10:35
Thus the true dilemma of metrosexuality and why many men won't jump into it, or at least not fully.

I'm all for looking better, but I can tell what actually can help and what really is a waste, at least in my eyes.

Some people say the right set of clothes and shoes can make a difference. But they don't have to cost 150 $ a piece either.
Some people say esthetic care (i.e. facials, manicures/pedicures, hair removal and the other 6 of 9 yards) can make that difference.
Some people say cosmetics can make that difference too.
And others might say the general attitude of themselves or how they interact with others would change.


If I had to make these choices, clothes = yes; esthetics = somewhat reluctant, depends; cosmetics = NO. (For me the biggest turn-off are vegetarians with goops of make-up. Due to the fact that a lot of cosmetic products kill animals just for odor glands, not even for their meat. Vegetarians and make-up are #2 and #3) --- And my attitude would change and evolve with time to something more confdident in myself, not afraid to do or say anything. I think I hit that point but the next day I realize I need to do twice as much to make it. Becoming a metro- wouldn't do that, it may accelerate the process though :P


Money is a factor. I will never lose money in order to maintain an ideal even I don't fully view. And most metrosexuals I have seen or heard about have short hair. That is one thing I will never surrender on the path to climax outer, inner and spiritual handsomeness/bliss. It will hopefully complement it :P


Whatever I experiment, it will not be eclipsed by the capitalistic view, nor will it be directly copied on some magazine's ideal of the perfect man. And the sidenote brought by Sgt. Wang : If I don't like it, I don't do it. It's fairly simple :clap:

lineartube
30-01-04, 15:59
The Lumberjack Song (http://www.mwscomp.com/sounds/mp3/lumberjk.mp3)

kirei_na_me
30-01-04, 16:05
That was good, lineartube! :D

Sgt. Wang
03-02-04, 00:35
Sums up metrosexuality right there. "I wish I'd been a girly, just like me dear papa!" Ah, good times!

deborah gormley
03-02-04, 01:03
haha I'v not heard that song in years,, lumberjack! brings back years of badness/hideing things/ too this day I still dont believe that my parents have heard "lumberjack song" because we all hide it and it would have scared the life out of my mum and dad!!!:bow:

Hachiko
28-02-04, 03:54
I guess that makes me a phat metrosexual, hmm? :D :bluush: :cool:
Great article.

Sgt. Wang
03-03-04, 04:46
I so totally love Monty Python!!

Hachiko
03-03-04, 04:59
Speaking of Monty Python, their group performed at George Harrison's tribute concert a few years ago. Rather unnecessary intermissions, but quite amusing. I think Queen Liz's stiff upper lip turned into a smile of bemused rubbernecking satisfaction.

Mayura
12-03-04, 12:13
well, I think it should be quite ok, if they like it... (but say... isn't makeup... a bit overdoing... o.O)

TwistedMac
12-03-04, 12:41
wish i was one and had taste... my friends say i dress like the smackheads in "Idle Fingers"... shabby :( baggy jeans havent been "in" for a while i guess.. makes me feel comfortable tho... i do pluck inbetween my eyebrows tho

(have a scar slitting down right between my eyes and hair tends to grow on the edges... eeeeew... makes me look macho tho :cool: .. aslong as i get the little silky hairs off it that is ^_^)

samikun
05-04-04, 13:06
I'm glad this "metrosexual" things is happening. Sometimes it pisses me off how some people give you weird looks or think you're gay if you like to shave your armpits or use a little eye makeup or whatever you feel like. I you look good by using some "feminine" means then so what? Maybe it'll get more accepted as it becomes more common.

Now I wish I had the money to get myself looking good. ^^

lineartube
05-04-04, 15:46
I think it's time for a nay-sayer to give his piece of mind. :D

Personally, I don't like the metrosexual fashion. It's not that it makes men look "gay", because I can deal with the gay issue, it's the fact that men are now been targeted and exploited for they lack of self-esteem. It's not original. Anyone read or saw images, movies or documentaries of XVIth, XVIIth century males? Does anyone feel like wandering around with their face white, a big wig, and a fake moll, wearing tights?
Does anyone think that fashion will be back soon? Because I can add some more bizarre fashions that started (and fortunately died).

One thing is dressing for being socially accepted, like wearing a suit for work, or dressing up for going out, but other thing is parading like it was Mardi Gras, having the slightest hope that he or she is in fashion and not in ridicule.

I'll never be a metrosexual, because though I am terribly picky of what I wear, I don't let anyone else influence what I want and what I feel comfortable in, and though I have laughed at some feminine fashions, I look with dread at the possible future male fashions.

Best fashion yet? Personnal Hygiene. :D

playaa
05-04-04, 16:13
Lineartube, my thoughts go along with you also. I definately could be considered borderline metrosexual, minus the makeup, and 80% of feminine things included with that title. I wear trendy clothes you could say but I stay in the MENS department never have ventured off to the womens side or womens stores.

I think that people will realize that personal hygeine is the best thing to fix ones self up. If you keep your hair trimmed nice and tight, your facial hair styled to how you like in a nice manner (no long grandpa face mullets), Keep yourself clean and use some bodywash to give you a nice scent, keep some mild/medium smelling cologne on and get yourself some decent clothes (to your own style of course not the guy on tv) and then keep your mouth clean! Invest in some mouthwash, and cleaning products.

Though many see this as being "Metrosexual" it is not.

MShingen
10-04-04, 19:46
Lineartube, my thoughts go along with you also. I definately could be considered borderline metrosexual, minus the makeup, and 80% of feminine things included with that title. I wear trendy clothes you could say but I stay in the MENS department never have ventured off to the womens side or womens stores.

I think that people will realize that personal hygeine is the best thing to fix ones self up. If you keep your hair trimmed nice and tight, your facial hair styled to how you like in a nice manner (no long grandpa face mullets), Keep yourself clean and use some bodywash to give you a nice scent, keep some mild/medium smelling cologne on and get yourself some decent clothes (to your own style of course not the guy on tv) and then keep your mouth clean! Invest in some mouthwash, and cleaning products.

Though many see this as being "Metrosexual" it is not.

If this is going to carry on, then men will forever be stuck with only shirts and pants and no other fancyful clothing like skirts and dresses..... Please see this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6510) to join the poll on whether men can wear skirts and feel free to give your comments. Thank you for your valuable time and effort.

Luc
10-04-04, 21:19
I'll never be a Metrosexual, since I'm lazy, I hate shopping and I'm a cheap bastard.

babar-san
18-09-04, 21:08
sounds like a "trend" to me. funny how one day the ruff and tumble tatered look is popular, and the next its utlra-yuppie.

kuntow
20-01-05, 17:24
It's like the Budweiser ad about Hawaiian shirts -- "Sure, women say they hate them. But insde, they're all swooning for the big kahuna!" Who needs to be a metrosexual when you can wander down to your local Goodwill (or other thrift store), pick up a couple of brightly patterned shirts for 50 cents a piece, and suddenly, all eyes are on you.
Fashion at its best and yes, this was me in college. Maybe if I keep wearing them, I can start a new trend!

isayhello
01-02-05, 16:04
What in the hell is going on? Are straight men turning gay?



What the f**k!? What are you on about? Why shoulnLt men wanna dress up and look nice too? Shopping isnLt only for girls!!

Besides, guys who dress up and wear makeup are HOT hehe, just look at the j-rock guys...

:wave:

Mcspi
22-02-05, 00:22
I don't have a problem with metrosexual men to an extent. I don't think I would date a guy who wears make up. I thought that ended in the 80's. Wich reminds me I saw this picture of a Japanese singer and I thought Wow she is a very pretty woman. Come to find out it was a man I think his name was Gackt. Talk about shocked he looked just like a woman. That was really wierd.

Rayc
11-03-05, 23:37
Besides, guys who dress up and wear makeup are HOT hehe, just look at the j-rock guys...

:wave:

But shouldn't be too hot that even boys like them too!

Ma Cherie
12-03-05, 02:06
The metrosexual male. For some odd reason, I find it very attractive for a man to have a strong sense of vanity. But that's just me. :bluush:

yukio_michael
12-03-05, 04:03
This is not even an issue! :P

Ma Cherie
12-03-05, 04:09
This is not even an issue! :P

Is too :yeahh:

isayhello
12-03-05, 14:02
I don't have a problem with metrosexual men to an extent. I don't think I would date a guy who wears make up. I thought that ended in the 80's. Wich reminds me I saw this picture of a Japanese singer and I thought Wow she is a very pretty woman. Come to find out it was a man I think his name was Gackt. Talk about shocked he looked just like a woman. That was really wierd.

But Gackt is soo hot! He's very beautiful. I find the feminine men attractive, since - I like it when they are vain and dress upp a lot. This doesn't mean I find women attractive, cause even if Mana and Gackt might look like women in some peoples eyes, they are still men, and they are soo good looking: I'm heterosexual, I just LOVE the Bishonen!! :love:

Men who wears make-up are pretty, but not all. The same goes with women, I guess, some women put on too much make up and just look wierd...