Since the early 2000’s being a metrosexual has been about as cool as being Richard Branson. Guys were wearing alice bands, sarongs and spent more money on groooming and facial products than most girls out there- the age of the pedicured man had arrived. Advertisers and marketers snapped up mega-stars like Jude Law and David Beckham (my hero) and finally the male was allowed to embrace his feminine side without being referred to as gay (although to be honest- for some reason lank people think I’m gay because I know the value of a bit of grooming).
So what the hell is a metrosexual anyway?
Metrosexual is a neologism derived from metropolitan and heterosexual coined in 1994 describing a man who displays behavior stereotypically associated with homosexual men (such as a strong concern for his appearance), although he is not homosexual.
The term originated in an article by Mark Simpson published on November 15, 1994, in The Independent. Simpson wrote:
Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levi’s jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.
Though the arrival of the metrosexual man did represent a gradual shift in the consumer and self-presentation habits of both men and women, the core idea of metrosexuality was often attributed in most forms of media down to a small selection of guys (think Becks, Brad Pitt, Jude Law & Francesco Totti) in the media down to a few men. If you were a metrosexual- your vanities included the likes of skin care products, scented candles, skinny ties, crisp costly shirts and pricey designer jeans. The picture that we all had of manliness had changed drastically leading me to do a post about when it was ok for a guy to cry in 2009 (CLICK) – there was a “Menaissance” in which men began holding themselves accountable to a higher standard of life.
Now as we enter into the 11th year of the 2000’s the metrosexual has started to suffer from overexposure. We just became too saturated with pretty guys who loved their ghd’s more than braais and beer.
According to an article in the New York Times, the androgynous waifs (pictured above) have begun to fall out of favour in the advertising and modeling industry, being replaced by guys that fit the description of the traditionally masculine models. Why? Maybe the change can be attributed to economic changes like the recession (girls cut their hair shorter, men grow more stubble). There just wasnt enough money around to keep up with the ridiculously expensive grooming products and pay all of the pretty boys to endorse them- the world just wanted men who used razorblades, hit snuff and was actually capable of defending a damsel in distress from a pack of hungry wolves (should said mooiness every come across a pack of hungry wolves).
So where to from here for the metrosexual? Well I dont think he (me) will disappear; he’ll just be relabelled. As what, well that I am not really sure. At least now guys can also be Empowered Consumers who make informed decisions and dont buy Khaki Dockers.