By: M.J. Rahaleh
What’s the difference between a straight heterosexual guy that doesn’t care about his looks and another straight heterosexual guy obsessed with his looks with attributes stereotypically attributed to gay men? Answer is: Metrosexuality! The term invented (or at least claimed to be invented) by the journalist Mark Simpson in an article he wrote for The Independent back in 1994. At first glance, metrosexuality might sound like a sexual orientation, but it’s not, it’s more of a self-obsessive narcissist state of mind, where in the straight male is considered ‘high maintenance’ cares too much about his looks, pushing his masculinity to the limit by using make-up, getting pedicure and manicure, wearing colors that might be designated as ‘girly’ or ‘gay’, while having a pure straight orientation.
The term itself aroused debate over many aspects, like if metrosexuals are discreet gay people, or whether they are just another sign of uprising consumerism in our societies, both opinions claim they have evidence, while metrosexuals are caught in the middle, they are often called “Sensitive New Age Guy” or “SNAG” because of their sudden emerge.
Those metrosexual men are usually single, with high income which he spends a large fraction of over cosmetics and pampering himself, from upper or middle class is known to be a vicious consumer to arrive on the competition arena in malls, fancy shops and boutiques or spas and private sanctuaries. In the 80’s he was kept in TV commercials (such as Levis), fashion magazines such as GQ or in gay bars, in the 90’s it became more of a sweeping wave, heterosexual men became not so shy about the idea of wearing bright and shiny colors and wearing ‘man’ makeup anymore!
Now the question is, are metrosexuals gay, straight or bisexual? This question caused heated debates over the past few years; the outcome of it is simply that metrosexuals can be any of those three orientations mentioned above, but one thing for sure; metrosexuals are 100% immaterial because they have clearly taken their selves as their own love object and pleasure as their sexual preference. Particular professions, such as modeling, waiting tables, media, pop music and, nowadays, sport, seem to attract them but, truth be told, like male vanity products and herpes, they're pretty much everywhere.
Metrosexuals are often rejected because of the stereotypical image of a man, he has to earn money for his wife to spend on make-up and so on, he has to be modest and unfashionable to some extent, but this stereotype was overthrown by the consumerism philosophy of capitalism. This old rusty once hidden in a cocoon of ‘masculinity’ male was replaced by a new kind of man, less interested in knowing his identity (sexual or cultural) and more interested in his outside image. It became a reversed situation – instead of guys checking out fashionable girls walking down the street, it became a mission for guys to be breathtakingly fab, showing off to both males and females all around, like a walking billboard for the latest male haute couture, men cosmetics and personal care products, he became the ultimate dream for any advertiser. He’s no longer the oversexed type of guy with avoidance of femininity, restricted emotions, sex disconnected from intimacy, pursuit of achievement and status, self-reliance, strength, aggression and homophobia.
Some people might say that metrosexuality is some kind of narcissism; according to Mark Simpson (same person that came up with the term) narcissism plays a crucial role in the metrosexual concept. As indicated in his book "Narcissus goes shopping" published in 1994, consumerism and narcissism almost synonyms. Under the spell of consumerism!
TV shows are overflowing with metrosexual people, like the hit show ‘Will & Grace’ or Bravo!’s ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ changes culture and attitudes toward masculinity, in ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ the gay ‘‘Fab Five’’ crew transform the appearance of a straight guy while neglecting his personality.
Lots of famous people are designated as metrosexuals, David Beckham, Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Robbie Williams are some of many, also Mike Greenberg co-host of the popular morning sports talk show "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on ESPN Radio who also wrote a book called "Confessions of a Metrosexual Sportscaster", also Dominic Monaghan (star of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Lost) once joked that he believes he should have been a homosexual—because he loves make-up, painting his nails and wearing skirts (transvestism alert!), same with Ryan Seacrest; host of American Idol, who is often designated as the poster boy of metrosexuality. There are even a few politicians who have been similarly categorized - Bill Clinton for instance. Although older than most other metrosexuals he does fit this definition well, while many are calling the new American President Barack Obama a metrosexual.
These two examples illustrate one facet that a majority of men find appealing in the stereotype: power. You don't become the leader of the most powerful nation in the world if you're uncourageous, that’s one thing for sure! Unlike the SNAG, the metrosexual man hasn't sacrificed his masculinity. And this is the key to why he isn't an endangered species doomed to extinction, but is here to stay.
Metro is the word!
Robbie and Dave...
Beckham became known as a fashion plate, and together with Victoria, the couple became lucrative spokespeople sought after by cosmetics and designing manufacturers promoters.
In 2002 David was hailed as the ultimate "metrosexual" by the man who invented the term and has been described as such by scores of other articles since.
As for Williams, it appears to question his own sexuality in some well-known songs...
"As it happens, I've never slept with a man. I've never done anything with a man. The thought has passed my mind, but it always stops at his bits. I'm not discounting it, but it hasn't appealed enough for me to do it — yet."
So Robbie gave the metro term a question to his image with more on the issue and many to count and question which he still remains under the question, yet he’s the metro who he sang it like Madonna!