There, deep in the hair-care aisle, carefully selecting the
product du jour, or in the salon having his nails buffed to the perfect shine
while checking out the latest fashion magazines -- it's not a bird, not a gay
man, it's a metrosexual!
And judging by the popularity of the new TV program Queer
Eye for the Straight Guy, many more once slovenly men want to join the
ranks of this new breed of Renaissance man.
By Judy Dutton and Dana Hudepohl
Just ask these five couples whose love passed the ultimate
It can happen with a phone call at 4 a.m. It can happen when your doctor
says, "I have some bad news...." It can happen a week after your
honeymoon, or in the middle of a deadline crunch at work, or on your way to
your child's yellow-belt ceremony. Tragedy can hit, hard, anytime. And though
it's romantic to think that couples can cling together and weather the storm,
Not yet familiar with the new buzzword, "metrosexual"?
Some social observers and product marketers believe it's just a matter of time
until "metrosexual" becomes part of your vocabulary -- and perhaps a
description of your own lifestyle as well.
So what makes a metrosexual man? He's been defined as a
straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with his
feminine side. He may have a standing appointment for a weekly manicure, and he
probably has his hair cared for by a stylist rather than a barber. He loves to
shop, he may wear jewelry, and his bathroom counter is most likely filled with
male-targeted grooming products, including moisturizers (and perhaps even a
little makeup). He may work on his physique at a fitness club (not a gym) and
his appearance probably gets him lots of attention -- and he's delighted by
Blurring Gender Lines
Curiosity about metrosexuals climbed considerably in June when
Euro RSCG Worldwide, a marketing communications agency based in New York City
and more than 200 other cities, explored the changing face of American males in
a report titled The Future of Men: USA. As part of this research, men
ages 21 to 48 throughout the U.S. were surveyed on masculinity-related issues.
The conclusions? According to the report, there is "an emerging wave of men
who chafe against the restrictions" of traditional male roles and who
"do what they want, buy what they want, enjoy what they want - regardless
of whether some people might consider these things unmanly."
The metrosexual male is more sensitive and in some ways more
effeminate than his father probably was, says Schuyler Brown, one of the
architects of the study and associate director of strategic trendspotting and
research at Euro RSCG Worldwide. Metrosexuals are willing to push traditional
gender boundaries that define what's male and what's female, she adds, but they
never feel that they are anything but "real men." Yes, a little
primping and pampering were once considered solely female indulgences, but they
are becoming much more permissible for men, too.
Metrosexual men "are very secure in their sexuality,"
says Brown. "They're comfortable getting a facial or a pedicure. It doesn't
make them feel any less masculine or any less heterosexual."
The Future of Men report noted, "One of the telltale
signs of metrosexuals is their willingness to indulge themselves, whether by
springing for a Prada suit or spending a couple of hours at a spa to get a
massage and facial." They might devote an afternoon to choosing their
ultrafashionable attire for the night. They may don an apron and prepare a mean
and meatless pasta dish for friends.