Metrosexual (MET.roh.sek.shoo.ul) n. A dandyish narcissist in love with not only himself, but also his urban lifestyle; a straight man who is in touch with his feminine side (McFedries).
People like to define; every phenomenon must have its own word and every person must fit into a certain category. Consequently, people also like to come up with new words and new categories. Yesterdays trendy category was the soccer mom; todays trendy category is the metrosexual. In July of 2003, VH-1 aired a show called Totally Gay, a documentary exploring homosexuality in the world of pop music. It reported about an upcoming trend called the metrosexual. A little while later, ■■■■■ Eye for the Straight Guy premiered on Bravo and before long magazines filled up with the metrosexual, newspapers reported on the latest trend and television shows talked about the new kind of guy.
There is no magazine or television show that has not mentioned the metrosexual yet. A search on the Internet can yield hours worth of reading material on it. A visit to the Internet site Wordspy, a source for new words, taught me that this supposedly new word is not, in fact, so new. Mark Simpson, freelance journalist, first coined the term in his article Here Come the Mirror Men in The Independent on November 15, 1994. Trendspotters and marketers just recently latched on to the term and re-introduced it to the masses as the next cool thing.
Today is all about the new generation of men, who are erasing the boundaries between gay and straight. According to Augusten Burroughs in his article Are Metrosexuals Fake ■■■■? his gaydar the alert system that activates when a gay guy encounters another gay man - has been jammed. It is no longer possible to tell a homo at a glance. Welcome to the days of the dreaded metrosexual (par. 3).
The Metrosexual Defined
Whether the metrosexual is 18 years old or 45 years old, one thing we can be sure of, is that the metrosexual is a narcissist, persuaded by consumer culture to desire to be what he sees in glossy magazines. Mark Simpson originally used the word to satirize what he saw as consumerism’s toll on traditional masculinity. Men didn’t go to shopping malls, so consumer culture promoted the idea of a sensitive guy who went to malls, bought magazines and spent freely to improve his personal appearance (St. John, par. 10). Simpsons description in his article Meet the Metrosexual is the most accurate, both commercially and psychologically.
The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis because thats where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference (Meet the Metrosexual, par. 7).
The metrosexual in its original form, as Simpson intended, is a person who desires to be what he sees in magazines and advertising. According to Freud, he is a type C narcissist.
Changing masculinity helped to create the metrosexual, however it has to be seen as different from the metrosexual concept. The marketers metrosexual in its commercial form is just a trend; ■■■■■ Eye for the Straight Guy does not have an infinite life. The buzz will eventually fade, like any other trend, but the change in masculinity was there before, is here to stay and will most definitely develop with whatever the social and cultural evolution has in store for the future.