Four years ago, I went to a wonderful wedding on an island in the Thames, between

a hot young MBA and a hotter, younger stand up comic turned newspaper columnist.

The columnist, protocol be damned, decided she was going to give a speech at

her own wedding, and gave a corker. The highlight was when she started to talk

about her new groom’s bathroom cabinet, and whether she’d ever manage to get

any space in there for herself. She recalled a conversation with her father:

"Don’t worry, I said, you’re not losing a daughter. You’re gaining one."

I would like to think that this wedding constituted the impetus for the coinage

of America’s latest buzzword: after all, everybody knows that the US imports

everything cool from the UK. But, alas, although the word did indeed take root

in England before crossing the pond, it had already been around for five years

when the wedding took place.

Still, the meme took off incredibly slowly. Its first significant appearance

in the US came in July 2002, when queer theorist Mark

Simpson, the man who’d first introduced the term in the Independent in 1994,

wrote an

article in Salon called "Meet the metrosexual". One year later,

an article

by Warren St John headlined "Metrosexuals Come Out" appeared in the

New York Times, and the meme metastasized from snowball to avalanche, helped

along by a report from advertising agency Euro RSCG called "Metrosexuals:

The Future of Men".

In the meantime, it’s undergone an interesting emasculation. Simpson says

that when he invented the term he "was being slightly satirical about the

effect of consumerism and media proliferation, particularly glossy men’s

magazines, on traditional masculinity". Now, we get Dan Peres, the editor

of Details, opining

humourlessly on the subject at In the introduction to

the chat session, the editors define a metrosexual as "a new kind of male:

one who takes care of himself — pampers himself — and is not ashamed of getting

facials, buying grooming products and shopping", but by the time the chat

is over, Peres has said that "if you feel comfortable and confident with

your own taste and sense of style, then yes, you may well be a metrosexual",

and that really, what we’re talking about here is nothing more or less than

being a gentleman.

Yet going back to Simpson’s Salon piece, we find this:

Mr. Beckham, candid to the point of blatant exhibitionism as he is, is not

being entirely honest with us about his sexuality. Outing someone is not a

thing to be contemplated lightly, but I feel it is my duty to let the world

know that David Beckham, role model to hundreds of millions of impressionable

boys around the world, heartthrob for equal numbers of young girls, is not

heterosexual after all. No, ladies and gents, the captain of the England football

squad is actually a screaming, shrieking, flaming, freaking metrosexual. (He’ll

thank me for doing this one day, if only because he didn’t have to tell his

mother himself.)

It’s clear what has happened here: as the term has become more mainstream,

it’s, well, become more mainstream. At this point, if you believe Peres, it applies

to anybody who "knows the difference between a daisy and a daffodil";

Simpson himself quotes the marketing report (of course, it’s the marketers who

have really pushed this concept) saying that a metrosexual is "any straight

man who has a salmon pink shirt in his wardrobe".

Maybe something got lost in translation: after all, pretty much every

straight man, in the UK at least, has a salmon pink shirt in his wardrobe. John

Major used to wear them the whole time, and he’s about as far from a metrosexual

as can be imagined. The only men I can think of who only wear white shirts are

bizarre zealots like Ross Perot and John Ashcroft, who aren’t so much anti-colour

as they are opposed to any sign of sexuality whatsoever.

I think what’s going on here is that a debate which has long been going on

in the gay community is being expanded into the straight community. Metrosexuality

is a response to sissyphobia,

which is the idea – common to men both straight and gay – that there’s

something offputting about effeminate men. As Patrick puts it on the Gothamist

comments board, "the guys who get the most shit are not necessarily

those who are gay but rather those who act gay, a high percentage of whom are


Why did the joke at the wedding get such a big laugh? Because caring about

personal appearance, owning lots of Product in the bathroom, is considered effeminate.

And that’s precisely what keeps a large proportion of straight men from buying

designer clothes or investing in their appearance, even if the basest of men’s

magazines – I pick up the copy of Loaded I have lying around

from my July 19 entry

have pages and pages full of grooming products along with £280 ($445)

leather Hermes sandals.

So while Peres is keen to place clear blue water between metrosexuality and

the success of Queer

Eye for the Straight Guy, I’m not so sure: both are phenomena which

have caught on across the country and which have served to increase the country’s

general comfort level with effeminate heterosexual men.

On my recent trip to California (yes, that’s why this site hasn’t been updated

in so long), I met extremely straight, suburban, Republican men from towns like

Tustin and San Jose. All had heard of metrosexuals, and none of them seemed

perturbed by the concept, although they might never swing that way themselves.

I doubt they’ll be booking themselves in for manicures or shelling out hundreds

of dollars for designer trousers any time soon, but that’s not the point. The

point is how they will react when they meet men who do fall into that category:

will they respond with fear and aggression, or will they be more likely to embrace

such predilections as just another lifestyle choice, like a preference for ice

hockey over baseball?

As Simon Dumenco writes

in New York magazine, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy "brings

gay style—and wit—to the hinterlands. The show makes homosexuality

and shopping nonthreatening for straight men (the latter may be the bigger achievement)."

He continues:

The real agenda at play these days is, of course, the Buysexual Agenda. As

in: You are what you buy (not who you sleep with). It’s a uniquely American

idea that the nation that shops together stays together. If homos and heteros

like the same moisturizers and the same jeans, why can’t we all get


In short, memes can make a difference: as metrosexuality becomes more widely

understood, it makes the world (or at least America) safer for gay and gay-acting

men. And if it takes increased sales of $1,000

messenger bags in order for that to happen, then surely that’s a small price

to pay.

This entry was posted in Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Metrosexuality

  1. Thanks for the thoughts you are sharing on this weblog. Another thing I want to say is that often getting hold of duplicates of your credit history in order to look at accuracy of each detail is one first step you have to execute in credit score improvement. You are looking to clear your credit history from damaging details flaws that damage your credit score.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts you are revealing on this site. Another thing I would really like to say is that often getting hold of duplicates of your credit rating in order to inspect accuracy of the detail would be the first action you have to perform in repairing credit. You are looking to clear your credit history from damaging details faults that mess up your credit score.

  3. zhuzhu123 says:


    We 3d crystal machine all want to work hard and give our best each and every time that we do our jobs. Everyone wants to give their best efforts, to contribute to the companies and employers that they are working for. There is that feeling of fulfillment that you get from knowing that you are giving nothing less than one hundred percent. And of course on top of it all, you expect that you will receive the proper compensation for your services, that you will Floor brush manufacturerbe eventually be rewarded for all of the hard work that you put in. It is only fitting, and just, that you expect such rewards since that is one of the main reasons you are working. The relationship between an employer and an employee is a complex one. It is set and defined by laws and it is important for both sides to have an understanding of this law and what are their rights within it. The law recognizes that an obagi creamemployee-employer relationship as being made up of three stages: As described by legislation, when there is a ‘relevant transfer’ of a business or undertaking to a new employer, current employees’ rights are safeguarded. This is generally known as TUPE. A ‘relevant transfer’ can be described as the transfer or sale of all or part of a business or undertaking that involves the economic entity retaining itsLed light base identity. With the exception of military families and state employees, Ohio varies little from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This article outlines the leave benefits offered to those who work in the state of Ohio. The reason we have employment law in place is to ensure that there is a safe working Portable x-ray equipmentenvironment for both the employer and the employees. There are strict rules and regulations on the way an employer has to handle his employees. He too is covered in these laws to prevent unnecessary harassment from employees. Federal FMLA laws offer overall protection for employees facing family or medical issues. Each state has their own variations on the family and medical leave act. This article covers the Louisiana FMLA laws. Wrongful termination is defined as an employee who Catalogue Printing was fired from their employment against company policies or for reasons that are not legal. There are several important factors to consider if you think that you might have been wrongfully terminated. This article is an introduction to basic wage and hour rules for both employees and employers. Wage and benefits issues, particularly unpaid overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA can be a big trap for employers who do not follow the rules. Employers must make sure their record keeping and overtime obligations are properly上海英语翻译 being followed.

  4. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!Mission Viejo Roofing Service, 26161 Cordillera Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691 – (949) 238-6004

  5. I’d like to read more such blogs.

Comments are closed.