Shower with exfoliating salt scrub 20 minutes. Dry hair with deluxe high-powered hair dryer 15 minutes. Mold with Bed Head Manipulator Gel 10 minutes. Set with light dusting of Tigi Hard Head hairspray two minutes. Hair now sculpted to perfection.
Who is this guy, and why does his hair look so much better than mine?
He is not gay, though he is much more likely to appear as a regular cast member on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy than on Monster Garage. He visits the gym regularly, is known by name at J. Crew, enjoys shrimp tempura and a California roll much more than a juicy Rib-eye and somehow still has time to get his hair to do that funky “runway model, just-rolled-out-of-bed” thing. While some have attempted to attribute other labels to him, he is none other than a metrosexual.
A term coined by British writer Mark Simpson in 1994 in The Independent, metrosexual is the definition we have all been searching for to describe the pervasive phenomena of the straight man who seems more in touch with his feminine side than many of the women in his life. While Simpson’s original mention of metrosexuals was slightly satirical about the effects of consumerism on traditional masculinity, media and advertisers set off running with this new buzzword in their pockets.
In recent years, several articles have littered papers and magazines alike, marveling at this new breed of man, or rather at the label he has been given. Attempts have been made to define this man in The Washington Post and Salon.com, and one man in particular has seemingly become the metrosexual posterchild.
Taking advantage of the eccentric behavior of soccer great David Beckham, the media has not surprisingly touted him as the quintessential metrosexual, seen donning a sarong and nail polish from time to time. But does every metrosexual come with a skirt in tow?
According to recent media, absolutely not! Beckham has been coupled with the likes of Bill Clinton, George Clooney and Brad Pitt. While from the same mold, each metrosexual has a keen eye for making this style his own, most notably those in the entertainment industry.
But look around the mall or college campuses of major metropolitan areas these days, and you will find many flocking there as well. In a sea of sweatshirts, tennis shoes, last year’s styles and the last decade’s hair, he will stand out as a beacon among the crowd. His look will be crisp, his skin that of a baby’s behind, his hair carefully tousled and plastered, as if it were a work of Michelangelo.
The term may be a new addition to your vocabulary, but the men themselves have undoubtedly made your acquaintance. You see them in only the choicest clothing boutiques and dining at restaurants with menu items no one can really pronounce. But these men may very well be found in places much more familiar to you. In fact, it is possible that there is even a metrosexual in your neighborhood, on your street, in your very home.
Ah, but do not be alarmed.
The metrosexual is nothing to be feared. He may be more sensitive than his forefathers. He may find shopping an enjoyable afternoon outing. He might even give his girlfriend a reliable fashion tip now and again. But he is confident in his masculinity, and he simply wants to buck the traditional idea of what “real men” are supposed to be and do. He may even be the answer to every woman that has ever wanted her husband to understand why sometimes bad hair really does equal a bad day.
So the next time you spot a metrosexual ordering a grande two pump sugar free vanilla, nonfat, 165 degree, easy foam latte at Starbucks, or even in your bathroom styling his hair with enough product to glue Humpty Dumpty back together again, remember that he is simply the creature of advertising and the metropolitan lifestyle, and bid him good day.[Stories on RELEVANTmagazine.com are user-submitted. The viewpoints expressed are the opinions of the author and do not necessary reflect the opinion of RELEVANT magazine. For exclusive in-depth stories, subscribe now to RELEVANT magazine. If you are interested in submitting an article, please check out our writers guidelines.]