November 06, 2005
Metrosexuals: Mascara Maketh The Man
Men used to be either one of two things: dead or alive. Then it was dead, alive, straight or gay. Then bi … and a whole lot of other bizarre (and highly disturbing) sexual orientations …
And now there’s the Great Metrosexual. A man who:
1) Spawns on urban ground – because that’s where Prada and Versace hold their forts
2) Cooks with great flair – his culinary repertoire boasts of more than beans from a can or boiled kai-lan tossed in soya sauce
3) Appreciates literature, cinema and/or other arts – does not consider Jackass to be the Be All & End All of good entertainment
4) Has an eye for interior design – does not place a vase of plastic flowers on the coffee table with pride and say, “No one will be able to tell the difference!“
5) Knows wine – knows his Chardonnays from his Rieslings, his Cabernet Sauvignons from his Merlots
6) Is a lover of music – understands that there’s more to jazz than just Michael Bublé or Kenny G
7) Enjoys men's magazines – is not ashamed to be seen reading “3 Secrets To Flawless Skin: Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate” in the LRT
8) Is groomed to perfection – knows that a ‘face mask’ doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with hockey or a fancy dress party
9) May or may not be gay – is a charmer and will never use pickup lines like, “If I told you you have a beautiful body, will you hold it against me?”
Apparently, the term ‘metrosexual’ first made its appearance in a 1994 article called "Here Come The Mirror Men" by Mark Simpson. So I guess it’s not the carefully molded product of the 21st century I once thought it was. But things are sure coming to a head, especially when sensationally famous male icons (read Beckham, Pitt and Cruise) are proud wearers of the metrosexual tag.
Is this the way of the future for men? Time magazine, in a recent issue, claims it’s what women want. All I can say is, “Uh, do we really?”
Do we really want a man whose talons are more immaculate than ours? A man who’s on a first-name basis with every hairstylist in town? A man who USES MASCARA?
One day, we will wake up and hear, “Honey, does my butt look big in this?” and we won’t know if we said it or he did. Good freaking grief.
Sure, it’ll be great to have a man who can feel emotions other than “I’m hungry” or “I’m horny”. It’ll be rather nice to have one who will happily cook and clean without acting like he’s just been sentenced to the gallows. One who actually responds to your distress calls, listens to you and empathises with you.
But do metrosexuals really exist? Straight ones, I mean? Or are they simply another group of mythical creatures painted by money-grubbing corporate types in order to formulate a new demographic of shoppers? Kind of like the successful man who “has it all”, the super career mom who effortlessly juggles “work and family” or the 40-something year old woman whose face and buttocks are as smooth as a billiard ball.
Mark Simpson hailed the metrosexual as an advertiser’s walking wet dream. Perhaps that’s all they really are - an unattainable ideal designed to get men to go out and … SHOP. Shop for skincare products. Shop for haircare products. Shop for self-help books. Sign up for yoga classes. Buy designer labels. Jewelry. Shoes, shoes, shoes.
We used to be able to count on men to be the uncomplicated sex. They were the ones who were easy to please (just show up naked, with a bucket of chicken and don’t block the TV … you know how the joke goes). Their sole purpose in life was to earn money for their wives to spend. They needed no bathroom shelf space – all they did was brush their teeth and shave. Sometimes, they smelled (refer to "What's the difference between a man and a chimpanzee?").
We can’t count on them to be this way anymore. They’re turning into women. They’re turning into US. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but seriously, I’d rather they just stop burping for entertainment.
One day, we’ll turn around in bed and find ourselves peering into a face covered with a hydration mask. It’ll all be too much and we’ll shriek, “Be a man!!!!” and he’ll say, “I only wish I knew what that meant.”
Posted by willow at 10:34 AM