Saturday, May 24, 2008

Outing the Metrosexual

Is the Metrosexual the modern man?

Commonly defined as “a straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with his feminine side, has a standing appointment for a weekly manicure, and most likely has his hair cared for by a stylist rather than a barber, frequents the gym and is very fashion conscious” the Metrosexual has emerged as one of modern marketing’s newest demographic.

The term “metrosexual”, while tracing its roots as far back as the early 80’s, really caught on sometime 2002-2003; inspiring shows like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and elevating spas to "lechon-manok" ubiquity.

While I agree that the modern man has definitely evolved from the rugged and macho Marlboro Man, I still don’t buy the idea that what has emerged as the man of the new millennium is the “metrosexual” as defined above.

For me, “metrosexual” is more accurately the new “bisexual”. In other words, it more accurately defines the I’m-gay-but-I’m-not-ready-to-come-yet gender. The word itself seems more similarly coined to words that describe sexual preferences (e.g. heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and transsexual).

This is why I think a lot of modern (straight) men who are called a “metrosexual” cringe and are even quick to deny that they are part of this demographic. Sure, the new breed of men are a little more conscious of how they look and are more refined, but there are just too many dodgy characteristics of the metrosexual that makes us, who are referred to as one, feel more uncomfortable, even insulted, than flattered. So, for the record, the modern man is not the likes of Ryan Seacrest.

The modern man is not fashionable. He is stylish. He is not interested in couture. He has a tailor. He takes extra effort to look good and be well groomed because he is discriminating and demands no less from his girl. He knows what clothes are right for him and how to be the perfect accessory to his date. Think Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher.

The modern man does not wear any form of make-up but recognizes that, as women continue to work on delaying aging, they will want a mate that does not look like a prune. So, he takes care of his skin. Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and Johnny Depp have all made 40 the new 30.

The modern man does not carry a man bag. The concept of a “man bag” is as ridiculous as lady condoms. It’s simply naïve to think that a man bag-totting guy won’t try to take a quick peek to check you out if you happen to be side-by-side in a public toilet.

The modern man shouldn’t need a manicure or a pedicure. For one, there’s really just one way to wear our nails – short. How hard can it be to cut your own nails? And what could move anyone to color their nails? There’s nothing modern about pink, freshly manicured or pedicured nails. In fact, they’re often seen on men that are dirty and old.

The modern man does not wear jewelry, but knows enough about them to buy only the best for his girl. Birthdays, your engagement, anniversaries, Christmas and please-forgive-me moments are just among the many occasions where you will find that this skill is just as important as studying her menstrual cycle.

The modern man does not spend an inordinate amount of time in the gym. Why? Well, because that’s not where all the hot girls are. However, he is conscious enough to get the right amount of exercise and watches what he eats because he knows that women want a man who can live to see their children grow up.

There is a new breed of men now being called “ubermen”. Ubermen are defined as a heterosexual man who is masculine, confident, compassionate, and stylish. The marketing community has realized that Ricky Martin is just not in the same league as Bono, George Clooney or our very own Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

So is the uberman the modern man? Maybe, but all I know is he most probably lives in the valley between Marlboro Country and Brokeback Mountain.

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