The Metrosexual Man

Metrosexual man
A few years ago the appearance of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and other similarly-themed shows brought a new word into our lexicon. That word is “Metrosexual”. The word, and the increasingly large number of men whom it describes, has spread across the globe and now has become an ideal to which many men aspire.
But what is a “metrosexual”?
According to sources cited on Wikipedia, the term “metrosexual” was coined by a British journalist named Mark Simpson in an article titled, “Here Come the Mirror Men” published on November 15, 1994 in The Independent (a major British daily). In 2002, Simpson returned to the topic of his previous article in “Meet the Metrosexual”, an essay he wrote for This introduced the term to the U.S. online public. Of course, this is contested by former Metro Radio presenter Mitch Murray, who claims to have coined the term in the 1980s as a combination of “Metro Radio” and “heterosexuals” making a play on the words, which was to be a successor to the term, “Yuppie”.
Regardless of whether or not Murray’s claim is true, the use of the term today in consistent with its use by Simpson in his articles and essays, and is now used to describe any urbane man with a strong esthetic sense and who spends a lot of money and effort on his appearance and lifestyle.
What Makes A Metrosexual?
There are a number of areas in which the metrosexual man will focus his attention: fashion trends, hairstyle trends, hair and skin care, physical fitness, food, popular culture and home décor and technology. In many occasions these areas will have cross-over. For example, the hottest new restaurant in town would be a crossover of the areas of food and popular culture, or the gym a man joins may offer spa services which would combine physical fitness needs with hair and skin care. Let’s look at these areas a little more in depth:
Fashion Trends
The metrosexual man will pay attention to what’s currently popular in men’s fashions and will usually incorporate the looks into his own personal sense of style. This isn’t to say that he necessarily has to go and spend hundreds on designer labels. It simply means that he keeps abreast of current trends and shops for those looks at outlets to match his budget.
Hairstyle Trends/Hair and Skin Care
These two areas are easily combined because they can actually be placed under the umbrella of “grooming”. Often this is the most notable difference between the “metrosexual” and the average heterosexual man. Most men don’t think much about grooming apart from shampooing and shaving in the morning, and getting their hair cut every other month or so. And these are best case scenarios.
However, the metrosexual man will pay attention to his specific needs as far as having a flattering hair cut, as well as cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing his skin in order to look healthier and help fight signs of aging. He will have his nails cared for with manicures (AND pedicures) and will take care of the little problems that arise from time to time, such as athlete’s foot fungus or acne breakouts.
The metrosexual man tends to spend far more time on his appearance than the average man. This in and of itself may seem shallow and vain, but also shows a strong sense of self-worth and respect for those people with whom he chooses to spend time since he wants to look his best at all times.
Physical Fitness
The metrosexual man is body conscious. That doesn’t mean he is necessarily anyone’s physical ideal. He may be overweight, but he is aware of what he needs to do to be healthier and makes an effort to do so. Physical fitness may involve membership in a gym for aerobics and weight training, or it may be something less structured and rigid, like spending an hour or so a few times a week playing basketball, rollerblading, bicycling (or some other physical activity) with a friend.
Food, in the context of the metrosexual man, is more than just picking something to eat in a restaurant. The metrosexual man makes an effort to learn a little about the various aspects of food and dining. He knows enough about wine to order appropriately depending on the entrée, he knows how to cope with extended place settings, and he learns enough about cooking to be able to prepare at least a passable meal when needed.
Of course, it also encompasses restaurant etiquette, how to order appropriately, the difference between a maitre’d and a sommelier, and proper tipping protocols. Then there’s nutrition, making healthy food choices, and balancing your diet, according to your nutritional needs.
Popular Culture
This is probably the most varied subject to be dealt with by the metrosexual man, and it will mean different things to different men, depending on their areas of interest. Pop culture encompasses EVERYTHING that interests and entertains us, from professional sports to music, movies and theater. It can include art museums or dance clubs.
It can quite literally be anything at which we choose to spend our time: collecting coins, stamps, or other objects; drawing; sketching; photography; writing; playing music; reading; going to movies or theatre; or whatever pursuits stimulate us creatively.
Home Décor
Finally, the area of the home is another big part of the metrosexual man’s focus. He strives to be organized and to create a comfortable space in which to live and especially to entertain guests. The home décor should always reflect the personality and taste of the individual who lives there and doesn’t have to be something created specifically by the metrosexual man. Instead he can have his home space decorated for him, so long as the finished design relates to his personality and sense of style.
In many cases, the home’s décor also includes the presence of all the newest technologies for home entertainment and personal living. These days, most metrosexuals’ homes would be incomplete without mp3 stereo units, flat-screen HDTV, DVR systems, and home theatre sound systems.
The Wrap-up
The bottom line is that while the metrosexual man does place emphasis and attention on all these areas of his life, he may not be expert in these subjects. The point is that he tries. He cares about his appearance and lifestyle, and although he may fall short of the ideals and goals he sets for himself, he makes the effort and that in and of itself makes him more appealing to many women.
In many cases, the metrosexual man has learned that giving attention and focus to his grooming habits, dining and to cultural endeavors doesn’t negate his masculinity. If anything, it strengthens his ability to identify with others and the effort involved in looking good, and being a well-rounded individual.
Photo: Shooting Star Studio/Shutterstock