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Old 09-24-2003, 10:36 AM   #1
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Are you a Metrosexual?

this article was from espn.com, but it's more of a social commentary than a sports article, so i done posted it in the regular part of the lemonade stand...

Nothing sexy about metrosexuals
By Stacey Pressman
Special to Page 2


metrosexual (MET.roh.sek.shoo.ul) n. A dandyish narcissist in love with not only himself, but also his urban lifestyle; a straight man who is in touch with his feminine side. ?metrosexuality n.

I love the smell of fall. There's nothing quite like October grass and crisp, clean, sweater-wearing air combined with the sweet aroma of helmets, cleats and mud. This is the smell that accompanies football season in New England. It ranks right up there with clean cotton, Mr. Sketch scented markers and freshly pumped gasoline on my list of all-time favorite smells. If Jean Paul Gauthier could bottle "Football in the Fall," I'd wear it proudly.

The question for many of you men out there: Would you?

It's been an abysmal summer of endless channel-surfing: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" followed by "Boy Meets Boy" and "Will & Grace" re-runs. Click. Click. Revisits to last season's "Sex and the City." "Trading Spaces." "Extreme Makeover." I would venture to say that our culture is in dire need of an injection of testosterone -- not Botox.

So the last few weekends, I've been overjoyed to welcome America's premier sport and ... well, let's just say, masculine verve back to television programming. The timing couldn't be more perfect.

Recent TV depictions of the American male have him going from brawny to scrawny. It's the feminization of today's man. OK, fine, we still have Kevin James' character, Doug Heffernan, on "King of Queens." But I'm telling you, the way we're headed, he'll be the "Queen of Queens" by the end of the year.

America is being besieged by a dude who has been dubbed the "metrosexual" and who is gaining cultural currency by the minute. Surely you've encountered him? He's the post-makeover straight guy on "Queer Eye." He's the guy who scoffs at an $8 haircut at Supercuts and never lets anyone but Jean-Louis coiffure his locks for 36 bucks a pop. He might also be the guy who just traded in his red Saturn for the sprightly chili-red Mini Cooper.

I certainly can't speak for all women; but among my group of girlfriends, he's known as the icky dude who's in touch with his feminine side. In college, he was the Euro guy. He likes to spend $40-and-up on Kiehl's facial cream, use my loofah, get a pedicure and make creme brulee. He likes shopping and beauty products, but -- get this -- he still wants to date me and my friends!

That's it. I'm destined to live a life of loneliness and solitude.

Mark Simpson, a British writer who coined the term "metrosexual" back in 1994, wrote a fascinating article for Salon.com last year, defining this man. Simpson writes: "The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis -- because that's where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference. Particular professions, such as modeling, waiting tables, media, pop music and, nowadays, sport, seem to attract them but, truth be told, like male vanity products and herpes, they're pretty much everywhere."

Simpson tagged the moniker on British soccer star David Beckham, who is as famous for wearing sarongs and nail polish as he is for scoring goals.

Here in America, Madison Avenue is capitalizing on (if not spawning) this cult of self love -- tugging at your insecurities and convincing you boys into thinking you need "products" just like we women do.

Even though I can find some relief from all of this metrosexuality when I turn on a football game, I still have to watch the commercials. And I still have to see those "beautiful people" lists, which invariably include guys like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Sehorn, out of uniform and all dolled up. Maybe they aren't hawking panty hose like Joe Namath did, but it makes you wonder how they manage their "look."

I was excited to receive my 2003 San Diego Chargers Yearbook in the mail the other day ... until I came across a full-page ad for MaleFace, a line of rejuvenating moisturizers and other skin care products for men. It was endorsed this way by former Buffalo Bills defensive back Chris Hale: "The MaleFace products are fantastic, they'll be a pleasant surprise for your face."

I have a hard time hearing a man seriously say these words about male vanity products.

Metrosexuality is a cultural seed that's growing, a subculture going mainstream. I'm truly hoping this is a trend that fades in the same way grunge, hippie, and Joe Dirt hairbands have vanished from the forefront.

Metrosexuality might be the most all-encompassing lifestyle ideal -- clothes, food, decor, music -- since the punk era. The irony is that this lifestyle transformation has the exact opposite aesthetic appeal that punk does. Like punk, I'm hoping it lasts for a couple of Halloweens and then goes away.

Some people have asked me why I find the metrosexual man so unappealing.

That's like asking why I don't like tomatoes and cucumbers. The simple answer is: I just don't.

I liken the metrosexual to the female body builder. While there is nothing wrong with a woman who is healthy and physically fit, who works out and builds muscle mass, there is something aesthetically unappealing when taken to the extreme. She looks masculine. To me, all of the lifestyle characteristics of the metrosexual man make him look feminine.

Frankly, I'm done with the back-and-crack-waxing-salon-spa guy. Does America really need to see all of this "manscaping?" What's wrong with a good old-fashioned manly man? One who doesn't know the difference between mauve and taupe, and who won't refer to his wardrobe as "couture." Heck, I'll take him color-blind.

To me, there is something endearing about a man with wrinkled khakis, the kind that signifies, "I'm not too perfect." You boys can have your Armani and Gucci man boutiques. You can strive for overpriced perfection. I'll find the Armani guy. Only he'll be on a TJ Maxx rack with a tag dangling off him that reads "slightly irregular." Any savvy shopper knows there's nothing wrong with a faint quirk. It's called a good deal.

A fashionably clueless man needs me to tell him that his paisley tie with the ketchup stain might look better on him than the Garcia tie with the barbeque sauce. It creates levity in a relationship. And those dreaded nose hairs, don't worry, I'll get them. Fab 5, leave him alone, I'll work on him. He's my project. Don't you know that's part of the fun for some of us women?

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for sensitivity. I'm perfectly fine with the salmon shirt and the between-you-and-me admission of your affinity for Rick Astley's music. But as far I'm concerned, the only person who's supposed to use the $26 bottle of 'Bumble and Bumble' shampoo and fret over hair ... is me. For you? It's 'Pert Plus All in One' in your grimy green bottle, on sale for $3.49 at CVS.

If you guys really want to get in touch with your feminine side, how about digging a little deeper than the narcissistically obvious: cosmetics and clothing? How about choosing three more virtuous female traits, say, nurturing, sensitivity and breast-feeding? At least you'd be helping us out.

I'm not sure I could handle being that girl! The one who's watching sports on Sundays while her significant other is trying to decide which fruity exfoliant will work best on his skin as his casserole bakes.

Me: "Honey, did you see that perfectly-executed Bledsoe flea-flicker? If only Josh Reed could keep his hands on it!"

Him: "No, but smell this new hand cream I just bought. What do you think? Too much jasmine?"

I'm all set. Game over. Thanks for playing.

Call me crazy but I don't ever want to hear my boyfriend utter the word "jasmine," unless he's apologizing for something he did with a stripper.

I recognize that I cross over into the male stereotype when I embrace football. But at least I'm able to retain my femininity while I do it. I appreciate the game. I am not trying to convince Marty Schottenheimer to insert me into his "cat" defense. Just remember that the next time you're eyeballing my loofah hanging in the shower. I certainly am aware that male vanity is here to stay, but you can still use a washcloth (or nothing) and a simple bar of Zest. It won't kill you.

I really hope I'm not alone in this. And I hope the rest of the country is just as starved for a resurgence of masculinity. Mind you, this is not a call for a return to Bill Romanowski-brand, loincloth barbarism. But there is something to be said for masculine vigor, verve and fortitude, and maybe even a little endearing fashion cluelessness -- all traits that have been placed on pop culture's endangered species list recently.

Football may just be the answer.

Stacey Pressman is a freelance producer for ESPN and a contributing writer to Page 2 and "The Jump" at ESPN The Magazine. She can be reached at StaceyPressman@aol.com.

so in case you're still a bit confused as to the difference between a meterosexual and a non-metrosexual...

Jason Sehorn... metrosexual...


Tony Siragusa... not so much



Alex Rodriguez... metrosexual...


Randy Johnson... mullet wearing non metrosexual


Michael Jordan... metrosexual...


Allen Iverson... well... you get the point...
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:41 AM   #2
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:17 AM   #3
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why are all the "metrosexuals males" athletes?
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:19 AM   #4
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so are all the non-metrosexuals... because those are the pictures i posted... feel free to post non athletes.
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:13 PM   #5
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The question is: where do we draw the line?

..I would be careful about generalizing a guy as a metrosexual because he's dressed up, dressed nice, etc. In that respect, Ah-nold, all Hollywood males at the Oscars (fancy tuxes, Armani suits, etc) and all males at their weddings are metrosexuals.
I also don't doubt that many of these men dress down at home and don't carry man-purses.

Women complain that men are too masculine. That they want someone who is in touch with his feminine side and understands women. Is a pyschiatrist a metrosexual because he understands women? Is Gavin Rossdale--the rocker--a metrosexual because he paints his nails? A man claims he's comfortable eniugh with his sexuality that he can wear what he wants and use hand cream; now women complain because men are getting too feminine. Men once complained when women began to wear pants. Society in general is still in an uproar over stereotypes. So we have evolved the caveman into the fashion-conscious, dressed-up, narcissist that he is today. And again, we all complain. Because we can't follow the typical societal standards and that frightens us.

This isn't to say that I don't like my men like David Beckham. Quite frankly the day my husband wore a dress over pants is the day we file for couples therapy. Yet do I want a beer-guzzling, lying-on-the-couch, football-driven, completely-oblivious-to-the-plight-of-others type guy? No.

So, again....what's a metrosexual? Where's this ever-changing gender line between male/female, gay/straight, progressive/conservative?
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:37 PM   #6
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great post Sweet thing! Right on the money.

I did not know you were married. Sorry to hear about your husband and the couples therapy.
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Old 09-24-2003, 02:54 PM   #7
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zoney

I should have said 'future husband'. But you knew what I meant. DIDN'T YOU???
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Old 09-24-2003, 02:59 PM   #8
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Old 09-24-2003, 03:14 PM   #9
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Sweetest thing is right.

There is yet another article in the new Details magazine, written by a gay man about "metrosexuals". Here is the problem. Here the writer is put off by the fact that back in the late 90's straight guys started wearing nicer clothes, going to the gym, eating better, and using product in their hair. If that's a metrosexual, than I am one. But to me it's good hygiene, staying in shape and not being a fat slob.

I like football and basketball, I like watching Scarface, Fight Club, Dirty Harry and James Bond, but I also enjoy shopping now and then and like to catch Will and Grace, The Real World and the latest independent flick at my little local theater.

I do see the point of men still being men and not being over-emotional and blathering on about hand cream and conditioners. But I think it's about striking a balance of taking care of yourself, looking good, staying up to date with styles, and still being able to not always care what you look like, hang out and eat cheetos in your sweatpants watching football on Sunday.

Both are possible

p.s. - the funniest part is that this is an article in Details magazine which is plastered from front to back cover with what many would define as "metrosexuals"
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Old 09-24-2003, 03:17 PM   #10
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I my Aveda products

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Old 09-24-2003, 03:22 PM   #11
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Michael Jordan is gay?
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Old 09-24-2003, 03:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing

This isn't to say that I don't like my men like David Beckham.

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Old 09-24-2003, 03:55 PM   #13
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What's the opposite of a Metrosexual :lamo:

Seriously ... why do we have to come up with a label that distinguishes straight men who enjoy fashion facials from homosexuals. It's a division that is completely unnecessary.

I frankly don't care if a guy uses Keihls or whatever is on sale at Walgreens.

It's not about externals ...

Sure I want a guy who's sensitive to my needs as a woman.

It might be nice if he weren't threatened by the idea of a spa day with me. Someone who is attentive to his appearance, but not necessarily obsessed with it.

But I also want someone who will watch football and curse at the referees with me.

As someone mentioned ... it's about balance.
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Old 09-24-2003, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by JessicaAnn
What's the opposite of a Metrosexual :lamo:

Seriously ... why do we have to come up with a label that distinguishes straight men who enjoy fashion facials from homosexuals. It's a division that is completely unnecessary.
No kidding. What it comes down to is our determination to keep genders easily definable and seperate. So we label things "feminine" and other things "masculine" that by all rights, both sexes should be able to enjoy without feeling like they are abnormal.

It was never ok for guys to care about their appearance--and why not? Why should they use whatever products they feel like to make them feel good about themselves? Why is it considered "gay" to maintain your appearence? Why do we have to label them metrosexuals...like wow, you're nearly gay.

Why do women have to wear make-up, nail polish and perfume to be considered a woman?

It all comes down to labels and society's desire to keep things in neat catagories. I think it's great that the 21st century male is going "You know what? I want to use moisturizer and I'm ok with it."

But just like women can carry it too far, guys can carry it too far too. A friend of mine (wanted to be more than a friend) was completely obsessed about himself. It took him 2 hours to do his hair--and his hair was just your typical short cut. It doesn't even take me two hours to do my hair!!

On the other hand, I like a guy who cares about his appearence--but he has to be casual about it, or it borders on the snotty.
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Old 09-24-2003, 07:03 PM   #15
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Thanks ladies. It's nice to get a woman's perspective on it. I have to agree, for me it's about looking and feeling good without trying too hard and being obsessed about it.

Same goes for working out. From what i've heard, girls like guys who are fit and toned and you can tell do physical activity, but they aren't usually into the really huge muscle guys that are obsessed with it.

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