Thursday, April 17, 2014

What is Metrosexual?

I first heard the term "metrosexual" in 2004 while I was working at a small Bible college. A couple of students who walked in my office, always dressed well, would chat with me while taking samples of hand sanitizer.

I loved listening to them talk about pedicures and clothes. Both guys were handsome, funny, and musically talented best friends. They would often sit really close together, even leaning on each other like a dating couple would.

"You don't know anything about metrosexual," one of them would joke when asked about their hair products or if someone would use that term.

Neither guy felt like their masculinity was threatened, and neither guy acted effeminate. It was an interesting dichotomy, and my first experience with guys who liked to manscape.

In the article, Defining Metrosexual, author Sam Killerman talks about his friend Mark Simpson who termed the word. His article goes in depth into the definition of metrosexual, saying it's not about sexuality, but gender.

He says, "The term “metrosexual” is inherently flawed, and it has been since its inception.  This is my biggest issue with the Wikipedia entry, and with the history of the word.  As heteronormativity becomes less and less relevant, describing a man who primps himself and is more concerned with his appearance than other straight men becomes troublesome.  It’s adding to the problem, reinforcing a connection between sexuality and gender that need not exist. 
Further, and more importantly, it’s encouraging the that a metro guy is a straight guy who has “gay” characteristics (well-groomed, well-dressed, etc.).  This is problematic because the well-groomed well-dressed gay man is a positive stereotype, but a stereotype nonetheless, and even positive stereotypes are potentially harmful.
The article is interesting read, and can be found here.

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