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Metrosexual


Metrosexual is a portmanteau of and heterosexual, coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who is especially meticulous about his grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping as part of this. The neologism is popularly thought to describe heterosexual men who adopt fashions and lifestyles stereotypically associated with homosexual men. While the term suggests that a metrosexual is heterosexual, it can refer to anyone with any sexual orientation.

The term metrosexual originated in an article by Mark Simpson published on November 15, 1994, in The Independent. Simpson wrote:

Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that's where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he's going shopping.

However, it was not until the early 2000s when Simpson returned to the subject that the term became globally popular. In 2002, Salon.com published an article by Simpson, which described David Beckham as "the biggest metrosexual in Britain" and offered this updated definition:

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.

The advertising agency Euro RSCG Worldwide adopted the term shortly thereafter for a marketing study. Sydney's daily newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, ran a major feature in March 2003 titled "The Rise of the Metrosexual" (also syndicated in its sister paper The Age). A couple of months later, The New York Times' Sunday Styles section ran a story, "Metrosexuals Come Out". The term and its connotations continued to roll steadily into more news outlets around the world. Though it did represent a complex and gradual change in the shopping and self-presentation habits of both men and women, the idea of metrosexuality was often distilled in the media down to a few men and a short checklist of vanities, like skin care products, scented candles and costly, colorful dress shirts and pricey designer jeans. It was this image of the metrosexual—that of a straight young man who got pedicures and facials, practiced aromatherapy and spent freely on clothes—that contributed to a backlash against the term from men who merely wanted to feel free to take more care with their appearance than had been the norm in the 1990s, when companies abandoned dress codes, Dockers khakis became a popular brand, and XL, or extra-large, became the one size that fit all.



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Wikipedia

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