...the trait of an urban male of any sexual orientation who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great amount of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle.
British journalist Mark Simpson coined the term, which has embedded itself in our cultural lexicon. According to Simpson, metrosexuality is a shift in masculinity in which there is less avoidance of femininity and the “emergence of a segment of men who have embraced customs and attitudes once deemed the province of women.” Thus we've witnessed an emerging breed of stylish, sensitive, suave fellas.
It's also spawned another term: "retrosexual" -- a backlash to the mealy male; a throwback to the grungy, beer-guzzling chauvinist of yesteryear-- and has produced a turf war of sorts. Example A: ESPN's Are You a Metrosexual? quiz. It began with a discussion about metrosexual men in sports, and quickly veered into a parody of the "new breed."
Not one for "whale sperm dermo-care" and martinis, I took the test with bated breath.
1) How many times do you look in a mirror each day?
Once - when I wake up.
Twice - morning, evening.
Three times - a little mid-day peek.
Four times - I have uncooperative hair.
At least five - get off my case.
2) Can you leave the house without putting product in your hair?
Yes, I do it all the time
Uhh, is a baseball hat a product?
3) Do you moisturize daily?
No -- lotion is for girls.
Occasionally, if I have a sunburn or something.
Always -- it's a necessity!
4) Not counting sneakers, how many pairs of shoes do you own?
Gimme a second ... still counting ...
5) Have you ever tweezed, waxed or trimmed your eyebrows?
A couple times, for special occasions
Yes, frequently. I firmly believe eyebrows should be two distinct entities.
6) Have you ever shaved/waxed your legs, chest or back?
Yes, I do regular maintenance
Yes, a few times
7) How much do you spend on a haircut?
My buddy does it for nothing
The barber school down the street will do it for 5 bucks
$40 or more
8) Your top drawer consists mostly of ...
Good old Hanes tighty-whities
Assorted boxer shorts
Designer boxer briefs
9) What's the last book you picked up?
A re-read of an old classic
A current best seller
Whatever magazine was lying around the bathroom
10) Going shopping is ...
A top priority
A chore performed before the holidays, her birthday, etc.
An activity I despise
11) Best way to spend a Friday night?
Watching the game over a large pizza and a six pack
Dinner at T.G.I.Friday's and ninth viewing of Lord of the Rings
Catch a hot musical, then drinks at a trendy martini bar
12) How would you describe your sense of style?
Scrubby frat boy
Comfy and casual
Refined and respectable
So I'm metrosexual in three areas, and I'm none too happy about it. Get this: My shoes, underwear and reading habits are pure metro baby! Maybe the most disturbing, however, is my reading habits.
How does reading the classics make a guy Metro?
Oh well, I'm not giving up Dickens and Twain for retro-male status. The important thing is that I don't moisturize daily (a fact that bugs my wife), I've never shaved/waxed my legs, chest or back (and don't plan to) and pizza and a six pack is still my meal of choice. Onward, men of yore, to the rugby match and pub, where we'll compare war wounds and swill the suds. Just don't ask to see my library card.