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Are you metrosexual? (Sorry, not you Jonny, your neck's too thick) [How To Be a Metrosexual]
The Times ^ | November 27, 2003 | Andrew Billen

Posted on 11/26/2003 11:20:47 PM PST by Timesink

November 27, 2003

Are you metrosexual? (Sorry, not you Jonny, your neck's too thick)

By Andrew Billen

Macho is out, moisturiser is in — and you don't even have to be gay. Adrift on a sea of testosterone and Wilkinson-worship after England's Rugby World Cup win, our correspondent found solace in a guide to the new, new man — a lean, slim trendsetter with a heightened aesthetic sense, who cares how he looks

I WAS A WIMP. But I’m metrosexual now. My reinvention — or, in marketing terms, my repositioning — happened only last weekend and I’m telling everyone about it.

Saturday began badly. Off the red-eye from New York, I took to my bed at 9am planning a three-hour kip. At around 11am I was awoken by a bestial choral scream from next door. I later calculated that this must have been the moment Jonny Wilkinson converted or tried or did whatever he did to win the rugby World Cup.

By 4pm the bars were heaving with testosterone. Middle-aged fund managers in canary yellow jumpers, bullet-headed estate agents in two-tone rugby shirts, Nike-heeled property developers were united in incoherence, their conversation reduced to three chanted syllables: “In-Ger-Land”. By 7pm there were minor street skirmishes. What, though, did anyone expect? The pubs had opened at 9am because, you know, who wants to watch a rugby match unlubricated?

Since I have no interest in sport, take no pleasure in getting drunk and believe patriotism to be dangerous idiocy, familiar feelings of alienation from my sex began to crowd in. At such moments of fraternity, men are from Mars and I feel I’m from Pluto.

But rescue lay in a small blue paperback I had bought in Manhattan called The Metrosexual Guide to Style. This “handbook for the modern man” — found, despite a certain jokiness of tone, in the profoundly serious self-help and personal grooming section of Barnes & Noble — was that most comforting thing: a self-improvement manual that told me stuff I already knew.

Its author, a New Yorker called Michael Flocker, defines Metrosexual in dictionary terms. “1: 21st-century male trendsetter. 2: straight, urban man with a heightened aesthetic sense. 3: man who spends time and money on appearance and shopping. 4: man willing to embrace his feminine side.” Of course, I’m not a really close fit for any of these definitions. I can hear Dylan Jones, a dandyish former colleague, now editor of GQ, laughing even as he reads this. But concede this, Dylan: I am nearer to being a metrosexual than Jonny Wilkinson will ever be. For a start, he’s the wrong shape. The Metrosexual Guide states unequivocally: “The ideal body image is natural, lean and trim. The pumped-up, steroid injecting muscleman is out.” This is why Jonny looks so terribly trussed-up when he wears a suit. On Sunday, his shirt’s expensive cutaway collar could not disguise that, behind the thick knot of his England tie, its top button was not only undone but, owing to overdeveloped neck muscle, undo-uppable.

The handbook, which I’m sure he’ll never read but really should, divides into sections: general etiquette; food and wine; culture; fashion; health and fitness; sex; and home decor. The advice is exact and strict. Never discuss or display money. Espresso is NOT pronounced “EX-presso”. Only its final section, on the metrosexual mindset, waffles slightly and even then it can be quite brusque. Ten Things to Avoid concludes: “Don’t be an asshole” .

At points, it goes too far. With it all the way when it urges nasal and ear hair plucking, I become nervous when it descends towards the pubic region and recommends a regime of trimming and moisturising (“When feeling especially frisky, a nice, fresh scent makes for a pleasant surprise”). Since a woman friend had only just told me that her most recent romance ended when her Italian lover emerged from a hotel bathroom wearing a face mask, I was relieved that its skin care tips stopped at scrub and moisturiser.

The handbook makes it clear that masculinity is in itself no bar to civilisation. All it wants is to bring men up to the minimal level of sophistication attained by women. The heightened aesthetic sense is not so very heightened. You need to know Leonardo was a Renaissance artist, that Van Gogh was an Expressionist and that modern art looks weird not because it’s rubbish but because it’s new. Nevertheless, Flocker does not minimise the challenge. Halfway through the art section, under the misleading heading “Sex, Sex, Sex!” he scolds: “If you got bored and skipped over the previous section, go back and read it! You should know this stuff, and the paragraphs could not possibly be any shorter, for God’s sake.”

As this week’s boorish celebrating has demonstrated, nobody should underestimate the average male’s inner neanderthal. A divorced friend recently told me he was resisting decorating his new, deckchair-strewn home because he expected his next girlfriend to do it. The handbook — which I intend to be his Christmas present — will suggest that there won’t be a next girlfriend if he doesn’t learn smartish the difference between Practical Contemporary and Rustic Bohemian.

I don’t want to be smug but, inevitably, smugness creeps in. My dinner date on Tuesday arrived full of lust for Jonny W. By the end of the evening, I had so scrupulously observed Flocker’s rules and admonishments — walking kerb-side of her, following her to the restaurant table, helping her on with her coat, not staring at other women — that she declared herself a convert to Metrosexuality.

Tomorrow — at least until the next time England win something — belongs to us.

The Metrosexual Guide to Style (Da Capo Press, £7.99). In bookshops or to order from Littlehampton Book Services (01903 828800)

TEN WARDROBE MUST-HAVES

Flattering underwear
Three black T-shirts, three new white T-shirts
Two different pairs of flattering jeans
One dark suit
One leather or suede short coat (not a bomber jacket)
Two rollneck or crewneck cable-knit sweaters
Two pairs of dark, straightleg, non-pleated trousers
Three well-cut, solid-colour, button-down shirts (one white)
Quality sunglasses
One expensive watch, one sportswatch

THE CONFIDENT METROSEXUAL ALWAYS . . .

Puts others at ease
Takes responsibility for his actions
Is aware of his sexuality
Enjoys looking his best
Flirts subtly
Accepts flattery
Is open to spontaneity
Never loses control
Tells the truth
Is able to laugh at himself

15 BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ

The Great Gatsby — F Scott Fitzgerald
The Sun Also Rises — Ernest Hemingway
Myra Breckenridge — Gore Vidal
The Turn of the Screw — Henry James
Things Fall Apart — Chinua Achebe
Underworld — Don DeLillo
Maus and Maus II — Art Spiegelman
Perfume — Susskind
On The Road — Jack Kerouac
The Outsider — Albert Camus
Love in the Time of Cholera — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Berlin Stories — Christopher Isherwood
The Unbearable Lightness of Being — Milan Kundera
Barrel Fever — David Sedaris
Fight Club — Chuck Palahniuk

15 ALBUMS YOU SHOULD OWN

Buena Vista Social Club — Various
Chet Baker in Paris — Chet Baker
What’s Goin’ On — Marvin Gaye
Du Jazz Dans Le Ravin — Serge Gainsbourg
Best of Sade (Remastered) — Sade
The Mission: Soundtrack — Ennio Morricone
Painted from Memory — Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach
Blue Lines — Massive Attack
Four Sider — Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66
The Moderns: Soundtrack — Mark Isham
Speaking in Tongues — Talking Heads
Best of Bowie — David Bowie
Vertigo — Groove Armada
Parachutes — Coldplay
Berlin — Lou Reed

15 FILMS YOU SHOULD SEE

La Dolce Vita — Federico Fellini
Fargo — The Coen brothers
The Elephant Man — David Lynch
Cinema Paradiso — Giuseppe Tornatore
The Last Emperor — Bernardo Bertolucci
A Clockwork Orange — Stanley Kubrick
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down — Pedro Almodovar
Wings of Desire — Wim Wenders
Amelie — Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Brazil — Terry Gilliam
The Remains of the Day — James Ivory
American Beauty — Sam Mendes
Cabaret — Bob Fosse
Koyaanisqatsi — Godfrey Reggio
Sunset Boulevard — Billy Wilder

METROSEXUAL: IS HE OR ISN’T HE?

YES
Tony Blair
Michael Portillo
Ewan MacGregor
David Beckham
Pierce Brosnan
David Bowie
Oliver Letwin
George Clooney
Charles Saatchi
Justin Timberlake
Melvyn Bragg
Vittorio Radice
Guy Black
Thierry Henry
Andrew Billen

NO
Gordon Brown
Iain Duncan Smith
Russell Crowe
Jonny Wilkinson
Sean Connery
Keith Richards
David Davis
Tom Cruise
Damien Hirst
Eminem
Jonathan Ross
Philip Green
Alastair Campbell
Paul Gascoigne
Microwave Man

MAYBE
Michael Howard
Robin Cook
Colin Farrell
Michael Owen
Roger Moore
Mick Jagger
Tim Yeo
Ben Affleck
Martin Creed
Damon Albarn
Michael Parkinson
Richard Branson
Godric Smith
Ryan Giggs
Richard Morrison


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: metrosexual
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first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-152 next last

1 posted on 11/26/2003 11:20:48 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Thanks for the list! Now it's easier for me to spot them. :)
2 posted on 11/26/2003 11:23:12 PM PST by July 4th
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To: Timesink
This guy is a dork. Tom Cruise is definately a metrosexual.

And metrosexuals are not what women want. Justin Timberlake is a 13 year old girl's idea of a man :P

3 posted on 11/26/2003 11:29:54 PM PST by Hawkeye's Girl
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To: Timesink
Jeez, it's the "gravitas" of 2003.
4 posted on 11/26/2003 11:31:22 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population - have them spayed or neutered. )
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To: Timesink
Can I throw up now?
5 posted on 11/27/2003 12:24:04 AM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: JoJo Gunn
I think "metrosexuals" should just come on outta the closet and be done with it.
6 posted on 11/27/2003 4:04:22 AM PST by Salamander (Gimme hairy, sweaty, flannel-clad, work-boot wearing "cavemen" anyday.........:))
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To: Timesink
>>I WAS A WIMP. But I’m metrosexual now.

I got news, bud. You're still a wimp.
7 posted on 11/27/2003 4:16:23 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: Timesink
He failed to mention the opening scene in American Psycho, in fact the entire movie sums up meterosexuality.
8 posted on 11/27/2003 4:19:27 AM PST by ijcr (Age and treachery will always overcome youth and ability.)
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To: Timesink
How I measure up.

TEN WARDROBE MUST-HAVES

Flattering underwear   (if you call a dozen brief with rips and a few stains flattering I'm in)
Three black T-shirts, three new white T-shirts ( No black T-shirts as for the white one see underwear)
Two different pairs of flattering jeans (See under wear except in denim) 
One dark suit (Yes, I have one)
One leather or suede short coat (not a bomber jacket) ( Nope)
Two rollneck or crewneck cable-knit sweaters (Neck is 19" and red so I wouldn't even consider it)
Two pairs of dark, straightleg, non-pleated trousers (IS green dark, then I'm in)
Three well-cut, solid-colour, button-down shirts (one white) (Yes)
Quality sunglasses (Is $2.50 quality)
One expensive watch, one sportswatch (One sportswatch)

 

THE CONFIDENT METROSEXUAL ALWAYS . . .

Puts others at ease (Not my job)
Takes responsibility for his actions (What does this have to do with being 3/4 queer?)
Is aware of his sexuality (yes, grunt)
Enjoys looking his best  (Enjoys? Yuck, yuck, yuck)
Flirts subtly  ( Does hey honey do you feel like getting lucky this morning qualify)
Accepts flattery (Does this mean I don't gush if some one says something nice. I guess I qualify)
Is open to spontaneity (This can only mean he giggles like a school girl, not me) 
Never loses control   (What does this have to do with being 3/4 queer?)
Tells the truth (What does this have to do with being 3/4 queer?)
Is able to laugh at himself (What does this have to do with being 3/4 queer?)

It not looking good for me. What's a heterosexual going to do in the brave new world of girly men?

 

9 posted on 11/27/2003 4:42:47 AM PST by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Timesink
........believe patriotism to be dangerous idiocy..........and concludes: Don't be an a$$hole.

Looks like he wants his cake and wants to eat it too. Its the Marie Antoinette thing.

10 posted on 11/27/2003 4:58:40 AM PST by RushLake
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To: Timesink
I WAS A WIMP. But I’m metrosexual now.

Then you're still a wimp.

11 posted on 11/27/2003 5:00:38 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: Timesink
You might be a metrosexual redneck if:

... you married your cousin before she had a sex change operation.

12 posted on 11/27/2003 5:38:37 AM PST by TigersEye (Regime change in the courts. - Impeach activist judges!)
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To: Fzob
It not looking good for me. What's a heterosexual going to do in the brave new world of girly men?

I dunno...beat 'em all up and take the wussies' lunch money?

13 posted on 11/27/2003 5:47:46 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (It's been said before, I'll say it again: Freedom Isn't Free!)
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To: Timesink
I'm in touch with my feminine side, the problem is that I think I'm a lesbian...
14 posted on 11/27/2003 5:50:27 AM PST by Imagine ( A)
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To: Future Snake Eater
I dunno...beat 'em all up and take the wussies' lunch money?

Nah, I'd rather let them think they will get beat up so I could watch them worry themselves sick about.

I only wonder how long it will take before they are whining about metrosexual right?

15 posted on 11/27/2003 5:55:31 AM PST by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Timesink
The Great Gatsby was the most utterly awful book I was ever forced to read. Dear Lord, that was so awful by the time I was done I wanted to rip my eyeballs out so I could never read anything so absolutely insipid again. And I'm someone who loves to read. The fact that they put it at #1 must-read only makes sense though.

By the way, as Fzob put it, a LOT of things in that post have nothing to do with "being 3/4 queer".

For example, I really don't care much about sports. I can get mildly interested in a playoff or World Series that promises to break an 80+ year losing streak, but once both the Red Sox and the Cubs were out of the Series, who cares? I'd rather pop in a good sci-fi DVD than watch an in-season game any day.

Not caring about sports is not "metrosexual". "Geeks" had that one covered for decades before the metros came around. Being a geek is NOT being a metrosexual, in any way, shape or form. A geek is simply more intellectual than physical, but in defending his intellectual positions, this is one geek that can get pretty damn aggressive, and I think that's true of most geeks. We don't lack the aggression gene at all, we just channel that aggression in non-physical ways.

I proudly bear the title "geek", and I laugh at "metrosexuals" as drag queens in denial. Just so we get the masculinity pecking order correct here. Please, do not confuse one for the other on the basis of things like not caring about sports. When I'm not watching sports, I'm watching John Crichton threatening Scarran sovereigns with a nuclear bomb strapped to his chest. To be a geek doesn't mean you necessarily lack physical courage - hell, it more often than not requires truckloads of it.

Qwinn
16 posted on 11/27/2003 6:11:24 AM PST by Qwinn
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To: Timesink
I had so scrupulously observed Flocker's rules and admonishments — walking kerb-side of her, following her to the restaurant table, helping her on with her coat, not staring at other women — that she declared herself a convert to Metrosexuality.

THE CONFIDENT METROSEXUAL ALWAYS . . .

Puts others at ease
Takes responsibility for his actions
Is aware of his sexuality
Enjoys looking his best
Flirts subtly
Accepts flattery
Is open to spontaneity
Never loses control
Tells the truth
Is able to laugh at himself

These are the attributes of what was once commonly called a gentleman. Men would do well to learn these few simple rules without adopting the whole Metrosexual mindset.

Women are just naturally attracted to men who observe The Rules of Etiquette, but once they slip over the edge to primping and flamboyancy, they've lost their appeal.

17 posted on 11/27/2003 6:11:31 AM PST by jellybean (:))
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To: Fzob
What's a heterosexual going to do in the brave new world of girly men?

Enjoy a celibate lifestyle? (I say, that's a joke, son, a joke).

18 posted on 11/27/2003 6:35:22 AM PST by Archangelsk (Agent Smith : Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability.)
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To: Timesink
It's "The Crab People!!!!!" Run!!! They're trying to conquer us!!! Run!

Mark

(If you have to ask, you haven't been watching your South Park!)
19 posted on 11/27/2003 6:43:02 AM PST by MarkL (Dammit Vermile!!!! I can't take any more of these close games! Chiefs 10-1!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!)
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To: Timesink
The Metrosexual Theme Song

DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION
The Kinks (1965)

They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he’s got to buy the best,
’cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

And when he does his little rounds,
’round the boutiques of london town,
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
’cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
There’s one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
One week he’s in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
’cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
In regent street and leicester square.
Everywhere the carnabetian army marches on,
Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
His world is built ’round discoteques and parties.
This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
’cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
’cause he’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.
He’s a dedicated follower of fashion.

20 posted on 11/27/2003 6:44:02 AM PST by uglybiker (The only thing Democrats contributed to Bush's tax cut package was the word "TAX')
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