What is a metrosexual?

29 Dec


metrosexual, photo in complex man magazine

a metrosexual, photo in complex man magazine

I encountered  metrosexualism for the first time in a Bulgarian magazine Egoist some years ago. Then I gained some knowledge about the culture of the metrosexual. However at the time I didn’t quiet understand the post-modern phenomenon. Years later I make a theoretical attempt to clarify what a metrosexual is.

The term metrosexual was coined by Mark Simpson in 1994 in The Independent. It is a neologism which is a combination of metropolitan and heterosexual. Simpson used the terms to refer to an urban male with a strong aesthetic sense who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. The metrosexual urges to wax and exercise his body, tweeze his eyebrows, style his hair, use cosmetics, exfoliate his skin and wear expensive brand cloths and assessors . He has dandyish manners and exquisite taste for drinks and meals. Simpson  described him as follows:

“Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the [global] 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 television advertisements for Levi’s jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.”

photo in lasoo

photo in lasoo

The metrosexual is a hybrid who opposes the essentialist vision about sexuality. The idea that gender is strongly determined by biology and therefore the role of the individual in society is predisposed since birth is shattered. Metrosexualism comes with a disagreement that there is a pure culture of femininity and masculinity. The metro man is a hybrid who embraces a new idea of himself being on the one hand masculine and on the other hand being feminine. To stress, the metrosexual contradicts the well established premises of the traditional heterosexuality that only man do the looking while the females are those who are being looked at.

photo by BusinessWeek
photo by BusinessWeek


The metrosexual is a commodity fetishist who is easily influenced by images from advertisements, TV series, sports pages, and cybernetic magazines. He is a collector of fantasies which are being sold to him. He is a consumer in the strongest sense and he does not experience cognitive dissonance practicing that lifestyle because his behavior is not justified as “unmanly” any more.


Thorough psychological assessments would categorize the metrosexual as narcissistic and vain. The metrosexual might be attracted to women or men; however this is not the major concern because the real metrosexual is in love with his out appearance. There is little doubt that he is obsessed with his look. Moreover, the metrosexual might be less sure about his identity since he is in late adolescence or early adulthood, but he is definitely certain about his image. Therefore, he would be delighted to be looked at because this will reassure his own existence.


One Response to “What is a metrosexual?”


  1. The Geography of Metrosexualism « WordPuzzle - 15.01.2011

    […] have they become a crucial site for the construction of a socio-cultural identity and lifestyle of metrosexualism (Knox, […]

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