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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What the hell is a Metrosexual?

Gen Y is a group of people with incredible balance; we tip-toe our way across, through and often right over the lines that typically delineate the boundaries of societal norms. In many ways our deviance from the status quo is expected of a new generation, given that a generation that is a carbon copy of its predecessor would hardly warrant the label of “new” in the first place. So it seems that we were destined to be different, or maybe we’ve broken that mold as well; surpassing everyone’s expectations about how different we’d be. On measure, I would have to agree with the latter.
Metrosexuals are great examples of how some Gen y’ers have chosen to exercise their balance and teeter on the edge of social norms. Metrosexuality could be considered at one extreme to be a newly formed gender, and at the other, the male facet of our society that’s given in ‘whole wallet-edly’ to the merchandised culture of the day. In layman terms, either we’ve created a sexual orientation somewhere between gay and female, or some men have discovered the addictive pleasure of buying the newest and coolest clothes, products and hot beverages that women have been enjoying for decades.
You’ve seen them walking around Queen Street in Toronto, or singing their falsetto vocal chords off in many of today’s pop bands, but my understanding of a metrosexual is as follows: male, aged 16-30 who wears high fashion (or at least the illusion there of) or some kind of get-up that wouldn’t be out of place on a woman. I’m talking about really tight jeans, loud coloured shoes, long necklaces with some theme-of-the-week pendant hanging around their belly button, professionally styled hair (more often than not resembling bed head), and a tight fitting shirt and sweater (either of which is a low v-neck). Another staple of Metro attire is some sort of a European carry-all, or ‘man purse’. No Metro guy goes anywhere without the ability to carry just enough stuff to make them wish they actually had a knapsack.



Though the above description may seem a tad condescending, I really must say that a more general, less stereotypical take on a metrosexual would essentially be reducible to, “a guy that actually takes care of him self, pulls off stylish looks and is likely sensitive and confident enough to carry on a conversation with a woman.”
For this reason, I think non-metro guys tend to be a little bit put off by their metro counterparts. After all, they seem to be able to relate to women so much more profoundly about the things they love to talk about; new styles, great places to eat, and who got voted off the bachelor, etc. I happen to think however, that metro men deserve a bit more credit from ‘regular’ guys, especially because many of them have unlocked some pretty useful secrets that they’ve garnered while tip-toeing that fine line between the sexes. For one, if you ask any metro guy, I’m sure he’ll be able to rhyme off a list of things he does to keep in shape or stay looking good that would normally be considered female traits. For example, he may go to yoga classes, get his hair done at a salon rather than top-cuts, own a hair dryer, know what a “loofa” is, moisturize, enjoy drinking cosmos, and maybe even frequent the tanning salon once in a while. Now some of these might be a little iffy, and the cosmo probably won’t do you any favours, but for the most part, those are some pretty handy tips for guys who want to look their best for the ladies.
So the next time you see what looks like a Club Monaco model walking down the street, maybe instead of grimacing in contempt, ask him where he goes for the best sushi, and when he points you in the right direction, check out his well maintained cuticles, they probably got him laid.

What do you think? Are metro's a new breed somewhere between man and woman? Do you consider your self a metrosexual? Do you have some sort of distain that you'd like to get out, or maybe your opinion's changed over time?

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TS