In a manner of speaking. After a solid run in the aughts, the descriptor has finally become passé
The passing was of the metrosexual.
The word is that British journalist Mark Simpson coined “metrosexual” in 1994, that being the word because Mark “The ‘Daddy’ of the Metrosexual, the Retrosexual & Spawner of Sporno” Simpson tells us so. For a definition, I offer excerpts from the Urban Dictionary, with charming stylistic peculiarities intact:
A new name for something quite old. Men with taste & style who know about fashion, art, and culture have always existed. In past centuries, these kinds of men were in the uppercrust of society (more leisure time). … An American Metrosexual is like your average European male. In France or Italy, men can be manly and work on cars and know about art and fashion at the same time. They are cool with that and don’t need some special name for the less “masculine” side.
Being more Oscar than Felix, the term never really applied or appealed to me, but I’ve still taken notice that University of Cincinnati sociologist Erynn Masi de Casanova assures us metrosexual has run its well-groomed course.
Casanova presented her findings, “Is the Metrosexual Extinct? Men, Dress and Looking Good in Corporate America,” over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in San Francisco. The takeaway is that while what the term describes is alive and well, especially in matters sartorial, the descriptor itself is passé.
In the best Generalissimo Franco tradition, reports of its death have occurred with regularity. Helene Shugart, a communications prof at the University of Utah, described metrosexuality’s “historical moment” four years ago, historical moment (and the even blunter “fleeting trend”) being a nice way of saying we hope it’s dead because we’re in the middle of its autopsy.
But this latest dispatch from the other side is sprinkled with a dash of research. Casanova (what a great name for someone studying dandies) based her determination “on interviews with 22 men in which the word, ‘metrosexual,’ came up in the conversation,” according to a release from her home institution. The interviewees were professional men from New York, San Francisco and Cincinnati, and ranged in age from 24 to 58. It’s not exactly the most convincing display of academic rigor, and even Cosmopolitan, in announcing that “There Are No More Metrosexuals,”hedged its bet by asking its readers if they concurred.
Even as the metrosexual met his maker among the anthropologists by the Bay, the New York Times was explaining how to survive the current plague of hipsters, another term that has been eulogized repeatedly (and commercially). Casanova argues that we no longer need the term “metrosexual” because they have become us; has hipster described the same trajectory?
More Related Stories
- Cicada mating, by the numbers
- Catholic Church in market for more exorcists
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Boy Scouts to members: Just don't be a gay adult
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- My text blew up in my face
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Greek yogurt, toxic waste hazard?
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Pope Francis: Atheists are all right!
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11