For as long as there have been men who care about their appearance, there have always been questions of the sexuality of those men. There have always been men who because they dare to be different or like to wear a certain color, get the ‘gay’ label as if there was a concrete correlation between the two. Men who speak the language of ‘fashion’ have historically gotten the side eye from those who aren’t as fluent (male and female alike).
Photo courtesy of afrolistasinthecity.blogspot.com
Then came the term ‘metrosexual’ that changed the way people looked at men who have an eye for style. The term was used as a shield against the ‘gay stigma’ for straight men who like to wear their jeans fitted and who prefer to get pedicures before wearing their sandals in the summer. Instead of automatically pegging them as gay, they’ll just say, “Oh he’s just a metrosexual” as if it was a suitable alternative.
In 1994, the originator of the term ‘Metrosexual’ (Mark Simpson) colorfully defined it as
the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the 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.
and then subtly redefined it in 2004 as
The typical metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis — because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be officially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as his own love object and pleasure as his sexual preference.
All this being said, there are questions that remain unanswered:
Does sexuality and one’s style have a direct correlation. Should one’s sexuality influence their style? Are there aspects of style that are considered to be ‘gay’ or originate from what one considers to be gay culture?
Additionally, should ‘metrosexuality’ even be a ‘thing’? In all of its innocence it seems to promote the stereotype even more. It’s just one more term to divide us it seems.
Lets start a dialogue!
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.