Metrosexual - A New Gender Identity?

In the Midst of Cultural Change, Has a New Gender Identity Been Discovered?

Metrosexual - there are numerous definitions that surround this lifestyle word. Many of the characterizations of a "metrosexual" are linked to a narcissistic mentality certain sects of the male gender possess. Carol Midgley of The Times (London) took a stab at trying to verbalize what a metrosexual truly is, "…a certain breed of straight, sensitive, modern men who see nothing wrong with exfoliating and going to see a weepy film…" (Midgley, The Times London). Throughout all of these definitions, however, there lies one thing in which needs to be discovered, the true meaning of what it is to embody a metrosexual.

If we take a look at the individual that is embracing the metrosexual lifestyle, we will begin to take notice that these men are not attaching themselves to societal norms for their gender. It is in this observation that journalist Cyndi Waite of the Daily Nebraskan penned a new, and particularly accurate definition for the individual who strolls down the pathway of metrosexuality (in designer shoes, of course), "[A] metrosexual is an individual (neither referring specifically to a male nor a female) who defies behavior that society deems appropriate for his or her given sex" (Wiate, Daily Nebraskan).

It is very clear that with oneself practicing the art-form of metrosexuality, they are trying to find themselves - attempting to be different. This mindset, however, is not new to the human race; every generation has a select few of individuals that look upon what is "normal" for that specific time period in which they are residing, and throughout their observations the particular individual sees it necessary to create an entirely new outlet for self-expression. In many cases, this comes to fruition in music, art, cinema, and in most circumstances all of latter personifications are embodied into one element - outer appearance.

In the fifties one might find a group of individuals labeled "the rebels", because they enjoyed listening to rock-n-roll and wearing leather jackets, while the rest of society was being swept away onto the dance floor with the sounds of exuberant brass instruments and larger than life vocals, also known as the big band music genre. If one would carefully examine every decade or so, they would find certain sects of the human race - both male and female - practicing out of the ordinary lifestyle habits. It is in these groups of individuals that one will truly begin to dissect the true human psyche - that of desperation to be different.

Now, if we were to fast-forward to our society in the past ten years, we will begin to see the over-abundance of individualism. Though, it is coming to the point to where trying to find oneself is becoming commonplace, thus the individualists are now becoming the conformists. However, probing deeper one will begin to find a shiny, freshly trimmed and manicured set of men - the metrosexuals. One might be confused when stepping into a bar and seeing a man that fits the stereotypical standards of being a homosexual flirting with a woman. It is the horrible disease of stereotypes that will begin to degradation process of our society - in which it has already began.

In the narrow mindset the majority of our society claims as their own, men and women must qualify and follow certain guidelines for their particular gender. If an individual does not follow these governed set of rules, they are then labeled different, an outcast, or even abnormal (Waite, Daily Nebraskan). Although in recent years the acceptance of metrosexual qualities in men is becoming more commonplace, there is still hesitation is allowing heterosexual men to create a unique set of guidelines for them to follow. And it is not even with the group of heterosexuals that are showing resistance, it is also within the homosexual groups - they also have a set a guidelines in which they follow - guidelines in which metrosexuals tend to be fond of.

Throughout all of the mass chaos that surrounds this new lifestyle, the question is raised, "Who came up with the notion of metrosexuality?" While it is not certain who was the very first metrosexual, there was a journalist who took notice of a new breed of men coming out of the metropolitan areas of the world. The man who coined the term "metrosexual" is British columnist Mark Simpson. In 1994 he observed numerous men who were extremely tedious when it came to their appearance, often spending large amounts of money on facial products and clothing (Waite, Daily Nebraskan). But why is this? What was the sudden shift in certain men's mentality to create a whole new lifestyle? According to Simon McCandlish, commercial manager or suncare, skincare and men's producs at "Boots", "Men tend to follow women. We (men) were 20 years behind; now maybe we're (men) 10 years behind." (Gray, Marketing).

If one studies the latter phrase intensely, they will find that this statement is true. Men to have a tendancy to follow women's role - to a certain point - in the role of metrosexuality men are starting to feel the pressure of creating a certain appearance that women have been feeling for generations. Women have always had a cloud of cosmetics and hair-care-products looming over them, it is only in the past ten years or so that the hurricane of appearance began to migrate of the waters of men - feeding on their warm atmospheric pressure of testosterone. Because lets face it, men do not want to be last in anything, so they will in turn do everything they can to keep their pride in place - even if that entails a quota of facials to be done a month, some men will gladly step through the day spa doors.

But what are the ramifications of this particular mindset? Believe it or not, there are ramifications for thinking in this manner. While more and more men are adopting this lifestyle as their own, they are pushing the metrosexual boundaries to the limit. There is a balance in life that must be obtained in everything you do - when this balance is altered, there are drastic consequences. For some men, they are completely leaving any trace of masculinity behind, and are beginning to embody a more feminine attitude and persona.

While, this is somewhat commonplace in some homosexuals, when a man is heterosexual this mindset could harm his probability of impressing women. Another ramification is that of narcissism. When an individual begins to care more about his or her looks than about the well being of other people, or even themselves, there are grave dangers ahead. It is not uncommon to find in some metrosexuals traces of this mindset - and if one has uncovered a narcissist, it is very common to only want to run away from the self-loathing and self-centered individual. Though narcissism is found within men and women who do not possess a metrosexual mentality, among men, it is very commonplace for the balance of humility to be offset.

Ultimately, through all of the negatives by setting oneself apart from their gender norms, it is only healthy for an individual to find themselves outside of the given rules and guidelines. We as a society pride ourselves in the so-called leaps and bounds that we perceive we have made. However in all actuality, throughout these steps we have created entirely new races of prejudices and discriminations. It is fact that each and every human contains a variable that is unique that certain individual. And even if that particular variable gets dishevled in the mass confusion that is our lives, in order to truly find oneself - they must connect with the differences within themselves.

If everyone in a society began to thrive and abide in the exact same mentality and guidelines, what would separate us from the monotonous blades of grass that we tread upon? We are constantly searching for what a human really consists of. Though that answer may never fully be concluded, one thing is most assuredly certain - the human race is that of a vast array of differences, numbered more than the stars in the sky. And we will never truly delve into the exactness of the human behavior if we keep setting specific rules for individuals/genders. In order to learn about ourselves, we must accept all mindsets that the human race can conjure up - only then will we begin to see the truth of our species.

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