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What Is A Metrosexual and How Not To Be One

Updated on October 19, 2009

Dandies in the Late18th Century

"Swell of the Day"

Joe Namath Puts On Pantyhose

Jack Sparrow - Metrosexual Pirate

Random Ramblings From Idlewild


The term metrosexual was first coined by writer Mark Simpson in an article titled Here Come the Mirror Men (The Independent, 1994). An apt title, as these men love to go shopping and "doll themselves up" so to speak, and presumably spend a lot of time preening in front of the mirror. Wikipedia defines the term as a "neologism generally applied to heterosexual men with a strong concern for their appearance, or whose lifestyles display attributes stereotypically seen among gay men." The moniker is now attached to any man with the shopping, "I feel pretty" gene, regardless of sexual orientation, since the primary object of their desire is themselves.

Advertisers love them and now market men's beauty products to the mainstream male populace with a ferver previously reserved for women. Many woefully misguided men, lured by the slickness of the advertiser's craft, are lapping it up like sheep at a salt lick.

These men have been around for a very long time. The Elizabethans called them Fops. The late 18th to early 19th century saw the rise of "dandyism" and "Dandies". In the 1930s fashion concious men were coined "the 'Swell' of the day." Joe Namath proclaimed himself the first metrosexual. Say it ain't so, Joe, not because I care, but you simply weren't. You put on panty hose, sure, but you did it on TV and laughed about it. David Beckham's name is often bandied about as the poster boy for metrosexuals, and you're libel to see George Clooney and Tom Cruise labeled as such. They're not happy about it either. That's why you always see them going unshaven between movie roles. Johnny Depp has been called one also. Geez, you play one swishy pirate and you're a swishy pirate for life.

There are the beginnings of a backlash however, with the rumble of anti-metrosexualism faintly in the distance. This is not new. In the 70's, the Alan Alda "sensitive man" ideal was similarly adopted and then rejected by - you guessed it - women, who decided they liked their men being men. Same thing with metrosexualism: If women wanted to date themselves, God would have made them lesbians. Of course the advertisers had to slap a catch-word to these new men too: meet the Retrosexuals. As for me, I'm an Über Retrosexual. What are you?

Ever Go Into Victoria's Secret?

Are You A Metrosexual?

If you and your wife are always late because YOU'RE getting might be a metrosexual.

If you've ever said to your pal, "Bubba...? Does this make me look fat?" might be a metrosexual.

If you get rid of your horseshoe pit so you can put in a lily might be a metrosexual.

If you tell your wife to turn off the football game because you need to might be a metrosexual.

If you ever threw out a perfectly good carpet because it didn't match the might be a metrosexual.

If the girls call you up to go shopping with might be a metrosexual.

If you ever go into Victoria's Secret just to might be a metrosexual.

If Prancer is your favorite might be a metrosexual.

How Metrosexual Are You?

So now you have some idea of whether or not you're a metrosexual. But how much of a metrosexual are you? Here's your chance to see how your metrosexuality compares to others.

The Important Poll

Which would you rather drink?

See results

Who's music would you rather listen to?

See results

Same question

See results

Not counting sneakers or boots, how many pairs of shoes do you own?

See results

Which play would you rather watch?

See results

Which movie would you rather watch?

See results

You're exhausted from a hard day at work. Your wife asks you to make love. Do you...?

See results

You're exhausted from a hard day of work. Jessica Alba asks you to make love. Do you...?

See results

Jessica Alba

Who would you rather look at? You or her?
Who would you rather look at? You or her?

Are you gay? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

See results

Do your friends think you're gay?

See results

Does the mailman think you're gay?

See results

Seriously, you're gay, right?

See results



Nowhere else does a man's metrosexuality show as much as in the bathroom. If you have a plethora of prissy products that would make a woman green with envy, try these manly substitutes and save yourself before it's too late. As for the metrosexual products, they are offered from a variety of sources, which is OK with a metrosexual as they love to go shopping all the live-long day. All the manly products can be purchased at Walgreens, suitable for the manly man, since he can get home fast, turn on the ballgame, pop open a cold one, eat some jalapeño poppers and slurp down some raw oysters.

Manly Man Alternative Stuff

This has FOUR blades made from real Titanium, not faux, thank you very much.

Schick Quatro Titanium Razor & Cartridges $9.49


Badgers? We don't need no stinking Badgers. This baby's natural too, and works just fine.

Van Der Hagen natural shave brush $7.49


Yo! Mamma's boy! This was good enough for your father and your grandfather before him. That's tradition, Dude.

Barbasol 2 for $3.00


Slap some of this on your face, Bucko. It stings like it's supposed to and wakes you and your face up, so it goes good with your hot morning black coffee. Gooood Mooorning Viet Nam!

Skin Bracer After shave $5.99


OK, but you don't have to be a sissy about it. This stuff doesn't sting and it smells great. Plus it's got the word "virgin" in it.

Clubman Virgin Islands Bay Rum $6.79


This is a no-brainer. What would Steve McQueen use?

Old Spice Original $11.99


Clay? Isn't that like...dirt? Thanks but no thanks, Mister. I'll stick with the classic.

Colgate toothpaste with fluoride $3.19


Call it what you will, charge what you want, nobody has ever improved on the standard.

Lubriderm All Purpose skin lotion $3.79


Calvin Klein? I said "manly pursuits", like playing rugby against the Manchester Maulers then going out for a pint. Not just standing around in your underwear.

Original Speed Stick by Mennen $2.99


What the hell's a nano? Pay attention, Spongebob. This does it all AND prevents that nasty dandruff. Soak on that!

Head and Shoulders 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner $7.49


The next time you're camping in the wild, you can use this stuff right in the river and it won't hurt the trout you're going to catch later for dinner. Plus, it's the only soap that floats. Now that's cool.

The Original Ivory Soap. No additives. Just soap. $1.39


Listen up, nancy boy. This stuff lathers up good and smells great, like fresh cut grass. Manly, yes, but she likes it too.

Irish Spring Green Deodorant Soap $2.79


This is what Elvis used and nobody ever saw more action than the King. A little dab'll do ya.

Brylcreem $6.99


Say what? These come in a leather case. 7 stainless steel tools and 1 of 'ems a 3 in 1 utility knife. Nuff said.

Red Men's 7 Piece Grooming Kit $8.99


Tear yourself away from the mirror, get off your butt and get out into the sun, you pasty-faced wussy. Do some manly work for a change. Rip out that lily pond and put in a regulation horse-shoe pit - with lights this time for night play. Your color and your self respect will come back real soon, and the ladies will follow.

Get out in the sun and do something like a real man $FREE

Metrosexual Bath Products

Every guy needs a good razor. Ladies like a close shave. Stubble hurts.

Faux-ivory razor by D. R. Harris & Co. $99.00

A shaving brush is a good thing, no question. You can really work the cream into the beard.

Badger-bristle shaving brush by Czech & Speake $84.00

Shaving cream allows the blade to flow smoothly over your skin. Very important.

Luxe Formula shaving cream by Fresh $18.00

A man needs a good aftershave to put an exclamation point on a nice, close shave. Something medicinal for the skin.

Baldessarini Del Mar aftershave by Hugo Boss $48.99

Some guys have sensitive skin and need something different. It's a fact of life. Understood. And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Razor Burn Relief Plus by Lab Series for Men $25.00

Sometimes a man might want to put on a little cologne. I said "a little".

Rush cologne by Gucci $40.00

You gotta keep your teeth clean. Chicks hate yellow teeth (don't you?).

Umbrian-clay Toothpaste by Fresh $18.00

Sometimes a man's skin can get beat up from dog mushing in Alaska and trekking in the Sahara.

Oil-free moisturizer by Peter Thomas Roth $40.00

A man might want a deodorant when engaging in various manly pursuits and activities. A real man sweats, and soaked underarms are very unsightly.

Contradiction by Calvin Klein $14.00

Like to shampoo and condition your hair? No problemo. Except you're in a hurry, you're in Paloma, and you're going running with the bulls.

Purelolgy Nano shampoo and conditioner $59.

Every guy should have a good bar of the soap in the shower. There's something about holding the bar and scrubbing your skin that shower gels just cant match.

Acqua di Colonia Soap by Rance $11.90

Some guys like for their soap to really foam and lather up. No complaints from me.

Shampoo Body Bar by Aveda $12.00

Sometimes a man's hair can be unruly and need a little help staying in place. There's stuff for that.

Sculpting Gel by Lab Series $30

Guys have to cut their nails just like the ladies, and tweezers are good for pulling out Killer Bee stingers.

Clippers, tweezers, and nail scissors by Erbe $149.00

Sometimes a guy can get a little pale from all the time spent indoors, like at the mall, in the bathroom, in your dressing room figuring out which pants go with which shirts with which tie and which shoes should you wear with that ensemble. I mean...gosh....what's a fella to do?

Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Cream Gel by Clarins $51.00

OK...In Retrospect, Maybe Playing Rugby Isn't Such A Good Idea

Get With The Program


Now you know if you're a metrosexual, how your metrosexuality stacks up against your peers, and what you can do about. Heed this advice and before you know it, you'll be playing Texas Hold 'em with guys like Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, and the quintessential tough guy, Bogie. Here's looking at you, kid.


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