Posts Tagged ‘metrosexuality’
Tags: advertising, Ballet Boyz, Dove for Men, machismo, metrosexuality
‘I’ve personally always found the ‘man’ prefix superfluous and silly (though I still think the “For Men” tag has value for brands like Nivea, Clinique and L’Oreal who need to differentiate their men’s lines (often reformulated to suit men’s skin and its unique needs) from women’s. So come on guys, don’t spoil your perfectly good products with thoroughly daft names okay?’
Pushing products ‘for men’ may of course in one sense be a wheeze to make more money – it creates two markets where once there was one – but I don’t think this is the whole story of Dove for Men, Or Man Extreme, or Ballet Boyz. Because the ‘market’ of men’s vanity and self-love (not to mention dance) has been growing and going strong for a long time now. I don’t think anything, not even – gasp! – gender neutral packaging would stop the tide of metrosexual consumerism. But while that phenomenon is here, it may as well also do the job of soothing men’s troubled, but oh so moisturised brows, about their anxiety over what it means to be a ‘man’ in the modern age. Going back to Freud, I think that in the early part of the 20th century, he was exploring how the gender binary is a form of ‘neurosis’. Now, in the 21st century, I would like us to admit that as long as we split people into this arbitrary division between ‘men’ and ‘women’ and try and flatten out human complexity and the many many ways of expressing our identities, we will be stuck with silly, complicated but ultimately macho ads like the Dove for Men one.
The gender binary, unfortunately, seems to be a winning formula. But I’m not buying.
Tags: equality, hair, hairdressers, metrosexuality, Metrosexy
We already know Denmark is pretty Metrotastic. But it’s not just ‘gay’ game shows that set it apart from other, slightly more dowdy countries. Now, the Danes are bringing metrosexual gender equality right into the heart of the beast, the hair salon. In a recent court ruling, Denmark authorities have decided that the higher price women pay for their cut ‘n’ blows is illegal. Whilst we could argue that this is taking anti-discrimination ‘too far’, and that there is an objective justification for women paying more at the hairdressers – the fact it takes longer to cut and style their hair – I am quite intrigued and amused by this news.
The main ‘finding’ I am taking away from this equal opportunity tartiness, is that men’s beautification is now seen as if it is as normal, and as valuable as women’s. When car insurance in the UK got the same ‘euro’ equality treatment, nobody was surprised that rather than making men’s car insurance cheaper, women’s tended to go up to match what men pay. The same I expect will happen with this hair directive. Salons, that were previously giving men cut price cuts, maybe as a way of playing down men’s metro-narcissism, will probably now charge top price. I am not an expert in this field, but judging by some of the barnets I see on metro boys these days, I think it is possible they are in the salon as long as women anyway. And with more and more unisex hairdressers, why should one group of customers pay less for the same product/service?
It seems likely that it won’t be long before ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ hair and beauty parlours will give way to the blurring and mixing of these gendered spaces, with universal ‘pampering’ available for all. But what I think is also on the more distant horizon is the end of ‘men’ and ‘women’ altogether. We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. The future is Metrosexy.
h/t Laura H
Tags: david beckham, metrosexuality, Metrosexy, Romeo Beckham
My favourite aspect of this now well-documented story about little Romeo Beckham modelling for the (sometimes dismissed as ‘trashy’) label Burberry, is that now it is NORMAL for a boy to follow in his father’s footsteps, not as a footballer, but as a pin-up.
You Go Romeo!
Tags: Brad Pitt, Chanel, metrosexuality, Metrosexy Christmas
Get out the red carpet, it’s awards season, dahlinks! Over at Grooming Guru HQ, a veritable metrotastic emporium, ‘Lab Series’ has won the male beauty – sorry I mean male grooming – brand of the year 2012. Not being one for facial scrubs, I know nothing of this product. But I have an award for metrosexy brand of the year myself.
In the autumn, I discussed the merits and problems with Brad Pitt‘s appearance as the new ‘face’ of women’s perfume, Chanel No. 5. Overall I thought this marriage was almost as successful as Brangelina.
And now I am going to come all out and say that Chanel is my metrosexy brand of the year. The tagline for Brad’s ad is ‘Inevitable’. And the reason Chanel is my winner is that Brad for Chanel underlines just how inevitable it is that one day an iconic ‘manly’ movie star would represent an iconic women’s perfume. That in time, metrosexuality would permeate the whole of our culture. Chanel are not being pioneers here. With men already having been ‘cover girls’ for Men’s Health, Gay Times, X Factor, Nivea for Men, etc, the ‘passive’, ‘feminine’ man model is nothing new. But for such a huge brand as Chanel to embrace the zeitgeist secures metrosexuality as THE ‘brand’ of masculinity today.
And, whether you love or hate Brad’s TV advert, you have to admit that if something can be spoofed it usually means it’s not a total failure. And this spoof by an American TV show is really metrotastically funny!
So well done Brad and Chanel, you’re QRG’s Metrosexy Brand of the year 2012! Pass me the Babycham I am going to celebrate in style.
Tags: gaze theory, metrosexuality, Metrosexy Christmas, Tommy Hilfiger
Often overshadowed by its big-pecced pert-assed cousin, Abercrombie and Fitch, the all-American ‘Preppy’ brand Tommy Hilfiger has come back fighting with this metrotastic advert.
And MetroAuntie can’t help but feel warmed in the cockles of her voyeuristic heart. Partly because the slightly hipsteresque twee yet easy on the eye ad from Hilfiger is a great example of the self-admiring, omnisexual, metrosexy ‘gaze’. This is what has been blatantly ignored by a recent ‘eye tracking study’ that I linked to on twitter on December 2nd, 2012, saying:
‘plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047870 … The study this piece is based on on men, women, the ‘gaze’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9715256/Revealed-women-are-the-secret-oglers.html … only had 52 participants!
Forget the uptight, homoanxious science academics, we know men love to look at each other and themselves, and so does Tommy Hilfiger!
Tags: metrosexuality, tom daley
The Olympics may have been over months ago, but Tom Daley hasn’t stopped since. Is he training for Rio 2016? Is he diving for his life? Well maybe, but only inbetween photoshoots, ad gigs and… er… this little self-promotion pic.
Ostensibly Tom’s ‘cheeky pic’ is inviting us to follow him on Keek, yet another social media site which involves sharing photos and videos. But MetroAuntie gets the impression that the bronze medal winning diver has another aim in mind. He, like many fit young metro boys, takes any opportunity he can to show off his body. And why not?
Well, as Nadal who was nowhere to be seen in the Olympic tennis competition has done, Daley could be seen to be prioritising his rampant narcissism and self-objectification over his sport. And though the results are lovely to look at, one does wonder why a top tennis ace is advertising a poker gambling company when he could be practising his backhand.
Back in February this year, Tom’s coach warned that the young diver’s media career and metrosexual antics could cost him a gold medal in the Olympics. The lad seemed happy with his bronze, and maybe he has weighed up his options and decided he prefers to be a world-beating tart and forgo some sporting gongs.
I am interested in the ongoing tension between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ masculinity, a tension which Daley embodies quite poetically. But which one will win through? Only time, and a few more sponsorship deals will tell.
Tags: Brad Pitt, Chanel, metrosexuality
Brad Pitt is the new ‘face’ of Chanel – a signature women’s perfume brand. The ad itself is nothing to write home about, and has a definite whiff of a ‘wanabee’ cool. It looks to me like it is emulating that famous Guinness one, also in Black and White with a man’s voice speaking. But the words, the words in the Guinness ad are a lot more memorable than this vague mumbling from Chanel.
Joanna Schroeder at the Good Men Project has identified why even though it is stylistically dull, this advert is worth commenting on.
‘I think, as Pitt explains with an emo gaze into nothingness, the world does turn, and we do turn with it. Which perhaps means that life as we know it is changing.
Is this Chanel’s way of saying that the idea of what is “masculine” is blurring with what is “feminine”? That a man may wish to wear a soft, thoughtful, delicate fragrance as opposed to Axe Body Spray, and that’s just fine? Or are they just using a hunk to hock expensive stuff to fangirls?
Either way, I think it’s an interesting choice to cast a man to sell ladies’ fragrances, and am very interested in how the market will react and in what (if any) way the costumer base of Chanel No. 5 may shift.’
Exactly. Now men are pin ups, and men use products as much as women, having a man advertise women’s perfume seems natural.
Though of course the macho metro-denying ’male grooming’ industry may disagree. Grooming bloggers such as Lee ‘Grooming Guru’ Kynaston are still desperately clinging onto gender difference and the important distinction between men’s ‘fragrance’ and women’s ‘perfume’, ‘male grooming’ and ‘women’s beauty’.
It’s all Greek to me. I don’t wear perfume, or fragrance. But I know metrosexuality when I see it. And for the sake of that blurring of gender lines that Schroeder mentions, I like Brad’s ad.
Tags: cyborgology, cyborgs, metrosexuality, olympics, oscar pistorius, posthuman, transexy
Oscar Pistorious is a paraolympian runner. I am not an athletics expert, but I have heard of him, because he is also a metrotastic model.
Currently Oscar is the face and body of Thierry Mugler A*Men Perfume‘s Pure Shot range. Pure Shot is known in the trade as a ‘sports fragrance’ which, if I have picked up the ‘notes’ correctly, is supposedly more manly and butch than regular perfumes.
‘Pistorius is the 25-year-old South African 400-metre runner who has been called “the fastest man on no legs.”* Pistorius was born without a fibula in either leg; his lower legs were amputated when he was a baby and he’s been using prostheses since he was 13 months old. Pistorius’ J-shaped carbon-fiber prostheses look “dramatic” and futuristic, and they play a big part in the A*Men advertising campaign (especially the video).’
There are a number of things worth noting about Oscar’s advertising campaigns, which also include ads for BT, one of the Olympics sponsors.
One is obvious: that Pistorius is a man with disabilities, but is being ‘objectified’ and treated as a ‘sex object’ just like fit, able-bodied metrosexy sportsmen are. In a culture where physical perfection is fetishised, it seems anomalous that someone with NO LEGS of his own is a model.
But another aspect of the ads featuring the athlete gives us a clue as to the reasons for this unusual occurrence. That is, they seem to be playing on the ‘futuristic’ aspect of prostheses, and the technology that enables Oscar’s incredible achievements. As The Sun newspaper, who named Oscar amongst their Top Ten Hot Shots of metrosexy men olympic athletes, say:
‘The South African double amputee has earned the name ‘Blade Runner’ for his incredible pace on prosthetic legs.
After winning gold in the last two Paralympics, the 25-year-old qualified to run for his country in the able-bodied races, becoming the first double amputee to run at the Olympic Games.
And the hunky runner will compete in the 400 m and the 400m relay’.
So the aesthetic that seems to be enabling Pistorius to be a model alongside Beckham, Ronaldo and Nadal is a posthuman one. I am reminded of Donna Haraway’s Cyborgs, and the discussions of apocalyptic landscapes and cyberpunk style adverts at Nathan Jurgenson and PJ Rey ’s Cyborgology project.
However I think it is worth noting that inspite of or rather because of his lack of leg muscles, Oscar has a very well developed upper body. This makes him quite ‘conventionally attractive’ in metrosexual terms. The torso is (almost) everything for metrosexy modelling. Also, his torso shows how the lines between an ideal ‘human’ and ‘posthuman’ body are blurred. In Transexy times, ‘pneumatic’ tits and abs show how even without prosthetics, the metrosexual body is ‘hyperreal’ and augmented.
I haven’t seen any disability activists celebrating Pistorius’ modelling career. I wonder if like feminists are, they are conflicted about metrosexuality. Because metrosexuality puts into question some of the assumptions around objectification and victimhood that disability and feminist campaigns rely on. I mean if Oscar Pistorius enjoys being objectified, and profits from it, maybe objectification is a bit more complex than we have been led to believe?
MetroAuntie is not conflicted. I think Pistorius’ status as ‘sex object’ is great. But I am intrigued, and maybe a tiny bit disturbed by the shift in visual culture to cyborg and posthuman imagery. I doubt it is going away though. So we may as well explore this brave new metrosexual world.
Tags: metrosexuality, olympics, sporno, tom daley
British hope Tom Daley, the metrotastic diver, is splashed across billboards in next to nothing- again, in the run-up to the Olympics. In a rather apt choice of slogan Adidas are commanding young Tom to ‘take the respect’. Of course MetroAuntie can’t let these ads pass us all by without remarking on just how ‘submissive’ and ‘sexual’ the connotations are: is Tom being told to ‘take it’ like a good ‘bottom’ should?
Apart from the suggestive tone of the text, the main thing to notice about the posters what a ‘passive’ pose the medal-winning diver is in. He is not seen here demonstrating his athletic skill, but rather standing still, looking down, holding one wrist with his other hand. His torso is the main ‘object of desire’.
And a man’s torso also features heavily in this short film by the Guardian celebrating the olympic body through history. Again, rather than showing sporting motion, this film just displays the man’s upper body as if it were a mannequin turning slowly in a shop window. It oozes metrosexuality and sporno aesthetics.
These two examples of metrosexy bodies put paid to the feminist belief that in visual culture men are presented as active subjects, women as passive objects. Even Lego has been accused by feminist critics of promoting this oppressive, binary opposition, which contributes to a situation whereby the objectification of women is more widespread and more damaging than that of men.
Writing in the Guardian recently, Sarah Ditum (the original ‘mumsy cupcake feminist) did at least admit that sportsmen have been ‘pin ups for decades’. But she still suggested that women’s bodies are scrutinised and policed more than men’s.
But really it is just that men’s objectification is policed in different ways from women’s. The underplaying not just by feminists but by most people, of the sheer tartiness of contemporary men, is one way of denying the homoerotics and deep self-love involved in metrosexual masculinity. A self-love that can never be entirely ‘straight’.
So, in 2012, whilst feminists are STILL campaigning against the ‘objectified’ images of women on Page Three, the Sun publishes its list of Top Ten Hot Shots (sexy Olympian sportsmen who are sex objects in their own right), without so much as a murmur to be heard from the feminists. Here’s David Boudia one of the top ten hotties, looking ready for… uh, anything.
There is no hiding fit young men’s rampant narcissism, it takes the gaze wherever it can find it. And Tom Daley is a champion in his field…
h/t @zefrog for the Top Ten Hot Shots!