The media has got itself into a bit of a lather about the ‘death’ of the metrosexual once again recently. I have read a number of articles from the UK, America and Australia, claiming that ‘masculine’ ‘retrosexual’ men are back. And they have (perfectly groomed) beards!
And, as Simpson has enabled me to do I have just laughed at their desperate attempt to ‘kill off’ metro man and ressurect that ‘dead parrot’ of Real Men- the one that never really lived in the first place.
‘To paraphrase the world’s most famously dissatisfied customer Mr Praline (played by an eloquently irate Python, John Cleese), I know a dead parrot when I see one and I’m looking at one now. The retrosexual is dead. He has ceased to be. If marketers hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies. He’s an ex-parrot.’
But I am not prepared to just laugh off this retrosexual resurgence in media discourse. I think it is a sign that whilst ‘the retrosexual’ as a character who actually rejects metrosexuality and all the grooming that goes with it, is dead in the water, the *idea* of the retrosexual is still very attractive to many people.
And in mediated masculinities, *ideas* of masculinity are just as important if not more so, than the actual buffed, big titted specimens walking our streets.
It could be argued that ‘retrosexual’ just means ‘metrosexual denial’ and you can’t have one without the other. If you could, we’d all be totally liberated! The fact that Simpson came up with the term ‘retrosexual’ himself, in his exploration of metrosexuality, really does suggest that the two concepts go hand in hand.
Having said that, one would hope that a change is gonna come, so I am still a bit concerned that the notion of the ‘retrosexual’ is alive and well in 2011, and goes largely unchallenged or critiqued, and is still selling newspapers, advertising space, clothes, and skin care products.
Here comes the 21st century….