Metrosexy Brad Pitt

Posted: October 18, 2012 in androgyny, Blogging, Fashion, metrosexuality, Metrosexy
Tags: , ,

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.

She writes:

‘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.

  1. Heather says:

    I would love to think Chanel are saying something about the changes in masculinity but I doubt it – hocking expensive stuff to the fan girls it is I’m afraid! I find the advert cringeworthy for it pretentiousness but that is the tradition of Chanel is it not? Who can forget the EGOTISTE or the Baz Luhrman ads? OTT the lot of them!

  2. arctic_jay says:

    I absolutely hated the ad at first; it’s bloodless without achieving the sharp iciness required for glamour. Also, Brad, with his baby-blue-collar voice and soft features framed by shopping mall studio lighting and a drab muslin backdrop fail to suggest even a hint of luxury and wind-spun fantasy.

    But the fact that everyone finds it so easy to parody and mock suggests that it’s at least attempting something outside of what’s respectable and safe. I think it almost naively accepts its pretentious idealism without hesitation or irony. In an era when cynicism is equated with intelligence and wit, that kind of earnestness is discomfiting, especially when it obviously tries to recapture the second-hand (but successful) European-style artiness of the early 90s.

    I still think it fails, but I can’t hate it anymore.

  3. […] 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 […]

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