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Metrosexual is a neologism derived from metropolitan and heterosexual coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in a post-industrial, capitalist culture) who spends a lot of time and money on shopping for his appearance.[1] Debate surrounds the term's use as a theoretical signifier of sex deconstruction and its associations with consumerism.

Contents [hide]
1 Origin
2 Otherterms
2.1 Übersexual
3 Narcissism
4 Female metrosexuality
5 Changing masculinity
6 The commercial metrosexual
7 See also
8 Notes
9 References
10 Further reading
11 External links

OriginThe term originated in an article by Mark Simpson[2] published on November 15, 1994, in The Independent. Simpson wrote:

Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living orworking in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levi's jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.

However, it was not until the early 2000s that the term caught on,greatly increasing in popularity following a series of articles and reports hyping this purportedly new phenomenon. In 2002, published an article by Simpson, "Meet the metrosexual", which identified David Beckham as the metrosexual poster boy. The advertising agency Euro RCSG Worldwide adopted the term shortly thereafter for a marketing study. Sydney's daily broadsheet, The Sydney MorningHerald, ran a major feature in March 2003 titled "The Rise of the Metrosexual" (also syndicated in its sister paper The Age) which borrowed heavily from the piece. A couple of months later, the New York Times' Sunday Styles section ran a story, "Metrosexuals Come Out." The term and its connotations continued to roll steadily into more news outlets around the world.

Former Metro Radiopresenter Mitch Murray claims that he invented the term in the 1980s. At that time, he says, the word had a very different connotation, as it was simply a play on words involving "Metro Radio" and heterosexuals. Murray would send a weekly tape to the local radio station in Newcastle upon Tyne. "Very early during the process", he created station identification segments, one of which he claims includedthe phrase "We are the metrosexuals." It is unclear whether the segment was actually broadcast, and there is no documentary evidence of his claims.[3] Also, when the word first became popular, various sources incorrectly attributed its origin to trendspotter Marian Salzman, but by Salzman's own admission[4] Simpson's 2002 article was the original source for her usage of the term.Though it did represent a complex and gradual change in the shopping and self-presentation habits of both men and women, the idea of metrosexuality was often distilled in the media down to a few men—David Beckham, Sam Romano, and Brad Pitt were frequently mentioned—and a short checklist of vanities, like skin care products, scented candles and costly, colorful dress shirts and pricey designerjeans.[5] It was this image of the metrosexual—that of a straight young man who got pedicures and facials, practiced aromatherapy and spent freely on clothes—that contributed to a backlash against the term from men who merely wanted to feel free to take more care with their appearance than had been the norm in the 1990s, when companies abandoned dress codes, Dockers khakis became a popular brand, and XL,or extra-large, became the one size that fit all.[5]

A 60 Minutes story on 1960s-70s pro footballer Joe Namath suggested he was "perhaps, America's first metrosexual"[6] after filming his most famous ad sporting Beautymist pantyhose. Simpson has called Joe Namath "America's abandoned metrosexual prototype", leaving the field open for later Brit metro imports such as Beckham.[7]

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