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Metrosexual Man is Dead - Average is Average Again

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June 21, 2006

Metro Man is no More.jpg

When I was growing up, my late father was the only wage earner in the house. His role and place in life was clear. He brought home the bacon so although seldom exercised, he held a certain veto power over financial decisions and therefore had a subtle predominance over the family as he supported us all in the way to which we'd become accustomed.

Those golden days of men being men may be back. According to a story from ABC News (06/19/06), Leo Burnett, a Chicago advertising firm, did a global study on current societal views on the subject of masculinity.

Results showed that half of men state that the male role in society is unclear and they feel "less dominant" than in previous decades. Meanwhile, over 70 percent of males surveyed believe that advertisers are out of touch with the current "reality" of being a man. The firm's leading executive Rose Cameron suggests that advertising now needs to "reassure men of their masculinity."

"The new macho is the old macho," said Stephen Perrine, editor in chief of Best Life magazine. "It is about being competent and feeling traditional, filling traditional male roles."

Perrine pinpoints the death of the metrosexual to a moment in last year's hit comedy "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," when Steve Carrell's character has his chest waxed. "When they ripped the chest hair off Steve in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin,' a whole generation of men said if that's what women want, I'd rather stay a virgin."

Personally, in a way, I'm going to miss all those perfectly smooth dudes with the ridiculous Joan Crawfordesque, over plucked eyebrows, waxed legs and hairless pecs. They made it easy for an average guy to take pride simply in not being high maintenance.

They made a man like me with a bit of chest hair seem like a non-conformist bravely fighting against the ridiculousness of male vanity.

In reality, I was lazy not courageous and now, it sounds as if my indifference will be no different from all the rest. At least, I had a few good years as a hirsute hero.

Posted by Will Peters at June 21, 2006 2:17 PM

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