According to Wikipedia, the word “Metrosexual” is a portmanteau of metropolitan and sexual coined in 1994. It pretty much describes one who is especially meticulous about their grooming and appearance, typically spending a significant amount of time and money on shopping because of this.
This young individual usually has a high disposable income, lives or works in the biggest city – because quite frankly, that’s where all the best shops and products are – and they become a large part of the most promising consumer market of today.
A Metrosexual Man is a man who fits into the explanation just given. Fundamentally, a metrosexual male is someone who shows off their soft, sensitive, well-adept and dare I add feminine side. The dynamics of metrosexuality includes; being particular about one’s dressing and fashion, being unnecessarily well-informed, admiring oneself in the mirror, being particular about house chores and one’s living space, urban-dwelling, desire to be desired, and enjoying good grooming.
And honestly, what’s wrong with all these? The culture associated with metrosexuality is progressive and hinges on the idea that it’s very okay for men to care for, and be conscious about a lot of things that society would ordinarily suggest to be totally off-brand for men
Metrosexuality is, in a paradox, what Wilde would have relished, not skin deep. It’s not about facials and man-bags, guyliners and flip flops. It’s not about men becoming “girly” or “gay”. It’s about men becoming everything. To themselves. Just as women have been encouraged to do for some time. — Insider.
Until the 19th century when the consciousness of fashion trends (piercings, fuller hair etc.) and emerging philosophies began to be popularized, aesthetic fashion, self-care, and narcissism weren’t important to men and were seen as a female thing. Primping and pampering were also once considered solely anti-male indulgences, but they’ve become very permissible for men, too.
As Nigerian men, it would be doing ourselves a huge disservice not to look good, smell nice, feel great, and want to be admired because we’re male. In today’s culture, men want to be publicly sensitive and wear their feelings on their sleeves, as well as be desired for their bodies, their wardrobe, and certainly, their minds.
There is a dramatic shift in the male grooming market. Previously, shampoo, shaving cream and deodorant were the only things available for men but now the entire range of products are available which includes moisturizers, anti-ageing creams and even mud masks —Walker for IRMM. Datamonitor consumer reports show that, out of 52% of global males who consider their appearance very important, 27% almost touch up their looks throughout the day. According to the research, one-third of the men spend almost 30 minutes a day grooming. In 2013, men spent more cash on male toiletries than shaving products. The Datamonitor revealed that the global market for male toiletries has shown an increase of 3.6 and reached $22.2 billion in 2014 (Matthews, 2015).
Aside from contributing to the economy exponentially; by being the most promising consumer market of the fashion and beauty industry, Metrosexual culture pushes traditional gender boundaries and ideologies that define what’s male and what’s female.
It has gone from an emerging wave of men who merely scratch against the traditional restrictions of male roles, to men who do what they want, buy what they want, enjoy what they want — regardless of societal perceptions that project these things as unmanly.
For me, this is all a pretty progressive idea that clamours self-love, self-awareness, acceptance, inclusivity, and ultimately, personal, social, cultural and economic growth. We should all embrace it. Everything that it is.