Tag Archives: Metrosexuality

Is Santa Claus ‘retrosexual’?

The British columnist Mark Simpson first identified and named a ‘new, narcissistic, media-saturated, self-conscious kind of masculinity’ – the ‘metrosexual’ – in an influential article entitled ‘Here Come the Mirror Men’ in the national newspaper The Independent in 1994. Apparently the ‘metrosexual’, is ‘a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a metropolis—because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are’ (Simpson, 2002). The point Simpson was making, was that men are becoming more involved in historically feminised practices, which centre on consumption and self-presentation. Since Simpson first coined the term, ‘metrosexual’ practices have grown exponentially and even seem to have reached more mature men (Mintel, 2006).

It seems then, that ‘metrosexuality’ is here to stay. However in contrast, many men still continue to follow more conventional masculine and gender distinct scripts and these men have been termed ‘retrosexual’ (Simpson, 2003). Retrosexuality aligns itself with more classical or ‘hegemonic’ masculinity (Connell, 1995) and includes typical characteristics such as heroics, strength, drive, ambition and risk-taking, along with a disinterest in health-related practices, body image and grooming.

Given this identity criterion then, Santa is clearly ‘retrosexual’. For example, his beard is long and unkempt and he doesn’t wear the latest fashions. He clearly has a disinterest in health-related practices and body image, evidenced by his large paunch and he is well known to eat numerous mince pies and drink copious amounts of alcohol (at least on Xmas Eve). I should probably not mention too loudly the risk-taking involved in controlling his sleigh under the influence of alcohol or not following HSE lifting guidelines when hauling his sack. And of course we all think of him as heroic since he manages to delivery on time (unlike the Royal Mail) all our presents in just a few short hours, even whilst it’s snowing.

Merry Christmas to all readers!

Analysing Discursive Constructions of ‘Metrosexual’ Masculinity Online: ‘What does it matter, anyway?’

Men’s Grooming Habits – UK – March 2007

The Journal of Popular Culture

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Brand

Cristiano_Ronaldo_-_april09When Real Madrid recently announced Christiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Manchester United for £80 million, they were not only bargaining for the footballing skills of the world and European player of the year, but also the whole Ronaldo ‘brand’. Ronaldo is recognized internationally as a household name successfully marketing brands like Nike and Fuji Xerox, but also indirectly marketing the lasted fashions, accessories (many of his own CR7 products) and grooming products along with tanning and waxing his body.

Like David Beckham, the Ronaldo ‘brand’ and avant-garde image allow heterosexual men to engage with ‘metrosexual’ fashion and grooming products. Yet metrosexuality and men’s personal adornment can often be problematic because it openly invites a homoerotic gaze whilst also entering the feminised realm of consumption. In order to avoid anxieties over sexuality, and still allow men to consume these ‘metrosexual’ products without threatening their ‘straight’ masculinity, the Ronaldo ‘brand’ continues to align itself with stereotypical masculine attributes such money, fame and sexual prowess. This provides us then, with an interesting glimpse of the changing face of contemporary men and masculinities and the continued allegiance to more conventional masculine scripts.

Square-eye The Metrosexual


Square-eye Masculinity and Consumption


Square-eye Ronaldo vs Becks ‘Who is the biggest metrosexual of them all?


Square-eye Cristiano Ronaldo is the real deal