Metro men

CANDID - CANDID By Ardelle Merton () - November 25, 2006 - 12:00am
Just a few days ago in the mall, there was a guy so good-looking that I stopped mid-sentence talking to a friend, just so I could gape at him. Now it's not always surprising to see a stunningly beautiful woman around but to see a stunningly handsome man, well, that's something to savor! The guy was impeccably dressed and clean-shaven and carried his hard-earned physique well. Talk about a head-turner. An Adonis even. I wanted to reach out and touch him to make sure he was real...I almost did, save for the fear of a harassment charge.

So the rise of the metrosexuals, like that guy I saw. Vocabulary check: On the surface, they're those men who are as well-groomed, as trendy and as vain as women but are still very much male. Common surface signs of metrosexuality include hair highlights, fitted vintage tees (always fitted, often in dark colors) and a colorless manicure. On the inside, they are said to be more sensitive and well-mannered, among other things. With the ready availability and advancements in good grooming these days (i.e. mushrooming of spas, gyms, parlors and fashion boutiques), men are now a lot more conscious of their appearance than ever before. Our grooming habits (and our vanity for that matter) have come a long way since we got past the Stone Age.

Better grooming for guys doesn't automatically translate to being metrosexual though. It's when those guys turn very, very fashionable and looks-conscious that it becomes, well, obvious that they're labeled as such. Personally, I'm not a fan, even though the metro style is all the rage for city boys lately. Sure, metrosexuals score a lot of pogi points but the look also screams "vain man" and I think a lot of girls would agree that it's a strange, uncomfy thought to have a guy vainer than she is. Like any good thing, better grooming habits should never be overdone. Neither should an enhanced appearance give any guy the license to suddenly be feeling gwapo or hangin. Besides, women just aren't biologically wired to be visually-oriented. Seeing a very good-looking man won't necessarily send her mad with desire. Men are the visually-oriented creatures...though I'd rather not imagine men trying to look good for other men. Well, my point is, looks do matter, boylets. Presentation counts. But even in our increasingly vain society, the age-old wisdom still applies: Looks aren't everything. To quote a familiar line, to quote a little prince even: What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Then there are the men whose grooming habits are said to date back to the Stone Age. Maybe they were even left behind. Just for trivia's sake, these guys are cleverly termed as retrosexuals: Men who still wouldn't know a comb from a hairbrush. Or those who try rather unsuccessfully to be metrosexual. Call me old-fashioned, but there's just something more charming and appealing about this simple type, who still wouldn't know a manicure from a pedicure but then again, wouldn't care anyway. Better a guy with a sharp sense of humor rather than a sharp fashion sense. Better a guy who can talk smartly of science and society rather than one who talks only of body-building techniques. I still salute the men who know they don't actually look like movie stars (and thankfully don't try to) and instead bank on their brains, wit and good ol' charm. In men, simplicity magnifies masculinity. I've always found the ruggedly handsome Vin Diesel type of guys way sexier than the pretty boy Leo di Caprio ones.

For many guys, turning metrosexual is a way of becoming both the center of attention and center of attraction. Fair enough. But still, it was never the only way.
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Email: ardelletm@gmail.com

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