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Metro’s out, 'ber is in

London, Aug. 14: Metrosexual is out; 'bersexual is in. Just when man got used to the idea that it was good to coat himself in moisturiser and ask girls personal questions without being considered a bit limp-wristed, he’s going to have to start all over again.

Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Amy ’Reilly, the trio of trend-spotters who popularised the term “metrosexual” in 2003, think men are going to have to harden up their act if they’re going to stand up to the continued incursion of women into the male sphere.

The feminist victory is complete: women have taken men’s jobs, handed the baby over to them for a cuddle at three in the morning and got them to work child-friendly hours.

Throw in the boom in artificial insemination, advances in genetic technology and the possibility of cloning, and man is on the verge of redundancy.

These batterings to the male ego have, in the past few years, moulded men into an extreme, mutated form of metrosexual ' “emo boys”, a label taken from a particularly sappy, emotional, “sincere” branch of indie music.

Salzman describes emo boys as men “who listen to pretentious ‘you’ve probably never heard of them’ bands, dress with more care and style than most girls, and read in-depth books, while sipping on low-fat lattes before they take their Vespa home”.

Poor, benighted emo boys. After all this careful physical and emotional styling to fit in with what they think girls like, the terrible thing is, chicks just don’t dig ’em.

Soon after the evolution of emo boy, Rachel Elder wrote in the New York Observer how much she and her sex loathed what she’d taken to calling “whimpsters”. “He’ll sound sensitive. He is sensitive ' but often more sensitive to his own emotions than to those of the woman sitting across from him at dinner.”

In all this blizzard of acronyms, of whimpsters and emos, Salzman and Elder may be on to something.

The whole problem with the metrosexual phenomenon was that it confused sensitivity about your looks with sensitivity for your fellow human.

David Beckham, the high priest of metrosexuality, may have cupboards full of sarongs and styling tongs. It doesn’t make him any more sensitive when it comes to pondering whether to have an affair with Rebecca Loos.

So, what’s the answer for confused homo sapiens, shoved from unthinking, bring-home-the-bacon lunk to self-obsessed whimpster in the space of a generation'

The answer, according to Salzman, is more acronyms and buzzwords.

Man must aim to become 'bersexual by loading up with “M-ness”. 'bersexuals, according to Salzman, “are the most attractive, most dynamic and most compelling men of their generations. They are supremely confident (without being obnoxious), masculine, stylish, and committed to uncompromising quality in all areas of life”.

“Compared with the metrosexual, the 'bersexual is more into relationships than self. He’s not sensual and not at all self-conscious. He dresses for himself more than others.”

Salzman has a general point that does have a ring of truth to it. If men desperately try to be like women, then women won’t really see the point of them. It’s time for them to be a bit more manly again.

The Future of Men by Marian Salzman

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