CAIRO: Once upon a time, men were expected to appear rugged, even when looking their best. It was acceptable and almost anticipated for anyone with a Y-chromosome to remain stubble-faced, with dirty fingernails and monotonous attire. That was until the advent of what New Yorkers like to call the metrosexual.
Metrosexuality is often confused with homosexuality. However, if a man’s got style, grooms himself and isn’t ashamed to show his “softer side, that no longer says something about his sexual preference. It just makes him a man of his time.
In New York, metrosexuality has gone beyond being a coined urban expression; in fact, it’s very much a compliment. What young, ambitious professional wouldn’t be flattered to fall under such a classification?
The Urban Dictionary defines a metrosexual as “a person, typically male, who takes pride in his appearance, dresses impeccably, goes for facials, expensive hair cuts and things of that nature. They are often assumed to be gay.
The term first began following the success of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a show on Bravo, an American cable network. This reality-style show revolved around five flamboyantly gay men. Each had a unique specialty, be it cooking, fashion or grooming, and were sent each week into the home of a “clueless straight guy to, well . rescue him from himself.
They would cut his hair, teach him how to use different grooming products, transform his home, show him how to cook a gourmet meal, and even give him a few sensitivity pointers for wooing the ladies. Their goal, ultimately, was to transform him from a clueless heterosexual into a suave metrosexual.
The show, and the concept, was a hit. (True story: I have two hopelessly macho male friends who secretly confessed to me they jot down a few pointers during each episode.)
The reality of metrosexuality is you’ve got to be able to shell out some cash to stay cool. That said, upper-class Cairo is by no means short of metrosexuals. Spend an evening at any of Zamalek’s more posh nightspots and I challenge you to pick out five men who wouldn’t fall under this classification.
With that in mind, try and tell a Cairene man that he is a metrosexual and you’ll find, as I did, the “accusation does not go over well. A friend of mine, a textbook metrosexual who shall remain nameless, calmly responded to my question by saying, “are you trying to ruin me?
In fact, as an eastern culture, there are preconceived norms for men and women and their defined roles in society change only mildly with time. Women should be homemakers, caretakers, soft and delicate. Men should be providers, passionate in some situations, unemotional in others. Think about it, apart from a few women here and there, how many of our region’s top leaders are women? My point exactly: none.
“It’s not that we’re backwards or anything, it’s just that some things come more natural to women, said Sherrif, 24, a metrosexual in denial who chose not to reveal his last name. “There are certain things like makeovers and manicures that are for women. We guys like to spoil ourselves in other ways, like new cologne or a new shirt. But that doesn’t mean we are metro-whatever.
Sure it does.
Metrosexuality, simply put, is putting in that little extra effort to make yourself look good. A new tie, new cologne and clean-cut appearance are all it really takes to fall into this category. It’s an evaluation of your external appearance, not your internal choices.
That said, a metrosexual is someone dressed to impress, whether at work, school or for a night out on the town. His nails are cut and clean. His hair is gelled and/or cut to look good. That’s all, really. With that, I invite you to embrace your inner metrosexual. If you know you make the effort to look good, then why not flaunt it?