Hack to the future: letter to the ‘Sunday Telegraph’

The Editor
Sunday Telegraph
Sir,

As the ‘father’ of the metrosexual, I was fascinated to read (‘Oracle worker’; Jan 7, 2007) that an American ad-exec called Marian Salzman is ‘a step ahead of the rest of us’ and a leading ‘futurologist’ because she ‘predicted the rise of metrosexuals’, a species she ‘dreamt up’ for a campaign for Peroni beer in 2003.

It’s very kind of this marketer to try – yet again – to take responsibility for the metrosexual, but as that annoying thing called Google shows, I first wrote about this High Street narcissist in an article for the Independent in 1994 (‘Here come the mirror men’), in which I predicted that metrosexuality was the facial future of men.  As I recall, neither New York ad-women nor Peroni beer were involved in his conception – nor my prediction.

I can’t deny either that I returned to the subject in 2002 in an essay (‘Meet the metrosexual’) for America’s popular online magazine Salon, to point out how the predicted metrosexual future had already arrived, citing David Beckham as the impeccable proof.  According to neologism trackers such as WordSpy.com, this was the jumping-off point for the current ubiquity of the word.  Salzman’s selfless ‘adoption’ of the metrokid occurred the following year. 

Which, amongst other things, makes this American ‘futurologist’ who is ‘a step ahead of the rest of us’ about, oh, nine years behind British journalism.

Sincerely,

Mark Simpson

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