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

The Editor
Sunday Telegraph

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.


Mark Simpson

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