‘In a development which will probably have him running to the mirror yet again to search anxiously for lines, this year the metrosexual leaves his teens and turns 20. How quickly your children grow up. Although it seems only yesterday, I first wrote about him in 1994 after attending an exhibition organised by GQ magazine called “It’s a Man’s World”. I’d seen the future of masculinity and it was moisturised.’ Read my piece on the evolution of male vanity at The Daily Telegraph (And don’t worry, despite the alarming headline The Telegraph gave the piece,…read more
Maybe I suffer from what Freud described as man’s tendency to devalue what he desires, but I find anything touched by TV survivalist Bear Grylls’ calloused-but-manicured hands difficult to take too seriously. But taken seriously he most certainly has been by the UK media with his currently airing C4 reality show The Island, in which thirteen ‘ordinary men’ are marooned on a tropical island for a month to find out whether today’s softies can cut it as ‘hunter gatherer’ butch Bear Grylls types. Nothing very much happens – the Gryllsettes grow beards,…read more
Motorway service stations are toilets. And I don’t just mean the reputation they have for being dirty and unappealing places to linger, let alone eat. I mean literally. A recent survey of 2000 motorists found that 65% only stop at service stations to use the toilet facilities. It wasn’t always that way. When the first UK service station opened in 1959 at Watford Gap on the M1 people would actually make special trips just to visit them. Service stations were space-age places to view the future whizzing past while enjoying…read more
These ‘jokey’ Veet ‘Don’t risk dudeness’ ads in which a ‘sexy lady’ turns into an ‘unsexy dude’ because she hasn’t used the smelly depilatory cream have provoked an e-flurry of outrage for their sexism and shaming of women who aren’t always smooth, so much so that Veet had to issue an apology and withdraw them. But what’s truly ‘funny’ about these ads is that in some ways they strike me as actually being the advertising world’s version of those ‘gender flip’ click-bait posts that many of the people lambasting the Veet ads profess…read more
Tom of Finland’s drawings are to appear on Finnish stamps this September. What better way to mark the global triumph of his kinky redesign of the male body? After all, Tom’s men were made to be licked from behind.
The second generation of metrosexuals are cumming. And this time it’s hardcore by Mark Simpson What is it about male hipsters and their strange, pallid, highly ambivalent fascination with bodies beefier and sexier than their own? Which means, of course, pretty much everyone? You may remember last year that last year the Guardian columnist and TV presenter Charlton Brooker had a very messy bowel-evacuating panic attack over the self-sexualisation of the male body exhibited in reality show Geordie Shore. Now the hipster bible Vice have run a long, passionate –…read more
From the gender-bending antics of Eurythmics and Culture Club to the propulsive synthpop of Depeche Mode, New Order, and the Human League, was there ever, asks Mark Simpson, a more spectacular time for music? (Originally appeared on Out.com, 18 Feb, 2014) IN 1983, THE YEAR that McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget and the second Cold War was at its height, the world very nearly ended when large NATO exercises were mistaken by an extremely jittery USSR for preparations for a new Barbarossa. More ominously, compact discs went on sale in the United States…read more
I’ve snobbishly held out against the sun-damaged charms of ITV’s package holiday sitcom Benidorm, set in the ‘all inclusive’ Hotel Solana, for several series. But the sixth one — which sadly this week pours the sand out of its shoes and packs its bags for another year — had me surrendering to it more legs akimbo than the Solanas’ Mrs Slocombe-esque manageress Joyce Temple-Savage for Matthew Kelly. Created and written by Derren Litten (co-writer for The Catherine Tate Show), Benidorm is Carry On meets St Trinians meets Are You Being…read more
Mark Simpson on the motorway drivers we all love to hate Statistically the safest roads to drive on, there’s nevertheless something about motorways that seems to bring out the very worst in drivers. Other drivers, that is. Never you or me, of course. Some would argue it’s because there’s no motorway driving required in the UK driving test. But I think it’s because M-ways aren’t really anywhere. They’re a limbo-land of anonymous boredom where people’s darkest personality defects come out to play – magnified frighteningly by the horsepower they’re barely…read more
This classic Gay Liberation poster from 1975 by Alan Wakeman mocking mid-century heterosexist platitudes remains very funny indeed. It’s also still perhaps the best response to those — straight and gay — still seeking to find the ’cause’ of homosexuality. Though obviously the ‘Cultural Deprivation’ balloon at the bottom is no longer true: ‘Heterosexual men… think themselves “ugly”, beauty being ascribed only to women. Many psychic disorders stem from this self-rejection.’ Three decades on, male heterosexuality has been pretty much phased out and replaced by metrosexuality — spectacularly abolishing the sexual…read more
Which one would get your cream? From Des Hommes et des Chatons Tip: DAKrolak
Metrodaddy Mark Simpson was recently email interviewed by Beverly Parungao for a Sydney Morning Herald piece titled ‘Are Men Becoming Too Metrosexual?’ . Below are his unapologetic, uncircumcised replies. BP: What is driving the metrosexual movement? MS: Self-love – and a certain amount of self-loathing – is certainly a powerful dynamo. But ultimately what we’re seeing here is nothing less than a revolution in masculinity in particular and gender relationships in general. Metrosexuality isn’t about flip flops, facials or manscara, or about men becoming ‘girly’ or ‘gay’ – it’s about men becoming everything. Everything that they want to be.…read more
Dan Osborne, the wonderfully, shamelessly tarty star of The Only Way is Essex and now beautifully brazen underwear model for Bang Lads, phởtographed deliciously by Darren Black. Write-up by the DM on the shoot here.
Mark Simpson goes on a road trip connecting four countries: England, Scotland, the UK — and Yorkshire. What’s so ‘Great’ about ‘The Great North Road’? Better known in our more impatient era as the A1? Well, if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in the south, it takes you to the north – or ‘The NORTH’ as the signage rightly has it. And unlike the more popular M1, it goes all the way NORTH – instead of petering out like a big Jessie near Leeds. And that’s the proper shining, horny helmeted,…read more
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