Man Down – Defining Deflated & Liberated Masculinity

by Mark Simpson ‘What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god!… And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?’ – Hamlet There has been a lot of soul-searching about what it means to ‘be a man’ nowadays. Because no one really knows the answer. Defining ‘man’ and ‘masculine’ in a world in which phallic certainties […]

Mark Simpson at Men in Movement, Barcelona

I will be in Barcelona this week for an international workshop organised by the University of Catalonia, titled ‘Men in Movement: Transforming Masculinities in Politics, Care and Media’. There will be a range of very interesting, esteemed and knowledgeable contributors, and I will have the slightly unnerving honour of presenting the opening lecture, ‘From Metrosexual to Spornosexual: A Spectacular, Permanent Revolution’, on Wednesday 18th November at 6pm. So I’ll be sure to show plenty of slides and video clips of much hotter chaps than me. The following day […]

Why Men Are Getting Fatter AND Fitter

Men are increasingly expected to have beach-ready bodies. But some men have given up.  by Mark Simpson Originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph 15 May, 2015 Britain is getting bigger. Positively massive, if recent reports are to be believed. Last week, the World Health Organisation published some hefty, earth-shaking figures which publically body-shamed the UK as having one of the highest obesity rates in Europe and suggesting that by 2030 a whopping 74 per cent of British men and 64 per cent of women will […]

How The Prostate Came Out of the Closet

Mark Simpson snaps on the latex gloves and gives men’s prostates a thorough examination (Originally appeared in a shorter, more tasteful form in The Daily Telegraph, 12 Nov 2014) ‘Movember’ is upon us again, and so are the ironic and perhaps not so ironic upper lip pubes, reminding us of the very important, very worthy – and until recently very overlooked – issue of prostate cancer. A disease which affects 42,000 men in the UK each year, and kills 11,000. But this is perhaps also a […]

Meat the Spornosexual

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 […]

Metrosexuality & the Selfie

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 […]

‘Get Your Filthy Hands Off Me!’ Gorgeous George’s Glamorous Legacy

Rather than watch the Olympics, and all that noble, serious sporting uplift, I’ve been reading a book about a carny, corny, shameless 1940s-50s American wrestler: Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture, by John Capouya. My American chum Chris Supermarky recommended it to me, thinking it would be of interest. He wasn’t wrong. It was nothing less than a revelation. It was like finding the Rosetta Stone of metrosexuality. Or at least, post-war male glamorousness. George Wagner was a baby-faced brunette, pint-sized, […]