Fag-Up, America

Posted by in commentary

Column by yours truly over on HuffPo about why America needs to drop the manly strap-ons and fag-up instead.


A Bit of Laurie (& Fry)

Posted by in commentary

At first I thought it was a mis­take, but then I real­ised that L’Oreal wasn’t look­ing for mod­els but for people with strong per­son­al­it­ies, who are worth it…and who aren’t afraid to pro­claim that using cos­met­ics can be a very mas­cu­line decision after all.”    – Hugh Laurie.  L’Oreal’s new middle-aged poster boy Hugh Laurie — or Hugh L’Oreal as he shall hence­forth be known — used to attend the same gym as me in the 1990s, in Tufnel Park, North London, before he moved to the bright lights of…read more


The Metrosexual is Undead

Posted by in commentary

How many obit­u­ar­ies will the press write for the met­ro­sexual before they finally accept that he’s immor­tal? Or at least, undead? That every time they cut off his head and pro­nounce him ‘deceased’ they replace him with even more met­ro­sexu­al­ity? I was recently asked some ques­tions by Maria Paz Lopez for the Spanish national news­pa­per La Vanguardia about the sup­posed ‘decline’ of the met­ro­sexual in response to a piece in food and drink retail­ing magazine The Grocer called ‘Rise of the Retrosexual’, also widely-publicised in the UK — though no journ­al­ists here took the…read more


Henry Finally Throws in the Towel

Posted by in advertising, commentary, masculinity, metrosexual

Much-loved British heavy­weight boxer Henry Cooper died this week. Unborn in 1963, the year he nearly defeated Cassius Clay (the Brits love near-winners much more than win­ners), I remem­ber him for the curi­ous Brut TV com­mer­cials he did in the 1970s that helped usher in the world of male product aisles in super­mar­kets and spor­no­graphic advert­ising we know today. ‘Enery’s ‘omely fea­tures and work­ing class man’s man status, along with the ironic play on Brut/brute, guar­an­teed that there was noth­ing poofy about men using cologne as more than just an after­shave…read more


Retrosexuality isn’t what it used to be

Posted by in commentary, metrosexual, retrosexual

My atten­tion was recently drawn by a con­cerned mem­ber of the brows­ing pub­lic to a piece on, ‘Retrosexuals: The latest lame macho catch­phrase’ by Aaron Traister, enter­tain­ingly lam­bast­ing the ‘new’ ret­ro­sexual trend: I woke up this morn­ing to dis­cover my local paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, ped­dling a story about America’s new favor­ite model of man: the ret­ro­sexual. Normally I ignore almost everything in my local paper, but this, in com­bin­a­tion with a recent art­icle in the New York Times about the sequel to “The Official Preppy Handbook,” has got…read more


Republican Great White Hope Scott Brown’s Pink Leather Past

Posted by in commentary, masculinity, metrosexual

A pro­file on the truck driv­ing Republican Presidential hope­ful from Boston Scott Brown in Vanity Fair caused a few chuckles last week with his wife’s cheeky rev­el­a­tion about the pink leather shorts he wore to his first date with her in the 1980s.  Here’s the money shot: “The pink­ish color drained from [Brown’s] face when I asked him about it dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion in his cam­paign office just before we took off in the truck. He cla­ri­fied that the shorts weren’t some­thing that he went out and pur­chased — it wasn’t…read more


Damn Right Your Dad Swallowed

Posted by in advertising, metrosexual

You may remem­ber I couldn’t res­ist pok­ing fun a while back at Canadian Club’s ‘Your Dad Wasn’t A Metrosexual’ poster, the one with with the tag line ‘Damn Right Your Dad Drank It’.  It turns out there were sev­eral instal­ments in that faux retro cam­paign, includ­ing ‘Your Dad Never Tweezed Anything’, the very appet­ising ‘Your Mom Wasn’t Dad’s First’, and the pos­it­ively lipsmack­ing, ‘Your Dad Had a Van For a Reason’. (I kid you not.) It appears that the cam­paign received some bad press in Canada, and I wasn’t the only…read more


Your Dad Wasn’t a Metrosexual: But His Best Buddy Was

Posted by in commentary, metrosexual

Mmmmm. Retrosexual mas­culin­ity. Served in a rocks glass. Effortless. Unselfconscious. Dated. It tastes just like your… dad. Unlike you, of course. You mois­tur­ize. Go to the gym. Watch what you eat. Fret about whether you’re worthy of love. Worry about what mas­culin­ity actu­ally means. And taste of tea-tree oil and lav­ender. If only we could bring those days back! When you could oper­ate heavy machinery and speed­boats pissed out of your mind. When no one thought you might be homo. When the only magazines you bought were Popular Mechanics and…read more


The Sun newspaper: Retro or Metro?

Posted by in commentary, masculinity, metrosexual, retrosexual

So, Cilla, which of our lovely lads is the pub­lic going to plump for? Will it be ‘Dave’ the ret­ro­sexual PE teacher from Liverpool with a pint, who only uses after­shave his mum bought him for Christmas ‘on spe­cial occa­sions’ (but seems to be rather fond of hair product)? Or will it be ‘Joe’ the met­ro­sexual Accounts Manager from Essex with a glass of Chardonnay and perched on an Ikea stool (I know where it’s from because I have one) who spends £350 a month on clothes and goes to the…read more


Waxing Desmond Morris

Posted by in commentary, journalism, masculinity, metrosexual, review

By Mark Simpson (Independent on Sunday, 21 Jan 2008) Every child wants to be a zoo­keeper when they grow up. To run a place where everything is in its place, and has noth­ing to do but eat, shit and breed — to your timetable. Maybe it’s a yen for revenge on the par­ents who brought them into the world without ask­ing their per­mis­sion first, or maybe it’s just because chil­dren are all little dic­tat­ors with a peaked-cap fet­ish. Most though aban­don these zoo fuehrer dreams when they actu­ally grow up. Not…read more


Who are you calling hummersexual?

Posted by in advertising, article, commentary, journalism, masculinity, metrosexual

by Mark Simpson (The Guardian, October 10, 2006) There’s a war going on in the US. A war on met­ros. After years liv­ing under the cruel designer heel of those tri­umphant met­ro­sexu­als, poor old ret­ro­sexu­als — alias “reg­u­lar guys” — are fight­ing back. Old-time, unself-conscious, un-moisturised mas­culin­ity is in. Guys are guys again, with manly, painstak­ingly shaped and trimmed beards. They eat manly food, drive manly trucks and read manly books on man­li­ness. Or so you may have heard. Truth be told, this is a phoney war. The “menais­sance” is men­dacious.…read more


Metrosexual Knobs’ — Can They Satisfy?

Posted by in commentary, masculinity, metrosexual

Poor Mark Latham, the former leader of the Australian Labour Party, isn’t happy with the state of Australian man­hood. Like so many things, it isn’t as good or as big or as sat­is­fy­ing as it used to be. In his new book (curi­ously titled ’A Conga Line of Suckholes’) he laments: “One of the sad­dest things I have seen in my life­time has been the decline in Australian male cul­ture … Australian mates and good blokes have been replaced by nervous wrecks, met­ro­sexual knobs and toss bags.” I’m not sure who…read more


Faux-Retrosexual Backlash: Letter to ‘Business Week’

Posted by in commentary, metrosexual

The Editor Business Week Sir, As the ‘father’ of the met­ro­sexual (and also appar­ently of his anti­thet­ical brother the ret­ro­sexual) my atten­tion was drawn to your cover art­icle ‘Secrets of the male shop­per’ by Nanette Byrnes. Since she talked so much about my off­spring, it would have been nice if Ms Byrnes had con­tac­ted me to check some of her metro fam­ily his­tory. When I first wrote about him in a UK news­pa­per in 1994 (‘Here come the mir­ror men’, Independent), I was not being insult­ing. Amused yes, but fondly…read more


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