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‘Brands Make Men: Society, Media and Marketing’ by Norbert Mirani

Behaviour that was was beyond the pale for men decades ago, like enjoying fashion and showing emotions, is now fully accepted, argues Dutch marketing guru Norbert Mirani in his book ‘Brands Make Men’.

Of course, this argument isn’t entirely new…. but what is new is the scope of Norbert’s analysis and its sociological approach, from the end of the Second World War to the present day, combined with his inside knowledge of marketing: ‘Modern males are like puppets on a string dancing to the latest requirements of society, media and marketing,’ he writes (in Dutch).

I wish my Dutch was better, or that this book was available in English, but it’s a very sexily put together and illustrated book – the padded cover’s particularly erotic, like a semi erection in your hand, and the Mod-ish layout of the title is rather apt.

And Norbert, whom I’ve met, is a very smart, very nice guy who, unlike most ‘marketing gurus’ (especially American ones) has a sense of history, isn’t afraid of proper analysis, and actually understands metrosexuality.

Even more shockingly, he isn’t terrified of metrosexuality’s inherent queerness.

(Yes, I am mentioned.)