It’s always fascinating to see and hear about the ways in which metrosexuality is interpreted/expressed/appropriated/completely rewritten in different parts of the world, particularly the parts that I and most Westerners tend to overlook.
The parts in other words that actually make up most of the world.
India for instance, with its pre-colonial traditions of ‘pagan’ androgyny – and emerging consumerism as it begins to assert itself as one of the economies likely to shape the 21st Century – has both eagerly taken up metrosexuality and adeptly reinterpreted it to its own needs.
So I was very glad when I was recently contacted by an artist in Delhi called Pallavi Singh.
From Ms Singh’s artist statement:
While growing up and during my formative years in art, I was intrigued by changes occurring with age in men both in terms of behaviour and psyche and also the struggles against it and measures taken to reverse it. I have created characters based on observations and insights drawn from life experiences in and around my immediate surroundings. Through these characters I try to depict the longing for youthful appearances, the veiled fantasies and the hidden desires which are now becoming more visible and observable in the background of changes in the society and growing accessibilities to new avenues.
The longing for youthful appearances, the veiled fantasies and the hidden desires which are now becoming more visible and observable.
All images Copyright Pallavi Singh, 2012
This became apparent in India esp with rise of internet and “globalism” in the 90’s and easier contact with expat relatives living in the West. They primp & preen unabashedly in sassy, tight fitting jeans and short sleeve shirts with decorative pockets and contrasting stitching… Sometimes in cities I think I’m near a twink bar in the Castro — only these are not twinks. And as with males everywhere, allure is inversely proportional to the degree of their own self-conscious awareness of it: The Indians were hotter when they didn’t know they are and weren’t trying to be, when their bodies were only suggested by the way their homespun kurtas, pajamas, and dhotis draped them… Even their posture and gait was distinctive, elegant, dignified: No more. You hardly see Indian clothes there any more. Even seem to have traded in all their cool, regionally distinctive sandals for ugly plimsolls — shipped in from China, no doubt. Such a pity. The great global capitalist culture fuck found in India a vast pool of eager bottoms.