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Tag: Japan

A Metrosexual Gorilla (With Spornosexual Tendencies)

Shabani-Clooney

A good-looking gorilla in Japan called Shabani who looks after his kids has been getting a lot of press lately and making Japanese women swoon. The BBC’s Yuko Kato explains why.

(I agree that there’s something Clooney-esque about the mouth, but the pout is pure Beckham.)

Male Bras are Big in Japan – Even if Men’s Breasts aren’t

Thanks to my Japanese metrosexuality correspondent Daniela K for informing me that, in addition to the popularity of skirts and dresses with Japanese men I blogged about last week, brassieres are catching on too. Yes, brassieres made for men.  Brassieres made for men to wear rather than gawp at.

Apparently the male bras, unlike the female variety, have no practical function – not even to make men’s pecs look bigger or offer support to sagging ones – their value is entirely psychological.  Particularly for male office workers unwinding after a stressful day at the office:

“One customer said when he wears a bra he feels he can ‘reset’ his feelings. If something bad happens he puts on a bra and feels he can come back and fight another day,” he continued.

It’s almost as if Japanese men’s wearing of bras is the equivalent of feminists supposed burning of them in the 1970s.  Reportedly even America is waking up to the commercial potential of this undoubtedly brand new male product:

“We get a lot of inquiries from Americans who are interested in selling the bras,” Tsuchiya reported.

And why not?  After all, Madison Avenue is currently bombarding American males with very expensive propaganda to get them to use ‘girly’ Dove body wash and buff-puffs.

However, us Brits are less understanding.

“… the British are different — they tend to be shocked by what we’re doing.”

Well, we would.  We know that bras on men are just wrong.  Unless you’re standing on a stage in a badly fitting wig making off-colour jokes.

Male bras are still a niche within a niche even in Japan, but the fact that they exists at all does show that metrosexuality will stop at nothing in its appropriation of anything ‘feminine’ – in order to look or feel fabulous.

Metrosexuals Continue Their Terrifying Global Take-Over

These reports just in….

In the Far East young men continue their rush headlong towards a totally metrosexed society. According to the Korea Times, South Korea, young men, including soldiers, are now wearing ‘colour lotion’ (a messy combination of foundation, ‘lotion’ and sun screen). Over in Japan my spy on Japanese metrosexuality Daniela K informs me that many Japanese men are wearing skirts and dresses on a daily basis.  Similar things are reportedly happening in China.

Over here in the UK, skirts are rather less common,  but a blog at so-called ‘lads’ mag’ FHM admits that their readers are metrosexual – along with, in fact, most young men today. I happen think the conflation of dandies with ‘new men’ and both with ‘metrosexuals’ in the piece is mostly specious, but it’s a refreshingly direct and honest piece that you would never find on the Men’s Health website.  Unless they were hacked.

But slowly, slowly even America, the country that gave the world the oiled male tits of Men’s Health magazine, seems to be finally recovering from the gigantic national nervous breakdown it had over metrosexuality a few years back. But this being the God-fearing USA where Bush won an election on an anti-metro/anti-fag ticket in 2004, make sure you don’t use the ‘m’ word, especially if you’re an American marketer marketing metrosexual products.  ‘Metrosexual’ makes too many Americans think of ‘homosexual’. And that’s not good when you’re in the holy business of selling things. Besides, marketers are generally happier with euphemism.  When they’re not just lying.

Nevertheless it turns out – surprise! – that the market for male vanity products  has continued to grow very strongly indeed in the US, even during the anti-metro ‘menaissance’, and the subsequent recession. To try and cash in Madison Avenue is about to unleash a record-breaking ad blitz – trying to persuade American men that what they’ve really been missing in their lives is Dove and (manly, techno-styled) buff-puffs.

One of the more interesting things to emerge from the Advertising Age feature is that Marlboro, as a filtered low-tar cigarette, was originally designed for women in the 1920s, but when evidence mounted in the 1950s that tobacco caused cancer Philip Morris commissioned Leo Burnett to change the ciggie’s gender.

Arguably American fags did this again themselves in the 1970s when they appropriated the clone look, modelled on the butch Marlboro Man ads, perhaps unconsciously picking up on the slightly camp, er, drag king quality that it turns out the Marlboro man had all along.

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