Metrosexuals: It’s a Guy Thing!

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There, deep in the Eye for the Straight Guy, many more once slovenly men want to join the ranks of this new breed of Renaissance man.

Not yet familiar with the new buzzword, “metrosexual”? Some social observers and product marketers believe it’s just a matter of time until “metrosexual” becomes part of your vocabulary — and perhaps a description of your own lifestyle as well.

So what makes a metrosexual man? They are been defined as a straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with their feminine side. They may have a standing appointment for a weekly fitness facility — might be misplaced. Some research suggests that their straining and body image, and is a publicly sensitive guy who wears his feelings on his sleeve.” The list of metrosexual-style celebrities includes Brad Pitt and George Clooney. British soccer star David Beckham (whose wife is Victoria Adams – a.k.a. Posh Spice) may be the quintessential metrosexual icon, sometimes attired in a sarong and embellishing his nails with colorful polish.

While you’re most likely to find metrosexual men in big cities, particularly media centers such as New York and Los Angeles, they are certainly not confined there. “Because of Hollywood and the fact that many of the male glitterati exhibit metrosexual qualities, you can see the imitation and the experimentation among men in many smaller cities as well,” says Brown.

Yet facial plastic surgeons such as Seth M. Goldberg, MD, whose patients in his Rockville, MD, office include politicians, lobbyists, and attorneys in the Washington, D.C., area, question whether the label “metrosexual” is one that is really catching on in the nation’s capital. At the same time, however, he notes that “in the last few years there has been a tripling of the number of men who are coming into my office for cosmetic surgery or office-based cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections. A generation ago, we wouldn’t have seen any of these men in our office.”

Olivardia points to a Today survey showing that 43% of men are dissatisfied with their overall appearance, and 63% are unhappy with their abdomen in particular. So they might seek out the services of a cosmetic surgeon for some major or minor retrofitting. Abdominal to wipe out love handles is particularly popular. The number of lip augmentation procedures in men in the U.S. increased by a startling 421% from 2001 to 2002, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

“It’s definitely more acceptable for men to undergo these procedures than it once was,” says Olivardia, clinical instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. “Even so, there are still many men who won’t tell anyone they’ve done it; they won’t volunteer that information.”

Goldberg says that when men opt for cosmetic surgery, it’s often the last step in their personal campaign to improve their appearance. They tend to be well dressed and well groomed, and then thanks to their affluence, can afford to move on to plastic surgery — for example, eyelid procedures, chin augmentation, or laser skin resurfacing.

But can a metrosexual’s preoccupation with their physical appearance be carried to extremes? Olivardia says that if your preoccupation with maximizing your looks is interfering with your relationships, your job, or your schoolwork, perhaps you should talk to a therapist and work on creating a healthier balance and a more sensible approach to your physical exterior.