Friday, February 02, 2007

What the heck is a Metrosexual?

On my job in the construction industry I am the third oldest guy in the company. The most elder employee served in Vietnam and is nearly twenty years older than myself, and the number two guy in age is a year older than myself and a good friend. I am 40.

I rarely work with those two co-workers that out-age me, so I spend most of my days babysitting the young'uns. They provide plenty of entertainment for me, to be honest. I spend a large part of my day laughing at these kids showing up in the nicest duds, and scared out of their minds of getting dirty.

For my pay I operate a digging machine. A trenching machine, to be more specific (no, not a backhoe - I get asked that a lot). Here's a picture to give you a better idea (I've posted this pic before).

And yes, that is me on the machine offloading it from my big rig.

If the machine breaks down, we fix it on the job, and I have no problem getting up to my elbows in oil or grease. The kids? They usually put on latex gloves and trash bags over their clothing.

During the normal workday the kids do things like wear gloves so that their hands stay smooth (no calluses for those young hands), and if a dust cloud is thrown into the air by my machine tossing dirt from its conveyor belt, they are standing in a spot farthest from. If their heads aren't shaved, their hair is combed just right when they show up as if they are ready to go out on a date. All of them have smoothly shaved faces, plucked (and reshaped/shortened) eyebrows, shaved arms and legs, wear more than enough sun block (and lotion for smooth skin after the day is done), various arrays of jewelry in their ears, eyebrows, noses, lips and tongues, and spend more time looking in the mirror or yapping on their cell phones (what up! is the usual greeting) rather than having any conversation in the work truck on the way home (if I'm not driving the rig) with their operator (meaning me).

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with exceptional hygene and wishing to be presentable to the ladies. But at work in the dirt? And these kids attitudes along with the looks, the cars, and so forth, borders on narcissism.

Then, here's the kicker, because I am older I grow a little more hair on my body than they do. I have a goatee beard, and my face the majority of the time (where there isn't a beard) has a five o'clock shadow. The hair on my arms is thicker than theirs (for the few that don't shave their arms, anyway), and I have some hair on my chest and a lot on my legs.

I did not provide this description to gross anybody out. I am just explaining my point.

Anyway, the young kids, the ones that almost look feminine with their grooming practices, made me wonder about today's generation.

Then, they have decided that my lack of concern over the things they are concerned over makes me nothing more than a throwback. They call me the hairy one, Sasquatch, caveman, etc. I usually respond that they are just jealous because they are not man enough to look like a man like me. Here comes the kicker: They don't want to be manly. It is out of style.

Excuse me? Did I miss something?

Have you ever heard the term: Metrosexual?

Well, if not, here's a quick lesson.


Apparently, being metrosexual is the latest fad. It is basically fashionable to act gay (in the sense of a gay man's style of dress, sensitivity, love for shopping, grooming standards, etc.), even if you are not gay. Specifically, this term refers to males who have taken narcissism to a whole new level. They are the young dudes that have taken the GQ thing to its limit. And they spend an ungodly amount of funds on their clothing while they are at it.

Hey, I have no problem having a nice wardrobe, but not the "to die for" outfits these guys wear. I throw on some jeans, sneakers, a nice shirt with a fishing logo on the back, maybe a ballcap, and I'm good to go out to dinner, dancing, or the movies. These metrosexuals (and even the younger guys that claim they aren't) have to have the black dress shoes, nice pleated slacks (of which I wear too. . . well, I have one pair that I wear a couple times a year, I think. They're somewhere deep in the closet behind my many pairs of blue jeans), the button down silk shirt with the gold lined button covers, the expensive watch with some Japanese character in the middle of the face, gold rings on their fingers, bling bling around their neck, and diamond studs on their ear lobes big enough to choke a horse.

And I understand being sensitive. I am a sensitive guy. Growing up, and when I first married Mrs. Pistachio, I was proclaimed to be the most sensitive guy anybody had ever met, and I am a cold hearted flounder compared to these prancing beauties.

Okay, understand me, here. I am not saying that people shouldn't be allowed to do what they can to look good, or whatever. That's their business. I am not gay bashing, either, though homosexuality is not on my list of favored activities by anybody. But I am a believer that extremes are bad, and metrosexuals take the extremes to the extreme.

And it makes me uncomfortable when they give me garbage over the fact that my idea of looking good is not the same as theirs. "Go back to the seventies and eighties," they tell me.

I wish I could.

Metrosexuals claim that they are not afraid to embrace their feminine side.

Neither am I. Her name is Virginia. She's my wife. She's feminine, I am masculine.

The good news is, Metrosexuality is on its way out, and Macho is on its way back (read about that here).

I don't need a bunch of skin care products and labels on my clothing to make me an acceptable man to my woman. All I have to be is myself, and she loves me for that. Metrosexuals feel like they have to put on this chirade to get the gal. Leave the flaming to the gays, my friends, and just be yourself. Your woman will love ya for it. And if she doesn't prefer you for who you really are, she's not worth it anyway.

17 comments:

cary said...

Waitwaitwait - let me get this straight. These guys get paid to stand around while YOU do all the work? Is that what I'm understanding?

What, are they afraid to sweat?

Where do I sign on?

Night Rider said...

All of them have smoothly shaved faces, plucked (and reshaped/shortened) eyebrows, shaved arms and legs, wear more than enough sun block (and lotion for smooth skin after the day is done), various arrays of jewelry in their ears, eyebrows.

That is what the Governator Arnold called Girlie Men. LOL
That is utterly ridiculous.


Then, here's the kicker, because I am older I grow a little more hair on my body than they do. I have a goatee beard, and my face the majority of the time (where there isn't a beard) has a five o'clock shadow. The hair on my arms is thicker than theirs (for the few that don't shave their arms, anyway), and I have some hair on my chest and a lot on my legs.

That is how a real Man is supposed to look like.

Flag Gazer said...

Well... we have high school girls fighting over guys while the guys are looking pretty for the girls...

I am officially OLD. This is too bizarre for me.

kris said...

Doug

It must be a coast thing (are you California per chance?) And it certainly is a London thing.

Guys I have been sure were gay say that they're not. You'd think I be able to tell!

I went to California a couple of years ago and was amazed how all the guys wax their eyebrows! Even high school boys. Good grief!!! That is a bit of a step too far- and I use London as the litmus test on that one- as I think there a not many macho guys running around London.

Let's put it this way: I don't go out with girls that look like truck drivers. I hope that I do not look like a truck driver. If I was attracted to the truck-driver look, I'd go out with a man who was one!

So, if you are a straight woman, presumably you would be attracted to men: men who shave and not wax; men who spend less money than you on make up and hair gel; men who take you out on a date rather then going into debt on pedicures...

Now I'm getting old!

Tisha! said...

goatee, five o'clock shadow doug?! that's what us 'real' woman want, a 'retrosexual' LOL! minus the burps, farts and bad manners

as i get older the metrosexual look which i used to fall for just doesn't do it for me all the time, what i mean is that every once in a while like today (see my "state of vegetation" post) my libido is running wild and the only thing to quell that is savage beast!

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Yes, I am in California, but from what I've been reading and seeing, this is not limited to Southern California, New York City, or London; but it does seem to be most common in larger urban areas. For example, in Brookings Oregon I have not seen any of this (the town is on the southern coast of Oregon with about 6,000 people - next town is over a half hour drive away). In Grant's Pass and Medford (larger Oregon towns) I saw it intermittantly. In Portland (Oregon's largest city) it was ramapant. Arkansas? Nope. Georgia? Nope. Florida? I saw it around the larger cities (especially Miami). As for Tisha's comment: My wife teases me and says I'm what a man is supposed to be, but I disagree. I'm not super handy, and such, but hey, if Virginia thinks I'm sexy and such, that's all I need, because she's my lifelong mate (till death do us part).

Night Rider said...

I'm afraid that I have to agree with flag gazer.

High school girls fighting over guys while the guys are looking pretty for the girls.

It is too weird and too bizarre for me too.

It's just flat out not normal Doug.

Night Rider said...

Doug,

Real Men are supposed to be hairy as an ape and be very macho looking.
Not looking feminine.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

I don't think I'm super hairy, but enough not to look like one of the metrosexuals. . . and I suppose if I needed to give a definition of a real man, it is one that cares for his wife, does whatever it takes to support his family, and acts as the spiritual leader in his family.

Night Rider said...

Doug,

You are right but even those Men who are not married or like myself who have lost their wives do to what ever, it's still Manly to look like a Man and not look feminine. That is my whole point.

Christopher said...

DVG said: "...and I suppose if I needed to give a definition of a real man, it is one that cares for his wife, does whatever it takes to support his family, and acts as the spiritual leader in his family."

Amen to that Doug!

The whole Metrosexual thing is hysterical to me. It just proves that people desperate to fit in will do anything. I loved the South Park episode where they mocked the whole thing.

Geez, I shampoo what little hair I have on my buzzed head (and actually more hair on my beard) with Mane & Tail! (That'd be horse shampoo for y'all dudes - you can get it in the pet aisle).

For one, I am proud to be another "caveman" with ya Doug.

Tom said...

You tell 'em... everyone is supposed to look the same, and creativity and innovation is a bad idea. In fact, it's un-American. That's why I like those Geicco commercials with the cavemen. That's how real men look!

Personally, I'm ashamed I have a graduate degree and a cerebral job and have soft hands. That's so girlish I know.

kris said...

Tom

Don't make me laugh! It is the eyebrow wax boys that all look alike!

Lots of love from Kris who works in an office, with guys with master's degrees too, who do not wax, have ear-rings or carry man bags!

Tom said...

Is getting a facial okay? That's kinda "faggy" though, right? Maybe if I gave a grunt and hit the esthetician over the head with a club, and dragged her off to my cave, that would make it okay?

Somebody needs to write a book on how everyone is supposed to behave. This whole cultural evolution has gone insane since the Victorian age.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Tom, I have no problem with individuality. Being different is a wonderful thing. I am a very different person from those that I know. However, when that difference is a forced change geared at narcissism and blurring of the separation of genders, and interferes with the person's responsibilities in turn affecting those around him, I have a problem with it. Besides, it being kinda "faggy" is the point, isn't it? Are you saying that people acting "faggy" around you, afraid to get dirty which in turn places the whole task upon you, is just fine? Their narcissism reeks of a lack of common consideration, because their "fagginess" is more important than their responsibilities.

mudkitty said...

This is one of those "what's the matter with kids today" essays.

"Oh those kid's with their fashion's and their music!"

"Git off my lawn!"

Tom said...

I remember when I was 19 and came home with an earring. Dad was not pleased.

Dad, however, was quite pleased when I earned an advanced engineering degree.. without ever getting arrested (amazing considering all the pot I smoked in college).. and then ended up making a super living for the last 15 years doing work that benefits a lot of people.

Not blowing my own horn here really.. but the point is, it's impossible to judge how worthwhile a person is by their mannerisms or their appearance. They could be covered in mud doing a blue collar job that moves this nation forward in infrastructure, or they could be a white collar, eyebrow waxed fem that designed it. Making value judgements about, or disparaging the core essence of the way people are or choose to live is.. well, I think it's immoral.

The funniest thing is always when conservative parents have kids that turn out to be gay. Allan Keyes comes to mind.. heck even Darth Cheney's daughter. One of my favorite things in life is irony, and it always makes me laugh.