The word that will be repeated several times in this article is not something I am actually fond of. In fact, the word shouldn’t have been allowed to exist at all. OK, compromise: the word should be relegated to the Entertainment Section, where it can be used to increase newspaper sales and keep my check for this column coming. The only reason the word gets here in the Opinion Page is that my editors have yet to figure out what to make of my writing.
The word is “metrosexual.”
Metro…. what? I know metropolitan, metrology, metronome. I know sex, sexagenarian, sexdecillion. But metrosexual? The word is marked red on my computer screen, which is its way of saying, “Watch out, annoying word we have here!” Even dumb computers know what words suck.
The first time I heard the word used, by a friend describing her latest crush, I wondered if I wasn’t going out more often, or if I should start extending my hangout beyond the dark nooks of Barangay Kamagayan. “You’re not going out more often,” my friend told me, with a look of pity in her eyes. There must be something about the word “metrosexual” that makes a close friend talk patronizingly to another.
“It’s the latest buzzword making its way across both cyberspace and regular space,” she said. “Think David Beckham.” Hey, I know what space is, but I don’t know Beckham other than he was the sixth member of the Spice Girls. You mean the girls are reuniting? Again? “Oh, please, go look it up,” my friend rolled her eyes and gave up.
So I looked it up. And what I found justified my automatic disgust for the word the first time I heard it. My research said “metrosexual” is “a neologism generally applied to heterosexual men with a strong concern for their appearance, or whose lifestyles display attributes stereotypically seen among gay men.” This is confusing. We have three images rolled into one: a straight guy, who is vain, and who is gay. Never mind vain, but how can a straight guy “display attributes” of a gay man? And why would he do that?
This one tried to be more specific: “A straight guy who lives in an urban environment, who is into designer clothes, art museums, musicals and other non-macho pursuits.” Yeah, you can add Ikebana, Victoria’s Secret, sanitary napkins with wings, but you’re only explaining the “metro” half of the word there and rephrasing the rest.
A third definition was almost successful in its brevity: “A straight man in touch with his feminine side.” Now, we’re talking, almost. I agree, a real man should not be ashamed to be seen drying clothes in the backyard, in the same way women should not be ashamed farting full volume in public. But the definition has its fatal flaw. If I am a man at home with my feminine side but living in Sitio Iring-Iring, Barangay Buhingtubig, Pinamungajan, Cebu, am I still metrosexual?
I was about to give up my research until I saw Beckham’s name in an article I was reading about the subject. What’s with this guy? Then it hit me. Beckham is metrosexual! How slow of me not to get it! I read on: “Soccer star David Beckham, who recently posed for a gay glossy and has dressed up in sarongs and pink nail polish, is the metrosex ideal — adored by gays and women alike.”
Whoah! I had better run. I need to learn to play soccer, earn millions, and marry me somebody from a screaming all-girl band. Then for sure there are other feminine stuff out there to make me look more stupid than Beckham in sarong and pink nail polish. Then I will land me in the Entertainment Section.
SUN.STAR OPINION. SEPT. 9, 2008