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Managing Masculinities: The Metrosexual Moment

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In this essay, I explore the historical moment of metrosexuality in popular culture that, I argue, rather than simply a fad, constituted a logical premise vital to assuaging the “crisis” in masculinity engendered by the phenomenon of commercial masculinity. I trace the ways in which the fleeting trend of metrosexuality was articulated rhetorically in US popular culture in such a way as to rationalise commercial masculinity in targeted, explicit ways. I argue that metrosexuality served a crucial rhetorical function for the reconciliation of commercial masculinity with normative masculinity by organising homosociality in strategic ways. Accordingly, I suggest that apparently transient popular cultural trends might best be understood in terms of their location in—and strategic rhetorical function for—broader cultural discourses.

Keywords: Commercial; Crisis; Homosocial; Masculinity; Metrosexuality

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420802206833

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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