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Today's word on journalism

Friday, May 12, 2006


PETERSBORO, Utah -- Gloom like a Bulwer-Lyttonesque pall hung heavily over the Cache Valley as word came that the WORD had gone.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire. . . ." No, wait. . . . That's actual Bulwer-Lyttonism. Scratch it.

We conclude, with joy and trumpets and a tankard or two, the 10th season of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. What began in 1995 as a professor's strategy to get his students to read email (guess that worked!) now has spread, birdflu-like, far beyond that unwilling audience to self-flagellating WORD volunteers on five-and-a-half continents. But the willing and unwilling alike--the halt and addled and addicted and deluded--will have to get a life and smell the roses, for a while anyway.

Today marks the end of the WORD for this academic season. Even ere the rosy dawn that didth bust o'er this glade, this vale, this happy home. . . . ooops. Avert already, Sir Bulwer, you mangy cur!!!!

See you in the fall. . . TP

He's in touch with his feminine side

By Celestyn Hollingshead

April 4, 2006 | His highlights look so good you wonder who is stylist is. His cuticles are in better shape than yours. You would trust his taste in fashion above your best girl friend. He likes girls so he's not gay--he is a metrosexual.

According to Urban Dictionary Web site,, a metrosexual is "a straight guy who's so cool, smart, attractive, stylish, and cultured, that everyone thinks he's gay. But he's so secure in his masculinity that he doesn‚t care," submitted by Cary Granite from New York. It is also defined as "self-assured in themselves enough to express their feelings with out fear of feeling like they are homosexual in the process. They are often mistaken for homosexuals in denial," Logan submitted to the site.

"Metrosexuals are almost borderline gay," Marissa Slater, a junior majoring in nutrition, said. "The way they move, dress and talk is almost feminine but not."

Utah, a little behind on culture, has picked up the trends. At USU the metrosexual trends are a little less extreme due to the rural area. Less metrosexuals are found, but they are starting to pop up here and there.

Donald Tarinelli, a junior in business, said metrosexuals are a little strange. His manly appearance is what sets him apart from them. "I wear guy clothing, not butt-tight girl pants,"said Tarinelli, adding it only takes him 25 minutes to get ready for the day.

The term metrosexual was picked up by society from Mark Simpson's article in The Independent in 1994. In a 2003 article on Simpon's Web site he writes, "Truth is, I was not being entirely serious when I first wrote about metrosexuality back in 1994, shortly after the publication of my book about contemporary masculine identity, Male Impersonators: Men Performing Masculinity. That's to say, when I wrote about how male metrosexuality was coming out of the closet and taking over the world, I was being slightly satirical about the effect of consumerism and media proliferation, particularly glossy men's magazines, on traditional masculinity."

The media did not catch on to the satire. According to the article Rise of the Metrosexual by Peter Gotting cosmetics by Ella Blache say in some areas, forty percent of their salon customers are men. Young men are paying closer attention to razors, moisturizers and hair dye. The trend for men to take better care of themselves is growing

Hollywood's poster boy for metrosexualism is David Beckham, according to Gotting's article. The British soccer star has been seen wearing sarongs and nail polish and poses for gay magazines.

"Beckham, the man whom British academics have credited with changing male behavior, has been deemed the ultimate metrosexual,"said Gotting.

Danny Robinson, a junior majoring in business marketing, said what sets the regular heterosexuals apart from the metrosexuals are the metrosexuals‚ attention to detail. "They are picky like women," he said.

The attention to detail is what women like in metrosexuals. Slater said she would like to be friends with metrosexuals as they have better taste and are fun to shop with; as for dating one probably not, too intimidating.

"I like to wear my baggy sweats sometimes," she said. "I need to know they are OK with that."

Hillaree Mendenhall, a junior majoring in early childhood education, said she would date a metrosexual who was not too extreme.

"Too extreme means he cares more about his looks than I care about mine," she said.

Being a metrosexual is hard work and costly. Loews Hotel chains have caught on to this costly trend and are offering 'Metro Man' packages at $525. According to David Weiss‚ article The Metrosexual Male, the package includes "a 24-hour transformation, featuring a two-hour tasting meal, which includes a cooking, wine and drink-mixing lesson with the hotel's Chef, and an etiquette lesson by the hotel concierge." Also included is a grooming session featuring a manicure or pedicure, haircut and shave, and a consultation with a personal shopper.

Metrosexual behavior, like attention to appearance and details, is becoming more accepted into society as the people learn that a man in touch with his feminine side is not necessarily gay. "Everything has become more acceptable in society," said Robinson. He added he personally has no problem with metrosexuals but based on his lack of feminine traits and their lack of masculine traits, they would not mesh well as friends.

On the other hand, a girl's point of view differs. "They are not any less macho, just because they are in tune with their emotional side,"said Slater. "They still work out; they just look good doing it." Metrosexual or not, "if he's hot, he's hot," she added.

Masculine or feminine, the metrosexual trends are catching on like wildfire. If you are not sure if you are metrosexual or are on the road to becoming one, read the top 10 signs offered by Russ on the Urban Dictionary's Web site. You might be metrosexual if:

  1. You just can't walk past a Banana Republic store without making a purchase.

  2. You own 20 pairs of shoes, half a dozen pairs of sunglasses, just as many watches and you carry a man-purse.

  3. You see a stylist instead of a barber, because barbers don't do highlights.

  4. You can make her lamb shanks and risotto for dinner and Eggs Benedict for breakfast... all from scratch.

  5. You only wear Calvin Klein boxer-briefs.

  6. You shave more than just your face. You also exfoliate and moisturize.

  7. You would never, ever own a pickup truck.

  8. You can't imagine a day without hair styling products.

  9. You'd rather drink wine than beer... but you'll find out what estate and vintage first.

  10. Despite being flattered (even proud) that gay guys hit on you, you still find the thought of actually getting intimate with another man truly repulsive.

If the top 10 signs are not enough information for you click on a metrosexual quiz and take it. Remember guys, a metrosexual is not gay he just has good taste and a touch of femininity.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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