“Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade. In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levi’s jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.”
Mark Simpson, BBC journalist, 1994 (published in The Independent)
In 2002, Mark Simpson named David Beckham the metrosexual poster boy. Indeed, ever since the day Beckham wore that sarong, metrosexuals have been popping up everywhere.
Former ladies’ man Russell Brand and his legion of conquests prove that guyliner, coiffed hair and a flair for fashion clearly go down well with the opposite sex. So why, in what could be described as the golden age of metrosexuality, aren’t more men wearing make up?
Over the centuries, men have often dabbled with cosmetics; both in ancient Egypt and during the Roman Empire, men wore lip colorant as a means of denoting social status.
In the past, men also applied cosmetics for aesthetic reasons; during the Renaissance, women and men of Edward IV’s court wore lip rouge, and even as recently as the eighties, nineties and noughties (think punk rock, grunge and emo respectively) men have been partial to a bit of make up.
And why not? Men and make up are quite the combination. Indeed, Johnny Depp looked incredible in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow; the swashbuckling, slightly camp and smokey-eyed pirate whose long, dreadful (yep, pun) hair only served to make him, dare I say it, more attractive.
Of course, Johnny Depp is already beautiful, but don’t you get the feeling that he’s ever so slightly better looking with a bit of slap? Seriously, take a look at these two photos:
Admittedly, he looks good in both pictures (let’s be honest, Johnny Depp could make a handlebar ‘tache look hot) but the point remains that there’s something exotic about a man who can pull off a bit of guyliner.
Having donned some smouldering kohl to the premier of The Tourist, it’s probably safe to say that Depp would agree.
And so it begs the question: why don’t more men wear make up?