Metrosexual Is out, Macho Is In

ByABC News via logo
June 19, 2006, 9:24 AM

June 19, 2006— -- Beards, muscles, brawn. Could it be that the years of the metrosexual man are over and the macho man is back?

"The new macho is the old macho," said Stephen Perrine, editor in chief of Best Life magazine. "It is about being competent and feeling traditional, filling traditional male roles."

The recent demise of Cargo, a men's magazine dedicated solely to shopping, has been hailed as a death knell of the metrosexual trend.

Perrine pinpoints the death of the metrosexual to a moment in last year's hit comedy "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," when Steve Carrell's character has his chest waxed.

"When they ripped the chest hair off Steve in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin,' a whole generation of men said if that's what women want, I'd rather stay a virgin," Perrine said.

Leo Burnett, a Chicago advertising firm, conducted a global study of masculinity last year, which found half of men say their role in society is unclear and that they feel "less dominant" than in previous decades. More than 70 percent of men said advertising was out of touch with men's "reality," leading company executive Rose Cameron to recommend that advertisers "reassure men of their masculinity."

Advertising looks like it's starting to catch up. A recent Miller Lite ad campaign shows a round table of guys debating "man laws." Actor Jim Belushi just published an advice book titled "Real Men Don't Apologize," and Vince Vaughn's lovable brute in "The Break Up" is rocking the box office.

"Whenever there's a trend, such as the more-manicured man called metrosexual, there's going to be a reaction against that, almost immediately after that, where you see a stronger man, kind of the 'machosexual,'" said Eric Wilson, a reporter for The New York Times.

There's good news for women who still go for guys who know about labels and skin care lines, Perrine said.

"I think guys are still in touch with their feminine side but not wearing it on their sleeves," Perrine said. "It is those guys that go down into the coal mines and those guys who rush into the burning buildings. That's macho. It's not Kevin Federline with a wife beater and tattoos."