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Metro Over Macho? Feminized Masculinity on the Rise

Hailey Sayegh |
October 9, 2014 | 8:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Homo Erectus/Creative Commons)
(Homo Erectus/Creative Commons)

With October being National LGBT History Month, now is a great time to acknowledge the courage - and appeal - of everyone who owns their sexuality. 

In recent years, men seem to have relaxed about appearing macho and backed off from self-conscious disclaimers like: “no homo.” From male fashion blogs to feminism, we’re seeing more crossover between traditionally male and female interests. 

Metrosexual men are seen as increasingly sexy to women. So is this a trend? Or have men always had a soft side that is only now becoming safe – or “cool” – to express? If you looked at social media after Emma Watson’s U.N. speech on feminism, you likely saw guys take up the gauntlet and post a status with the #HeForShe hashtag. Maybe a simple hashtag is the “formal invitation” men needed to join the feminism movement. It’s becoming less of a shameful or “girly” movement to support. Regardless, male feminism is on the rise – and sexy.  

It’s no secret that women are attracted to intellectual men. It helps if he's well-dressed, too. When compared to a meathead, a sensitive soul is sometimes seen as effete. But even so, young girls and grown women alike dig effeminate men. Some research suggests pre-teen crushes on Justin Bieber and other popstars or fictional characters are due to their boyish and non-threatening features (remember Legolas?). Baby faces and high-pitched voices make these celebrities seem approachable. In fact, this same vulnerability attracts an adult woman to a soft-spoken man.

READ MORE: Study Shows Feminine Men More Attractive Than Previously Believed

Hygiene and self-care are becoming increasingly important to men – especially men in Los Angeles, the epicenter of the appearance-based entertainment industry. Although some macho dudes eschew all forms of grooming for fear of emasculation, others are embracing the trend. The growth of men’s cosmetics, waxing and fashion are proof that men are adopting these typically “feminine” services and forms of self-expression. Take Spanx. This brand of undergarments intended to give women a slim and shapely appearance started manufacturing garments for men in 2010.

Michael Elliot, a Hollywood screenwriter, noticed another untapped market for image-conscious men: nail salons. In 2013 he founded Hammer & Nails. This male-only hand and foot grooming salon offers “MAN-icures” in leather armchairs surrounded by plasma-screen TVs broadcasting sports. A perfect illustration of the rise of feminized masculinity.

READ MORE: How to be a Feminine Guy

With the increasing acceptance of feminized masculinity, we’re noticing more overlap between men’s and women’s interests. And feminism, a call for gender equality, should be at the heart of the gendered interests Venn diagram.

Although one could argue that male femininity is currently on trend, let’s hope it lasts longer than a #HeForShe hashtag or a fashion fad.

Reach Staff Reporter Hailey Sayegh here.



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