August 2, 2008

Are You a Dandy, Sporty or a Pretty Boy?

By Jackie Hunter

Metrosexuals come in more than one shape, says Jackie Hunter


A prancing, posing, preening peacock of a man, whose blatant fondness for stacked heels, big hair, full make-up, flounced shirts and hip-hugging leather trousers paradoxically makes him catnip to red-blooded females. 'Man enough to be a woman' is the message given out by the likes of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Eddie Izzard, Noel Fielding and Russell Brand, above, who want you to know they're packing a lot of testosterone beneath their frills and furbelows.


Can't be seen to experiment with the latest 'youth' fashions for fear of looking ridiculous - it's a fine line between the hip, skinny cardigan and the grandad version for any man whose age or waist size is more than 28, because nature and fashion are inherently cruel - but he still cares enough to be vain, in a restrained way. The hair is allowed to go grey, but is well groomed; the clothes are conservative but hand-stitched in Italy and immaculately pressed; the accessories are expensive and tasteful and they match) . Step forward George Clooney, above, Bryan Ferry and Michael Portillo. 'Suave' is our watchword here.


This knave at the court of King Beckham has spent so much time honing his body to a nadir of athletic perfection that narcissism has reared its head: he deserves to be admired by the public; he owes it to them to be beautiful! Hence his fondness for appearing in glossy magazines, semi-naked, heavily oiled and pouting like Keira Knightley (he doesn't care if it's men, women or small dogs that fancy him, just as long as they fancy him). There are frequent ventures into bold hairstyling, ostentatious jewellery and whimsical fashion trends. The image is usually shattered as soon as he opens his mouth, though. Frank 'pink shirt' Lampard, Freddie 'the crotch' Ljundberg and Cristiano 'man tan' Ronaldo can't get enough of themselves.


Might as well be a girl, as any threatening traces of masculinity have been (lip)glossed over so as not to frighten the ten-year-olds who sob over his picture in Sugar magazine and ultimately pay for his Ferrari and tropical holidays with teenage models. The face is baby-smooth and peachy; the body is meticulously waxed, slim and fit but not too muscular; the hair is dyed and coaxed into a multifaceted do we can only call "directional". Similar types include Zac Efron of High School Musical, regularly photographed stroking his own pecs, Nicholas Hoult of Skins, above left, and Chace Crawford of Gossip Girl. What they have in common is unblemished youth and eyelashes any woman would kill for - damn them!


Will admit, if pushed, to having a brisk wash on a more-or-less daily basis. But, being so butch, he will never confess to knowing what brand of soap he uses ("Whatever the missus puts in the bathroom") let alone reveal that, in truth, he spends 40 minutes every morning on a grooming routine that would put Girls Aloud to shame. He utilises a battery of result-specific products, from wrinkle-reducing eye serum to buttock-firming seaweed scrub and has his eyebrows waxed regularly, but makes the waxer sign a confidentiality agreement first. Dresses with care in T-shirts that look scruffy but just happen to highlight his flat stomach and ham- like biceps, with faded jeans just loose enough to hang sexily low on his lean hips. Don't think he isn't fully aware of the effect he's having on you - and don't think he wouldn't throw an ugly hissy fit if you pinched the last dollop of his Olay Regenerist moisturiser. Ewan McGregor, above left, Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig, we suspect, may fit this category.

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