Mark Simpson first coined the phrase metrosexual, twelve years ago, in "The Independent" describing the trend in modern male masculinity. A metrosexual can be thought of as a heterosexual male who is in touch with his feminine side - he colour-coordinates, cares deeply about exfoliation (don't we all!), and has perhaps manscaped (has waxed or shaved body hair). David Beckham and Brad Pitt are frequently referred to as today's iconic celebrity metrosexuals. How far will this trend of beautifying men go? Does it threaten to overtake the female-dominated beauty industry? Will America's next Supermodel be a man?
The gender shift may already be underway in Asia. In China, said to be one of the fastest evolving societies in the world, a cosmetic company called Somang, is said to be the first to introduce a line of cosmetics for men. A recent survey, reported in the Wall Street Journal, found that more than 66% of men and 57% of women in China under 40 found themselves living "androgynous lifestyles". With the introduction of male cosmetics, men have shown they are willing to change their appearance to project the new kind of manliness women want. The new face of cosmetic ads is soft, delicate and male. Korea's largest ad agency Cheil Communications, has developed the new style man, Mr. Beauty.
Has Metrosexual Man seen his star fall in the West as his Rising Sun now appears in the East? Is Mr Macho back in town?....only you can say!