Bingjie Xu (Jessie)–Reading Journal 1
After reading the article about Chinese metrosexual in week 3 ARTS 2213 course reader, there are some opinions and thoughts on this issue in my own view. First of all, I briefly conclude the concepts and ideas I get from the article. The world “Metrosexual” is invented by the British reporter Mark Simpson in 1994, which refers to those males who live in large cities, like shopping and health and fashion products, but are mostly not homosexuals (Mark, 2003). Moreover, some explicit discussions of the term ‘metrosexual’ are taken from three mainland examples of the men’s fashion magazine, which are Men’s Health, MENBOX, Men’s Style, defined as ‘a glossy magazine mainly directed towards male consumers and with generally lifestyle-related content’ (McDonald 2011, 160). In my opinion, I analyse the “Metrosexual” phenomenon in two sides. One side is Metrosexual is generated as society developing, it is the product of times, cannot controlled by anyone. The other side is the factors against “Metrosexual” phenomenon in China.
Firstly, as society developing, many phenomenons will appear at different stage, many changes are naturalized. “Metrosexual” is one of its products. As the guys born in the 1980s gradually form the climate of the metropolis, and gradually begin to dominate the visual sense of the surroundings. Many of them don’t want to be left out of the limelight, so they become more frequency appearing at commercial centres, fashion Parties or on magazine covers, using their appearance to show off their own sexiness, character or exquisite taste (McDonald 2012, 8). Thus, “Metrosexual” is formed gradually within the constantly changing society, no one can control or deter it. Secondly, more and more men are engaged in jobs related to fashion or entertainment field. They need to make up themselves to show their professional and unique, such as hairdresser, clothes designer, model, movie actor. They usually draw the eye liner, mascara, using facial powder, and wear unique clothes, which is hard to define it’s a men style or a women style. I think maybe some of them don’t really want to spend much money and time on their appearance, but they have to do this as job required, they must be the symbol of fashion in order to attract more customers and fans. Therefore, men with these jobs form part of “Metrosexual” in China.
Furthermore, there still are some opinions against “Metrosexual” phenomenon, especially in China. Firstly, due to the Chinese history, China is a traditional country, from the past, masculinity is always a crucial characteristic of men. If a man no matter his deed or dress looks like a woman, it cannot be accepted by the major people’ perception, especially older people. To some extent, this is conflict with traditional view and culture. Thus, phenomenon of “Metrosexual” in China is much less than that in some western countries, because of different culture and background. Additionally, as our society developed rapidly, the sense about how to define the value of a person seems change correspondingly. It becomes unclear and distorted gradually in people’s mind. It seems that modern people focus more on their appearance, clothes, hairstyle, trying to be a “Metrosexual” but ignore something important inside, like knowledge, ethic, personal quality and so on, these are the treasure can make you success. The very first men’s lifestyle magazine in China, Esquire, stated about discourse of mature and successful masculinity. According to their website, an “Esquire Man” should be distinguished in four aspects: “health, emotion, sensibility and wealth”. The four criteria for the selection are “successful career, outstanding talents and glamour, tasteful disposition, dignified bearing and remarkable appearance” (Esquire, 2008). These are what a true man should pursue for and the aim for successful men. If you still focus more on your surface, and continuously spend time and money on it, unfortunately, you have long way to go. Actually, no one hates beautiful/handsome appearance, but it is just a small factor to define you, and it is already determined when you were born. Clean and comfortable appearance is enough. Don’t be a consuming man, don’t pay more attention to the things which are not vital to you, don’t waste your precious time. As a man, be a worthy man.
According to Jonathan Rutherford, men’s lifestyle magazines have “established a new hegemony of masculine thoughts, values and behaviours” in the West (Rutherford, 3). In China, “Metrosexual” phenomenon also becomes popular. However, in this colorful world, we should clearly know what is most important to us, what can make our life more valuable, what kind of people we want to be.
Esquire, (2008) Mediakit.
Http://esquire.trends.com.cn/event/2008-01/91572.shtml (accessed on 13 August 2012).
McDonald, Edward (2011) ‘Construing “metrosexual” in Chinese: social and semiotic change in the era of globalisation’ in Learning Chinese, Turning Chinese: Challenges to becoming sinophone in a globalised world, London: Routledge, p154-173
McDonald, E. (2012), ‘The First Year of the Chinese Metrosexual: discourses of aspirational masculinity in Chinese men’s lifestyle magazines’, p8-12,in press, Journal of Peking University, Philosophy & Social Sciences
Rutherford, J. “Preface”, in Bethan Benwell (ed.), Masculinity and Men’s Lifestyle Magazines, p. 3.
Simpson, M. (2003) ‘Metrosexual? That Rings a Bell…’ Independent on Sunday, 22 June 2003
Song, G. & Tracy K. Lee (2010) ‘Consumption, Class Formation and Sexuality: Reading Men’s Lifestyle Magazines in China’ The China Journal, 64 (July), p172-177.