Join the gang if you are one of the people who did a double take when you saw John Abraham endorsing a ‘skin-lightening face-wash with lemon extracts’ for men. Shah Rukh Khan in a men’s cosmetic ad is one thing (hey, he bathes in a tub full of rose petals. For starters). A hunky John, who probably features regularly in most women’s fantasies, is quite another.
But if television and movies are anything to go by, it turns out that the metrosexual man is not dead – he’s just evolved. You may have skin that glows and shines, for instance, but you’ll still sport a two-day old stubble on top of it. You may wax your chest, but only to show off your defined pecs and maybe a six-pack. And if you’re Shahid Kapur, you’ll zip from a baby-faced chocolate boy to a baby-faced muscle man (and endorse yet another skin-lightening face wash for good measure). What’s happening? We ask the experts.
Narendra Kumar, fashion designer
The metrosexual tag, as such, is pretty much dead. But grooming has most definitely become a regular part of men’s daily regimen. Frankly, I am heartened, because most people in our country have such oily skin!
The current look: Rugged is certainly in, but you must remember that it is still a ‘polished’ rugged look. For example, unlike a metrosexual of the ’90s who would wear tight jeans, today’s men would go for ripped jeans to show some attitude.
Of course, a manicure or a pedicure would still be considered pretty ‘metro,’ but skin care is most definitely in (because let’s face it, women want their partners to have good skin!).
Celeb who typifies this look: John Abraham
John is famous for his rough-and-tough looks and though he has bulked up a lot, there is a thought-out ruggedness about him. He is engineered to look dishevelled.
Ashish Soni, fashion designer
Fashion terms that live beyond ten years are no longer fashionable and the same is true of the metrosexual man. So today, men who get their toes polished or their eyebrows done are no longer being put into a certain bracket – it’s okay!
The current look: Clean, fresh and polished. Personally, I find the whole rugged thing very unattractive. I mean, someone like John, who is the epitome of manliness, can be extremely polished and well-groomed when he wants to be. You will find that his rugged look is carefully worked upon. Fitness levels are also going up with each decade. Every model I audition today has a six-pack.
Celeb who typifies this look: Aamir Khan
Prasad Bidapa, fashion and image consultant
Today, it’s okay to be ‘metro’ and not just in the big cities. You have the smallest towns in India offering Shahnaz Husain facials. The traditional barbers have become beauticians. In fact, I once chanced upon an autorickshaw driver sitting with a face pack on! So men’s grooming is definitely not that big a deal.
The current look: Polished and cutting edge, done by the best stylist, the best hair-dresser, the works. Also, the concept of beauty has evolved from being just skin-deep. So it’s not just about having smooth, blemish-free skin, it’s also about having a toned body and washboard abs.
Celeb who typifies this look: Shahid Kapur
It’s amazing how rapidly he is reinventing his image, from chocolate boy to macho man.
Rod Anker, creative director, Kimrobinson salon
Girlfriends are okay with it, wives have no issues, so why should the men have any? Hair removal, skin polishing, and waxing are all in – and no, no one’s calling that ‘metrosexual’ any more.
The current look: The entire package counts (no pun intended!). Every element is carefully worked upon – the designer outfit will be made to measure and will be colour co-ordinated. The hair will be messy and unkempt. It is a marriage of tough and smooth to create a look for the new man.
Celeb who typifies this look: Matt Damon
He is much better groomed and advised on his clothing and appearance than the rest.