Life in Paris

Paris – the birthplace of the metrosexual man?

The word metrosexual generally refers to a man that can be both masculine and feminine without being gay. A metrosexual man is normally manly and works on cars but at the same time is interested in art, fashion and even celebrity gossip. Basically…most European males, especially in France and Italy, are considered to be metrosexual.

I honestly believe it might be David Beckham who created this term when he started wearing sarongs and nail varnish a few years ago…making it not only okay, but perfectly acceptable for a straight man to be incredibly feminine, and why not?

There is only one, tiny problem I have encountered with men being metrosexual in Paris:

It is almost impossible to tell who is gay and who is straight.

It’s so difficult to know in Paris because a man having feminine qualities is the norm. In England being a ‘lad’ means showing as much masculinity as possible; drinking beer, burping, generally being overly loud, referring to how “fit” girls are and using terms such as “bang a bird” instead of the more romantic “making love to a woman”. Here in Paris, it’s the total opposite. The French are much more delicate with their words and the art of seduction is still very much a thing.

Man Bags.

The other thing that I find difficult to accept is MAN BAGS. In Paris it is entirely acceptable to have a man-bag. It is not fashionable for men to have their keys, their wallet, their cigarettes and other things stuffed into their pockets so as a result a designer decided to create a handbag for men. I hate them. I’m sorry if you’re reading this and you own one but I hate them. I like big bags or, backpacks or satchels that guys bring to work but a small, feminine purse honestly looks bizarre on any manMy friends and I first joked that maybe they were just FULL of condoms because French men have a reputation for being promiscuous, however, even now I am still unaware of what really ‘fills up’ a man-bag and I’m not sure I ever want to find out.

The Perfect Pair of Eyebrows

Going back to urban dictionary’s definition of the metrosexual man there is another thing I feel I should address. Metrosexual men and their facial hair. In particular, their eyebrows. Apparently in Paris, it’s perfectly normal and acceptable for a straight man to go and have his eyebrows waxed. And I don’t mean just normally waxed, I mean these bad boys look more pruned and tweezed than Angelina Jolie on the red carpet. They pay a lot of attention to their appearance and insist that their eyebrows being ‘tidy’ justifies a quick waxing. Most of them look like they’ve spent more time in a beautician than I have. I actually have a friend who’s ex-boyfriend had his eyebrows waxed quite regularly and as his girlfriend she was often present for it. I’ll never forget the first time I called her at the beauticians and she tried to explain, whispering as quietly as a mouse, that her boyfriend was in fact having his eyebrows waxed at that precise moment in time. My friend and I often discussed this afterwards (not the eyebrows as such) but just the general acceptance of men wanting to look ‘pretty’ and how bizarre it was when we were accustomed to English ‘lads’ and Canadian and American ‘blokes’. I’ve had boyfriends who tweezed but usually it was because of a situation e.g. a baby uno-brow. Also, it was normally me who suggested that it be plucked. Truthfully, besides a little plucking of the eyebrows/monobrow I am inclined to say that I don’t fancy men with shaped eyebrows. 

Their Fashion Sense

French men generally all dress pretty well and actually, that’s what causes a problem for me. They dress so well and again with so much care (you can see colours have been matched and shoes and accessories have been carefully chosen) that I normally presume they aren’t straight. If a man dressed that well in England, he usually wouldn’t be batting for my team so honestly, I never know. Between the man bags, the silk scarves, the music tastes, the shopping habits, the fashion knowledge and the trim and tidy appearance I don’t imagine I will ever really be sure who is homosexual and who is heterosexual. I guess it goes back to the age old saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ and we would all do well to remember that.

In Paris just because a guy loves Lady Gaga and knows what Christian Louboutin shoes are does not necessarily mean he’s gay. So keep guessing girls!

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