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Bollywood's 'Salaam Namaste' to retrosexual male
Priyanka Khanna, Sep 11  [ Sun, Sep 11, 2005 ]
  • New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) With women rooting for men like Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Saif Ali Khan who can never figure out what women want and have no clue about their feminine side, the stage is set for the entry of retrosexual males into Bollywood Boulevard.

    After years of domination by the likes of Shah Rukh Khan - the soft, caring type known as metrosexuals, who are comfortable with facial peels, ties, pink shirts and a career in media and advertising - it is time for men with an undeveloped aesthetic sense who spend as little time and money as possible on their appearance and lifestyle to rule the roost.

    Bushy eyebrows, un-kept stubble, un-waxed chests, bikes and a perpetual perplexity about Venus-decendents, set these men apart from the metrosexuals, who do not mind getting into a bathtub filled with rose petals and proclaim beauty soap Lux to be the secret of their beauty.

    Abhishek Bachchan with his unshaven stubble and hint of chest hair peeping out of his unbuttoned, un-tucked shirt epitomises the new "in" look. John, a biker in real life, comes in a close second. Saif's biggest claim to the title of retrosexual male is his characterisation as a dude who can never figure out a women's mind in "Hum Tum" and the just-released "Salaam Namaste." He is consciously trying hard to break from the clean-shaven, well-groomed look with his casual wardrobe in "Salaam Namaste."

    A closer look reveals that the new retrosexual is not the Hunter-Gatherer-Nurturer type. He may be retreating from today's feminine grooming spaces but he is not so retro that he reverts to being a macho brute. The new retro respects women and may be a conservative but is not a conformist.

    If he opens doors for you, he can also whip up a great meal and will fetch and carry for you unlike the metrosexual, who may not want to mess his blow dried hair. The retro is unlikely to waste so much time romancing the look, he would rather romance the great outdoors, romance old-fashioned rum or bourbon and romance a profession beyond media and advertising.

    But the metrosexual is not yet down and out. The fact that more men in Mumbai's Goregaon and Delhi' Gurgaon streak hair than anywhere else in the country goes to show that the metrosexual has its followers. Some argue that metrosexuality is not just a western urban legend. Traces of pre-metrosexuality can be found in the history of great civilisations when fashion and 'lookist' spaces were less divided on gender norms, they point out.

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  • History records Chinese emperors who patronised nail art and Egyptian Pharaohs who loved kohl and eye shadow - and do not forget scores of kings and generals who prided themselves on their collection of jewels.