Decoder Ring

The Metrosexual

What was the metrosexual?


Episode Notes

Decoder Ring is a podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Every episode, host Willa Paskin takes on a cultural question, object, idea, or habit and speaks with experts, historians, and obsessives to try and figure out where it comes from, what it means, and why it matters.

In 2003, the word “metrosexual,” meaning a well-groomed heterosexual man, exploded all over the English lexicon. It invaded the news, TV, and even American politics. On this episode of Decoder Ring we explore the origins of the metrosexual, and how trend forecasters, marketers, David Beckham, Sex and the City, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy helped make the metrosexual possible. From its early origins in the ‘90s to the full-blown craze of the early 2000s, the metrosexual was a passing fad but a fad with an enormous impact on the way men think about their appearance. In addition to conjuring a marketing demographic seemingly from thin air, the metrosexual helped create a bridge between the gay and straight worlds, and made some men more like the rest of us.


This episode was produced by Willa Paskin and Benjamin Frisch.


About the Show

In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.

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