An endangered species?

WOE betide the metrosexual man.

His days of impeccable grooming and designer flair are numbered.

Or so one demographer would have you think.

Author of Man Drought, Bernard Salt, said the recession would see the demise of the metrosexual, much like the Sensitive New Age Guy who went before him.

Today, it seems we want a “neo-sexual” — good looking but can still change a tyre. A witty but well built man.

Fickle bunch, aren’t we?

Perhaps it’s not so much that our taste in men is changing but rather a sign of the times, women are looking for stability in our current economic climate – hence the search for more mature, husband material instead of a fun but frivolous toy-boy.

“Evolutionary theory kicks in for survival,” says Salt. “And women are concerned about their food supply and look for someone a little more muscular, more primal, a little more hairy.”

Well, I don’t know about that.

Most women I know are quite adept at securing their own food supply.

In fact, plenty of us are not only working full time, but jump-starting our own cars, sanding our own floorboards and mowing our own lawns.

As one friend said “who needs a man?”

Besides the perpetual turn-off from men who still live at home or are “between jobs”, I would hazard a guess that women aren’t really factoring the economy into their dating rituals.

Media commentary on this supposed phenomenon drew the comparison between Zac Efron (teen heart-throb from High School Musical fame) and Tom Selleck (Magnum PI — the one with the moustache).

Comparing apples and oranges really, but I asked friends who they’d prefer.

The results? Tom, by a “more masculine” nose. So maybe there is something in that.

But it was the older ladies giving The Mo a go.

The younger generation probably didn’t dignify my question with a response.

Or are still looking up Tom Selleck on Google.

Perhaps the only fault in Salt’s theory is his use of Tom Selleck.

While he is definitely “more hairy”, the clean-shaven macho men would have probably fared better in my survey.

He also gives mention to Cleo’s shortlist of eligible bachelors from 1986 – the likes of James Reyne, Gary Sweet and Hugo Weaving — none of which are sporting a soup strainer.

I’d certainly have taken the topic more seriously had he compared Hugh Jackman to Leonardo DiCaprio.

But facial hair aside, the rise of shows like The Farmer Wants a Wife and radio stations promoting “Tradie for a Lady” events suggest Salt may actually be on to something.

Or perhaps the female of the species has always harboured an interest in the brawn and only deviated as we searched for our own independence?

Maybe it’s less to do with the economy and more about women’s confidence to pursue “real men” without compromising their own strengths.

And what of those dashing gentlemen that seem to surpass generation gaps?

Sean Connery, for example, who scored highly among my friends despite the fact I never even mentioned him?



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