Design & culture rise of metrosexuals

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A Cultural Analysis into the changing lifestyle preferences and behavior among urban males of Hong Kong.

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Design & culture rise of metrosexuals

  1. 1. THE RISE OF METROSEXUALS IN HONG KONGCauses & ManifestationsSchool of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | SD 5002 Design & Culture | Lecturer: Laurent GutierrezAditya Kedia
  2. 2. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureThe typical Metrosexual is a young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of a me-tropolis — because that’s where all the best shops, clubs, gyms and hairdressers are. He might be offi-cially gay, straight or bisexual, but this is utterly immaterial because he has clearly taken himself as hisown love object and pleasure as his sexual preference.*METROSEXUAL*Source: Wikipedia/Metrosexual
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureSelf Obsession and indulgence in rituals of vanityfor long has been considered inappropriate andsometimes destructive particulary for males.Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek Mythological Character)
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureBut at the same time, beauty pleases our eyes andits appreciation is our primal instinct.Over the years, our perception of value of a personor an object has shifted and now is based on physi-cal appearance rather than functional or culturalimportance.‘Beautiful is Good’is a socially accepted norm.‘Most people tend to think the best of those who are blessed with beauty; we have difficulty imagining that physical perfection canconceal twisted emotions or a damaged mind.’DEAN KOONTZ, Odd Thomas
  5. 5. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureOne of the most cherished and celebrated productof beauty is the human body itself. One’s physicalappearance is not only an accepted symbol of supe-riority but also of success.Body image is the continumm of satisfaction and formany, it constructs their sense of self. Here bodytakes the importance of highest order involvingcontinuous investment and evaluation.
  6. 6. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureStandards of beauty and ideal body image havenever been stable and are highy dependent oncultural beliefs and values.Supplemented by strong needs for individualiza-tion, it is strongly influenced by the spectacle.Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci
  7. 7. INTRODUCTIONThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureThe spectacle has replaced the cultural values witha culture of consumption.Culture of consumption is competitive and self-destructive. Craft and utility is no more valued. Withthe pursuit of the fastest, the biggest, the latest,men has surrendered himself to this glamour.He is reduced to a mannequin which is being ma-nipulated and exploited to bcome a part of thisspectacle.
  8. 8. SCHEMAThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureMANIFESTATIONCAUSESteep rise of metrosexual men in Hong KongFeedbackloopIssue 1:Strong influence ofJapanese Culture,‘Kawaii’Issue 2 :Intense competitonfor Career and PartnerAcceleration Through1. Omnipresent Media2. Highly Populated Metropolitan SpaceImageTV Dramas, Comics, VCDCultureRising Power of WomenBody & ImageYouthful, Healthy LookHigh demand of beauty productssuch as skincare, anti-ageing, slimmingHigh demand of fashion productssuch as clothes, handbags
  9. 9. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureJAPANESE CULTURE
  10. 10. JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureCuteness aesthetic in Japan is embedded in the culture andmanifests itself in social and gender roles, it’s a mode ofbehavior.The importance of Japanese popular culture to Hong Kongpeople is based on its intertwined composition of globalhomogenization and heterogenization in East Asiancontext.Cultural critics have argued that the impact of Japaneseculture in HK is widespread, potent and penetrative.
  11. 11. JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & Culture‘Kawai’is the mandated norm for Japanese males andfemales where cuteness in terms of physical appearance isdesired.Going through the rituals of shaving legs to achievere-creation of self as‘Cute’and‘androgynous’is embeddedwithin the culture.This message has been objectified and spread across in theforms of toys, packaging and accessories.
  12. 12. JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureAny image is a recreation and manifests in itself layers ofsymbolism and meanings. Experience of an image is thus asimulation of reality through the consumption of embed-ded message.Visual arts such as Manga, Anime etc. reflects the values ofJapanese culture. Consumption of these infects, influencesand creates a heterotopia between two cultures whereboundaries begin to merge.
  13. 13. JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureEvery era has their own heroes who are worshiped,celebrated and often emulated by various means.The simulacra repeatedly sets and modifies the ideals ofsuperior self. Those with weak sense of self try to achievethis superior self by creating a false facade over their bodiesand most of the time is limited to physical appearance.Japanese Pop stars are such heroes.
  14. 14. INFLUENCE OF JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureBody is the medium which acts as a link between our innerand outer world. But it has become more superficial, largelylimited to the physical appearance.It has become a way of projection of your inner self to theouter world.Centre to this simulacra is Cosplay which re-creates theheroes, bringing them from the other world to this worldthus constructing a Heterotopia.
  15. 15. INFLUENCE OF JAPANESE CULTUREThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureProducts of culture manifests within themselves a strongmessage. These objects get an extended meaning whenthey acquire personal status.Dolls (Hello Kitty) are one such object which are personal-ized and sometimes become an extension of one’s own self.Fetishism around collection of such objects is anotherdimension of consumer society where individuals are tryingto search for their own self.
  16. 16. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureCHANGING GENDER ROLES & PREFERENCES
  17. 17. CHANGING GENDER ROLES & PREFERENCESThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureShifting dynamic in the social space of Hong Kong has leftboth the genders - male and female wondering for theirsense of identity.Whatever they feel about themselves is continuosuly chal-lenged and presented with an alternative reality.The existence of this heterotopia is leading to materializa-tion as an answer to the question: Who Am I?
  18. 18. CHANGING GENDER ROLES & PREFERENCESThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureTherefore, affluent societies produce individuals whobecome more and more self-centred over time. Personalinterests, needs and desires take prime importance overother matters.Economic prosperity has made Hong Kong men narssistic,competing with their counterparts for career and attractinga woman like a peacock attract peahen.Conditioning of one’s own body and physical appearanceby means of daily rituals is thus dear to this men.
  19. 19. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureWorkspace in Hong Kong is increasingly being invaded byfemales who are assuming more power and influence. Theyare thus getting more independent.Modern techniques of reproduction has granted them theultimate autonomy. Therefore the conventional image ofmen as someone integral to the ritual of reproduction isbeing questioned.CHANGING GENDER ROLES & PREFERENCES
  20. 20. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureWomen are willing to excercise the power thus acquired bybeing more selective and controlling.Men is responding to these challenges by becoming moreemotionally articulate and narcissistic.This is supported by an extensive range of products &services available exclusively for men to take care of hisphysical appearance.CHANGING GENDER ROLES & PREFERENCES
  21. 21. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureINFLUENCE OF MEDIA & SPACE
  22. 22. INFLUENCE OF MEDIA & SPACEThe Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureOne’s perception of self has become fragile as it can beeasily challenged and manipulated by various means.Images carried by various media carry the message of thesociety thereby leading to re-interpretation and re-creationof the values on which it is based.Trying to keep up with this mandate based on new values,one goes through the process of loss of self before heacquires a new false self.
  23. 23. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureIts a common practice to emulate the heroes beingportrayed by media.Those who do so, feel to have acquired the same sense ofself as their heroes and thus superior and worthy.These heroes transform the relationship people have withtheir self-image and the body.Therefore people increasingly feel the need to conform tothe standards set by the heroes.INFLUENCE OF MEDIA & SPACE
  24. 24. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureMedia being omnipresent traverse through the social andprivate space, penetrating into one’s own system of beliefsand values.This system of belief and values is equally influenced byother people who mediate the message of the spectaclethrough active interaction or mere presence.Here body and the physical appearance becomes a part ofthe spectacle itself spreading its message.INFLUENCE OF MEDIA & SPACE
  25. 25. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureTV shows continuously deliver the new set of values whichare considered acceptable under the regime of truth.These values are being readily absorbed by the people whosee its consumption essential to remain competitive andinvidualistic which in turn reinforces the belief in one’s ownself.INFLUENCE OF MEDIA & SPACE
  26. 26. The Rise of Metrosexuals in Hong Kong | SD 5002 Design & CultureTHANK YOU!

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