Thursday, March 09, 2006

Metrosexual man purses?

Man purse sighting on the subway in Seoul

This is something you would be hard-pressed to find in America: a man holding a purse. In Korea, I see it everyday. At first I thought there was some sort of man purse phenomenon in Asia that I was unaware of (although that may account for a percentage of these sightings). After further inspection I noticed that the men were actually carrying their girlfriends purses. How the weird, metrosexual sort of way.

I am trying my hardest to imagine a scene in America which involves a man carrying his girlfriends purse. Maybe on a deserted alley in the middle of the night? Maybe... if she had no means to carry it herself. But I doubt it. Maybe if she was dying. But then again, who cares about a purse when your girlfriend is dying? I just can't conjure up the image of a steak-eating, beer-drinking, football-watching man, carrying a purse, ever. (I should also say that I don't think you would see too many non steak-eating, beer-drinking, and football watching men in America carrying their girlfriend's purses either.)

I shouldn't be too surprised by this trend because in Korea, metrosexualism seems to be the look right now. Not only do they carry purses, but I think they borrow their girlfriend's clothes (in particular, anything pink, purple or flowered) and take their bi-weekly hair appointments. These metrosexual men dress, gel, moisturize, file and accessorize in hopes of resembling the latest Korean pop star. They spot their reflection in a shop window or a subway mirror and spend more time looking at themselves than a insecure teenage girl, except they're doing in front of hundreds of people!

The most surprising aspect is the number of these pretty boys who have a girlfriend hanging off one arm (while a purse occupies the other). It's strange how much Korea has embraced the metrosexual fashion considering how anti-gay Korea is (in general). Maybe metrosexual is the next best thing for Korean men who are repressing their true sexuality because of their disapproving culture. Or maybe a pink shirt is just a pink shirt and carrying your girlfriends purse is just that.