Guys, Make-Up, and Beauty: Metrosexuals and Retrosexuals [2/2]   Leave a comment

The New Man and Catholic Theology

So first of all let me propose the new image of man in light of a “bringing together” of both Retrosexuality and Metrosexuality. Metrosexuality was founded upon the Basis of the old conservative American lifestyle of the 1950s, in both its good and bad manifestations. According to Dr. Ronald F. Levants’ book called “Masculinity Reconstructed,” Metrosexuality was founded in response to:

“avoidance of femininity; restricted emotions; sex disconnected from intimacy; pursuit of achievement and status; self-reliance; strength and aggression; and homophobia.”

Metrosexuality responded to avoidance of femininity, by acting upon the characteristics of women understood thus far, in particular how women behaved back in the 1950s (e.g. House Wife becomes Stay-At-Home Dad). Metrosexuality responded to restricted emotions, by allowing oneself to be moved by every emotional movement within the psyche, this is crystallized in todays society with the “if it feels good do it” mentality. Metrosexuality responded to the divorce between intimacy and sex, by reuniting the two. As I pointed out already, Metrosexuals have responded to Success as something you have or obtained, to something that you look and feel. Metrosexuals have completely obliterated any notions of self-reliance however, largely because they are domesticated thanks to the over-emphasis on Image and Consumption, thats why there is a higher correlation between population density and Metrosexual mentality. Metrosexuals responded to homophobia, by possibly being homo-curious themselves. Metrosexuals have responded uniquely to the notions of Strength and Aggression, by becoming passive and complacent consumers and any work they do on their bodies will be for aesthetic purposes then for practical uses. Metrosexuality is of course found in many forms, but the one that is most close to my home is the Guido Phenomena of New Jersey, Long Island, and New York City, however there are other Metrosexual manifestations found here as well. Retrosexuality is a reactive response to all of these things.

However, my reconciliation here will show the Golden Mean as Aristotle put it in his Nicomachean Ethics:

1. Where the Metrosexual tried to tolerate femininity by becoming it itself to the best of his ability and where the Retrosexual sought to avoid femininity altogether, the New Man will find a happy median in between these two extremes, where the behavior of the absolutes are embodied and complimented in one person, at the conscious level.

2. Where the Metrosexual allowed themselves to become inundated by every emotional movement within their psyche and the Retrosexual just becoming cut off and distant from any emotional involvement whatsoever, the New Man will find a happy median in between these two extremes by being able to be mindful of His emotional movements but not necessarily becoming overly-identified with any one particular emotion and will work toward exploring why he is feeling these feelings. Thus the New Man’s Motto will be that: It takes Real Courage to go inside of oneself and understand and confront these parts.

3. The reunion with Intimacy with Sex, is perhaps the single success where the Retrosexual failed. However, I will be speaking about this issue latter on.

4. Where the Metrosexual became obsessed over his self-image facilitated through excesses of a consumerist culture, the Retrosexual succeeded in the virtue of frugality but also fell to the temptation of believing in the definition of self-worth being equated with what one owns and possess in property. Therefore, the New Man will find a happy median between these two, he will not over-emphasize his appearance but understand that his body is a necessary means towards very practical ends, this will serve to keep him humble and not narcissistic. However, the New Man will not see himself as the sole provider of anything, lest he should lose his humility and just let that narcissistic pride manifest elsewhere in his life. Rather, he will understand that all things provide for each other and that there is a great web of interconnectedness.

5. Where the Metrosexual has become domesticated and the Retrosexuals have become rugged self-reliant individualist of a bygone time period. The New Man of this age will need to both keep up with the times while simultaneously protecting and finding the best places to apply his inheritance of Self-Reliant Masculinity. Like in the previous point the New Man will need to admit to the inherent interconnectedness of all things and understand that he is not in complete control and be fine with this.

6. Where the Metrosexual may have potentially gone to the extreme of being Homo-curious/Bi-Curious and the Retrosexual avoiding homosexuals like the plague. The New Man, will be tolerant of various diverse lifestyle choices, but freely [without fear of ridicule] admit his disagreement with some and agreement with others. The New Man then, will not see “a gay guy/girl” but a human being, who ought to accord dignity and respect, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of the New Man.

7. Where the Metrosexual worked out solely for the purpose to merely look and feel good, the Retrosexual worked and felt good only to realize [without directly focusing on] his masculinity in physical form. The New Man then, will need to find a happy median between the Aesthetically pleasing and Practical Uses by the type of labor he will get involved in and the degree to which he requires his body’s participation. Where the Metrosexual consumed, the Retrosexual saved and was frugal, the New Man then will need to work to know himself enough to know what he really wants and to become a very well informed consumer before becoming an impulsive buyer.

Having now tried to reach a synthesis of these two extremes, it is now time to examine this in light of both Jungian Psychology and Catholic Theology. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

“‘God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.’ Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is ‘in the image of God’; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created ‘male and female’; (IV) God established him in his friendship. … Man and woman were made ‘for each other’ – not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be ‘helpmate’ to the other, for they are equal as persons (“bone of my bones. . .”) and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming ‘one flesh’, they can transmit human life: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’ By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents co-operate in a unique way in the Creator’s work.” – Part 1. Section 2. Chapter 1. Article 1. Paragraph 6: 355, 372

The statements that man and woman were “made for each other”, each others “helpmates”, and as such equal to one another all these words mean that there is a complementary force between the 2 Genders and their respective psychologies. It is funny how in this fallen world of ours one of the things that the couple is at the mercy of is domination by one another, this is why Feminism has occurred and been emphasized in our world today and this is why the reactive Retrosexual Man-aissance is happening as well, until the domination between the sexes ends we will always need to be vigilant of movements that would lead us to extremes, rather then the Golden Mean in our interaction between one another. In a more deeper psycho-spiritual interpretation I find it funny how God took out of Adam a piece of himself and from that piece a woman formed, I also find it interesting how that, in the Incarnation of Christ some of the early church fathers made statements about how he took the flesh of a woman in order to make himself manifest in the physical world as well. The most interesting parallel comes from Christ himself when he says in The 19th Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew,

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Verses 4,5,6

This has a rather interesting parallel with Jungian psychology in that, Man possesses a bit of an unconscious feminine edge to himself which Jung called the Anima, whereas the woman possessed a bit of an unconscious masculine edge to herself called the Animus. It was speculated early in Jungian Psychology, that the man who takes on the wife, takes on the wife because in the wife he sees the Anima projected outside of himself on the wife to be. The Anima in man, becomes the internalization of the feminine figures in his life, depending on his relations with these feminine figures could determine how he reacts to the Anima with himself.

Through this psychology, we can understand that a hyper-emphasis on either the strictly conscious (Male Ego) or strictly sub/unconscious forces (Male Anima) are responsible for the divisions between Retrosexual-V-Metrosexual Conflict. Should a man over identify with his Anima (as in the case with Metrosexuals) then consequences will be effemininity and even homosexuality. Should a man deny however the Anima the more he will be subjected to its projections in his life, which we can see for example in the experiences of Intimacy being divorced from Sex. However, through understanding these forces within us and walking that Golden Mean between the two forces will allow us to keep a genuine individuality, rather then living in a reactive, obsessive, or politically (in)correct persona image, which is illusory and thus non-genuine.

Sources: (1) The Art of Manliness (2) The Retrosexual Code (3) Catechism of the Catholic Church (4) Mark Simpson: Meet The Metrosexual (5) Jung’s understanding of the Psyche: The Collective Unconscious and The Archetypes

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Posted August 24, 2011 by jimbo9889 in Current Events

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