" übersexual" in NYT

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Oct 10 12:49:26 UTC 2005


In Time of Studied Ambiguity, a Label for the Manly Man
Published: October 10, 2005

The trend-spotting authors who popularized the term "metrosexual" to
categorize straight men who exfoliated, wore Diesel jeans and took longer
to get ready than their girlfriends have decided that the two-year-old
phenomenon is, well, so two years ago.

The new ideal, according to Marian Salzman, Ira Matathia and Ann O'Reilly
in their new book, "The Future of Men," is the "übersexual." In contrast
to metrosexuals, who, they write, risk being "sad sacks who seem incapable
of retaining their sense of manhood in postfeminist times," übersexuals
"mark a return to the positive characteristics of the Real Man of
yesteryear (strong, resolute, fair)." Yet they are poised to not only
change a diaper but to discuss how they feel about it.

And unlike metrosexuals, "übersexuals don't invite questions about their
sexuality." The authors recently released a list of the "top 10
übersexuals," with Bono at the top, followed by George Clooney and Bill

Etc., including a mention of "metrosexual" winning ADS WOTY in 2003.

--Ben Zimmer

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