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"I'm METRO, NOT gay!": a discursive analysis of men’s accounts of makeup use on YouTube

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/10/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Men's Studies
Issue number3
Volume20
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)209-226
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The last two decades have seen a marked increase in men's self-presentation practices and the creation of a new identity category: "metrosexual" (Simpson, 1994, 2002). Here we examine men's makeup use, considered one of the more extreme indicators of "metrosexuality" (Harrison, 2008). We deploy a discursive analytic approach informed in particular by membership categorisation analysis (Sacks, 1972a, 1972b, 1992) to examine male makeup users' responses to a young man's online makeup tutorial posted on YouTube. In particular we focus on how the video creator and the respondents design and manage the accounts of their activities, paying particular attention to those gendered norms and categories invoked. What we find is that when contributors endorse or reference cosmetic use they invariably attempt to inoculate themselves against potential charges of being "gay"; our analysis highlights the strategies used to manage gender and sexual identities. In addition, we discuss the implications of the analysis for mapping contemporary masculinities.