The spa industry is giving thanks to metrosexuals--straight urban men who are concerned with their appearance and are not afraid to show their feminine sides. Although the term has been around for years, first appearing in a 1994 New York Times article, it has recently become a veritable craze. A June 2003 study on male attitudes by market research company Euro RSCG, which showed that men are more secure in their masculinity and are displaying greater sensitivity, has put the metrosexual trend at the forefront of media and marketers.

ISPA's 2003 consumer research has men making up 29% of total spa-goers, up 5% from 2002. To satisfy this growing demand, spas have been toning down the fluff and playing up the benefits of their treatments to appeal to men. On the product side, All the major spa companies, like Pevonia, Babor, Clarins, and Sothy's have introduced men's lines. Mainstream department store and drugstore lines such as Clinique and Nivea have also jumped on the bandwagon with their men's lines.

Here are some other fun metrosexual snippets from popular culture:

  • From 'EVEolution', to ''Mancipation'--Faith Popcorn deems 2003 the year of the enlightened, liberated male

  • Katie Couric recently did a segment on the 'Today' show featuring the metrosexual trend and showing men going to spas.

  • Loews hotels has a 'Metro-Man' treatment/program. It will be interesting to watch how this develops.

  • Crabby, pot-bellied management guru Tom Peters shows his softer side to Fast Company magazine when he admits that he had a wake up call during his recent visit to Canyon Ranch to 'Change NOW'. Peters now swaps deep breathing exercises for jumping jacks before going onstage.

  • A recent episode of the zany comedy show South Park has the entire male population turning metrosexual. The South Park wives go to New York to kill the "fab five" from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy for emasculating their husbands.