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October 24, 2012 / Amy Bradney-George

Introducing The Metbo: A Crossbred Stereotype

There are all kinds of stereotypes in the world, based on where you’re from, what kind of music you like, your lifestyle and myriad other elements. What’s interesting now is that hybrids are forming based on dominant elements of different groups.

The latest of these is one I discovered on the weekend. The Metbo*. I was on my way to a Halloween dance party and the train just happened to stop near the races. Among the people to get on were four guys who looked, for all intents and purposes, to be Metrosexuals. Metros have been around for a while, with this article from The Age suggesting they rose to infamy in 2003.

Pretty as these guys on the train were, it was when they started talking I realised something was different. Instead of the fun, but clearly educated conversations that come with the Metro stereotype (where style is a king), I was assaulted by the rough brashness of occa accents and phrases that would do any bogan proud.

Trying not to stare (and failing), I realised I’d come across some new breed of Aussie man. Not quite a Metrosexual, but not quite a full-blown Bogan either, I decided the name for guys like these was Metbo.

How to be a Metbo (based on standard stereotypes).

In retrospect, this is not the first time I’ve come across Metbos. I’ve met them at bars, pubs, parties, weddings, travelling and even at my salsa class once or twice.

The guys on the train are a perfect example though. Metbos typically dress well and look good (or attempt to at the very least), but have pretty narrow, offensive views on things like politics, culture, ethics and gender.

I should also note that Metbos don’t have to be guys, either. I remember when I was at uni one of my friends told me a story about this girl he’d met who looked incredibly sophisticated by sounded like she could have been from an electorate that strictly voted Nationals, or like the love child of some of Australia’s better-known, middle-aged shock jocks.

In one way Metbos are doing us a favour, reminding us that you can never judge someone based solely on appearance, that substance trumps form a lot of the time and that culture and stereotypes are not static things.

I find them fascinating, and now that I’ve discovered a way to pigeonhole them¬†developed a broader view of traditional stereotypes, I can’t help but see variations like the Metbo everywhere I go.

*Please note: It’s been a while, but this post is pure satire. I realise talking about stereotypes is pretty hypocritical, this is just a fun way to explore social trends in Australia. Feel free to make up your own stereotypes and/or criticise my narrow views in the comments section.


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