‘Aadat Se Majboor’/‘Helpless by Habit’: Metrosexual masculinity in contemporary Bollywood | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X


This article considers the growth of neo-liberal culture in India through the advent of metrosexuality in contemporary, Bombay-based popular Hindi cinema, aka Bollywood. If, by the end of the twentieth century, the iconic ‘angry young man’ of 1970s popular Hindi cinema had been replaced by the ‘creative young man’, the first decade of the twenty-first century witnessed the emergence of the metrosexual male protagonist – one largely defined by his physical fitness, grooming and cosmopolitanism. This article explores the ways in which such a masculinity is ‘packaged’ in several recent films. In particular, these films appear to signal to their audience a certain postmodern savviness about the artifice of such masculinity, as well as its commercial underpinnings in marketing global consumer culture. Such metrosexualization, this article concludes, has now gone one step further with the emergence of the con man protagonist, reworking earlier models of urban Indian masculinity towards an increasingly neo-liberal aestheticization and promotion of individual enterprise, sexual and ethical decadence, and sculpted physiques.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Bollywood; con man; masculinity; metrosexual; middle class; neo-liberalism
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