Metrosexuals in American Psycho

I was watching the movie ‘American Psycho’. There was a whole bit about the main guy spending hours in the morning on moisturizers and skin creams. This would have been very unusual for a guy to spend hundreds of dollars on moisturizers and skin creams in the 1980s.
What were they trying to show about the guy’s character by this bit. Is he obsessed with his appeance- he is narcissistic?

A bit obsessed would be an understatement.

Remember when he was having sex with the two prostitutes and he kept staring at himself in the mirror? I think that answers this question.

I just wanted to make sure because if the movie was set now, a guy using moisturizers and face cream would be pretty normal

Wasn’t the first 100 pages or so of the book a stream-of-consciousness sentence listing all the right brands and why it required to get through the day?

You’ve never heard of yuppies?

There were “metrosexuals” in the '80s (there were probably “metrosexual” cavemen, relatively speaking), they just weren’t as common or open about it.

I fucking HATE the term metrosexual. There’s no such thing as metrosexual. Fuck metrosexual and the snake it slithered in on.

The guys in American Psycho were part of the 80s Wall Street greed-is-good culture. Everything about that culture emphasized that you had to look good, you had to be slick, everything about you had to radiate aesthetic perfection. You had to wear the sharpest suits, you had to have perfect hair, you had to be perfectly groomed, you had to have the nicest car and the nicest office, et cetera, to project that image of success and power. Hence, they were obsessed with personal grooming and clothing (as well as many other things like stereos and modern art and other conspicuous-consumption luxury goods.) The protagonist is just taking that mentality to an extreme - Bateman is supposed to be a sort of parody of that obsession with consumerism and aesthetics.

Really you should read the book. The movie is good but the book is even better.

Bateman was obsessive even within his own cultural context, though. He was literally pathologically fixated on superficial appearances of both himself and others. He was also a raging narcissist. Bateman was an allegory of shallow, image obsessed, trend obsessed, brand obsessed self-absorbtion taken to an absolute extreme. His lotion routine was intended to come off as excessive – not as unusual in any particular, but in the extent.

This would have been very unusual for a guy to spend hundreds of dollars on moisturizers and skin creams in the 1980s.

Not really. He’s a parody of a yuppie.

I had an aunt who dated a lawyer in the 80s. The guy totally thought his sh*t didn’t stink, so I don’t think it would be that unusual.

Even if it would have been considered unusual, it shows just how unusually narcissitic Patrick Bateman was/is. Flexing his muscles in the mirror while having sex. His obsession with the business card color combo, getting into the restaraunt(can’t remember name), and who had the nicest apartment. Both he and his peers were arrogant shallow and completely indifferent, even to eachother. This was quite possibly why nobody singled him out as the psycho. His peers didn’t care about anybody else.