Ask most women what they want a prospective mate to act like and undoubtedly you will get a series of characteristics that are completely contradictory. The sensitive tough guy. The bad boy you can bring home to mom and dad. The funny outgoing guy who will shut up and listen to all of my lame stories. Because the key to mating with these women is meeting their prerequisites for an ideal mate, men have become that which they think women want. What you get is a bunch of guys who work out non-stop to look tough but love to shop for new tank tops at H&M. Even better are the guys who love to shop but drive cars with tinted windows with their chains on.
Marketing execs and advertising campaigns have done a good job of crafting this idea of what makes a modern man. Like most things in today's society, it is surrounded by the self and your image. It is also an image that fits their mold. They will have a consumer identity that traditionally was for women in post-WW2 America. Men wear makeup now. Yes there have been metrosexuals for years, but the metrosexual idea spread mainstream. See, women dated these metro guys, which made every other guy take on some of those characterisitcs to keep up. They also were bombarded with ad images and movie characters that perfectly articulated this image.
The NSync-LB Paradox is the idea that these guys are still trying to be tough in a butch traditional male role but take on traits formerly reserved for the fairer gender. They must both be the sensitive soft NSync boy band kid, but also the tough, edgy rap-rock Limp Bizkiter. There is the problem that guys must still be "macho" to their male friends and male relatives. They then overcompensate for their feminine side with aggressive male behavior. The nationwide obsession with celebrity news is something that was formerly a female dominated world with magazines geared towards women. Men now consume those entertainment goods and services at levels their fathers and grandfathers never would have.
This is a paradox that while named after white music acts does cross racial lines. I think everyone who has had a black, male friend has arrived late to a party because they hate to wait for him to get a brand new hat that matched his oversized t-shirt that matched the trim on his sneakers. He would never shy away from calling you a "fag" for doing anything remotely femme, but you better compliment his braids and go shopping for new jewelry with him. I had a friend in the Navy who introduced me to a guy who was both the most effeminate & most masculine 25 year old I had met to that point. This guy would get in a fight and kick some ass, play tackle football with you, and then talk about "The Princess Diaries" and get upset if you wore a horizontal striped polo like he did that night. Being a man goes far beyond what you do, but it should make everyone laugh to look around at what some macho men of today act like in broad daylight in front of their girlfriends and wives.