As the economy shrinks after a decade of gluttonous consumption—demographer Bernard Salt says new taboos against smoking, gambling, corporate greed, immoral behaviour and obesity have lead to a rise in environmentalism and the death of the metrosexual. Salt says a study shows that the length of women’s hemlines also reflects changes in the economy. Hemlines rise during a boom, he says, and drop during a recession. In a boom, women are not worried about their financial security and are “attracted to slim, geeky, metrosexual hairless males,” he told the audience at a marketing convention in Brisbane, Australia. “Whereas in a downturn, evolutionary theory kicks in for survival, and women are concerned about their food supply and look for someone a little more muscular, more primal, a little more hairy.” Salt cites a rise in fear as the reason why people “retreat to the tribe for security,” and why women would be attracted to a man who could “fight off a mammoth,” adding that marketing will probably reflect this shift in consumer tastes.
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