Make-up for men

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Although throughout history, cultures and sub-cultures this is not always the case, makeup is usually a thing considered to be for women only. A thing that is expected of women to do, and to spend a considerable amount of time on, and a thing that is expected of men to not do.

However, I believe this is slowly and surely changing.

Makeup is used to enhance the appearance, to look like the best version of yourself, or to just look different. Why would this only be restricted to female use? Why wouldn’t men want to enhance their appearance and have a different facial look once in a while?  The problem is, some probably do want this, but there’s the stigma that makeup is feminine. That raises two questions in my mind. First, why is enhancing your appearance considered feminine? Doesn’t anyone want to look nice and comfortable in their own skin? Second, even if it would be feminine, why is that a bad thing? There’s plenty of masculine women and people don’t seem to have that big a problem with this.

Luckily some men don’t give a damn about the opinion of general society and they do wear makeup.. because they like to wear it. One example is youtuber Jeffree Star. He’s a youtuber with almost 1.5 million subscribers (that’s more than twice as much as people living in Rotterdam) and most of his videos are makeup tutorials and makeup reviews. He looks really good in makeup and does a wonderful job at it. I’ve watched several of his videos, and him wearing makeup doesn’t feel unnatural at all, even though he’s a man and wears very glamorous makeup. It feels normal because he rocks it.

makeup

I’m not saying all men should start wearing their makeup like Jeffree Star from now on, most women with experience in makeup probably couldn’t. I’m just saying that it should not be viewed as weird if men would start putting some more time in their facial appearance, even if it is in only minor ways.

The Test Friends, on Buzzfeed’s YouTube channel, are a panel of people who test various things that would be considered non-mainstream or remarkable. Some men of this panel tried wearing makeup for a week. They did nothing fancy, they just put on some foundation, concealer, filled in their eyebrows and one guy filled in his beard. They actually got some very positive feedback on it. People said they were glowing. Their skin looked more clear and flawless. After the week was over the men declared that even though they didn’t dislike wearing makeup, they wouldn’t do it again. Fair enough, there’s plenty of women who choose not to wear makeup. But maybe this video encourages men who would like to try makeup to actually do it, since the feedback was really positive.

I hope society will become more accepting of men wearing makeup in the future, hopefully eventually the stigma will dissolve entirely. The stigma is damaging to both men and women in a way that men don’t feel totally free to express themselves, and to women it feels like wearing makeup is a bad thing since it’s frowned upon when men do it. I think we should embrace free choices in self-expression of the appearance.

By Mijntje Boon

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