By: Ayana Session
When it comes to wearing makeup, most people have an opinion on what is and is not acceptable. When it comes to men wearing makeup, the conversation often intensifies.
Many people argue that makeup is made for women, as though there is some biological force hindering any sex other than females from using specific products. Though most makeup is marketed specifically for women, men’s beauty products have been on the rise and many companies have begun marketing to men as well. While some people may have objections to this, it seems to be a growing phenomenon.
An example of this is KenMen, a cosmetic line specifically for men, which had an increase in revenue of nearly 30 percent over the course of a single year. This is for good sign for men’s makeup should be more accepted. Here are two reasons why:
Plenty of men wear makeup. Whether you realize it or not, you probably know men who wear makeup as part of a regular beauty routine. If not, you have definitely seen many. Almost every man in media wears makeup be they actors, reporters or musicians. In much the same way media affects women’s perceptions of perfection, it affects men’s as well.
With images of flawless, airbrushed men appearing on nearly every form of media, it is inevitable that men will begin to view this as the ideal in beauty and will therefore aim to attain it. In the United States, there is a strong stigma about men who wear makeup out in public. But in many other places (like much of Asia) men’s makeup is much more accepted by the wider population.
Gender roles should not determine your actions. This is especially true when it comes to your expression of self, which is truly what beauty is. Regardless of gender there is societal pressure to be attractive. There is an ideal image of beauty forced on everyone. Yet, men are often criticized for attempting to achieve that beauty. This is a double-standard that hurts not only men, but also those who do not fit into the gender binary, such as transgendered people.
There are many reasons people wear makeup. Makeup is used by many different people for many different reasons. It can be used to emphasize beauty, hide blemishes, give a boost of confidence, and so on. Everyone should be allowed to express themselves however they see fit. Period.