Does society still see it as an oddity for men to wear makeup when women do so freely?
Makeup, it’s a magical creation. It has the power to transform on both a physical and emotional level, and give the opportunity to become a different or different version of yourself, and yet, it still comes across as odd when we see men indulge in this ritualistic art form.
The industry is showing a lot of growth on male grooming. It’s a big business, and it’s growing fast, but I for one, as a man who has worn makeup and dabbles with it often, would still feel uncomfortable jumping right in when it comes to specific areas of cosmetic enhancement. But men have worn makeup for centuries, right? In fact makeup even spans as far back as the Egyptians, and even ancient Asia. But still today there seems to be a stigma.
So why is makeup worn today? Well, makeup is fun. It’s used to boost confidence, transform and discover new versions of one’s self, to express feelings and even tell a story. Makeup is an art form. But as I looked further into the reasoning, I discovered some bypassed truths. Makeup is used not just to enhance, but to enhance the biological features of the feminine face. Features like large eyes, smooth skin, full lips, and overall softness of the face, features that are usually less prominent in male faces.
So does that mean men should enhance their own biological features? Well some do, but rarely with cosmetics. It’s come to my attention that men in general are valued on achievement and not on their appearance as are women. It’s a flaw in how society view women in general. Why should a man wear makeup when it’s his achievements that matter?
In my last post “Are vegan/ vegetarian men less manly?” I came to the conclusion that in human nature, men are biologically stronger physically than woman. Could this mean society has adapted to believe men are in no need of visual enhancement. Why do men need makeup when they’re already so powerful? Would the world be different if women were built as biologically strong as men?
In an ideal world, if men and women were truly seen as equals, then it’s guaranteed men would enjoy the pleasures of makeup as much as women, because let’s face it, makeup is fun. But from what I’ve gathered, the heterosexual human is designed to please the opposite sex. Women enhance their biological femininity with cosmetics, whereas men, enhance their biological masculinity without it, and may instead pay more attention to their masculine assets, like muscle gain, or in society’s view, a successful achievement.
Could this be why gay men are more adventurous with their use of makeup? Could it be they have no desire to please the opposite sex, and are therefore more inclined to express their artistry, or even as a form of freedom? Or even just for their own gratification?
But having said that, men these days are more in touch with their image than ever before. Mark Simpson the journalist who coined the term “metrosexual”, commented that men have developed the desire to be desired. Meaning they are more inclined to take further steps in their appearance to please a larger group of people. Could this be a sign men are willing to overspill the threshold of achievement into the realms of beauty? I for one know many guys who identify as heterosexual or metrosexual who wear more cosmetics than myself, even if it is restorative base makeup such as foundation or concealer, and that’s not forgetting the tumultuous mountain of pomades, sprays, body oils, beard oils, trimmers, moisturisers, serums and even body enhancing supplements.
Forgetting it’s set in a dystopian world of class segregation, a great example I found of this had to be from the franchise The Hunger Games. In the world of the Capitol, men and woman (although bigotedly placed above those of the districts) come across as equal, and you have men in as much artistic makeup as women. This is because the men of the capitol have no need to rely on their own personal masculine strength. Their society is their strength, and therefore, they are all equal in their own utopian world.
Another great example had to be J K Rowling’s view of female strength in the Harry Potter universe. Women are as powerful as men, because witches and wizards had surpassed the need for physical strength, and rely mainly on their mental and magical skill, rendering the magical world amongst men and women as equal.
Conclusively, makeup has become a secret weapon, altered by the individual, manipulated for their gain. Society has come a long way in regards to how it views men and women, and it will be a matter of time when the line between the male success of strength, and the female success of enhanced beauty, is finally blurred, until society sees both sexes as completely equal. So in conclusion, yes! If you’re a man, of course you can wear makeup. Wear it for whatever reason makes you happy. You are as valuable as any other man, with or without cosmetic enhancement.
The days of Alpha males are slowly dwindling, and the dawn of the Beta revolution is just around the corner.