Breaking Down Barriers: Time for men to explore makeup has arrived

By: Daphne Becker

Makeup is a growing industry in American society, and it is pretty much everywhere. Every commercial, TV show, advertisement and celebrity we see has makeup on. What we don’t realize is that when I say “every,” I mean men as well. Some of the “manliest” men in popular society wear makeup, and we don’t even notice it.

Though the New York fall fashion week is over, those who paid attention this season might have noticed the introduction of skirts into men’s fashion. Yes, I just said skirts for men.

If the fashion world is making changes and breaking down gender ideals, why can’t society in general?

I hate hearing males say, “Girls have it so lucky. If they have something they don’t like like zits or eye bags, they can just fix it with makeup. Boys can’t do that.”

Really, why can’t you? No one is physically holding you back from doing it.

But aren’t we? Just the other day I was sitting in the journalism room when I overheard, and when I say overheard, I really mean I was being nosy, two sophomore girls talking about how guys have been going and getting their eyebrows done lately and wearing tinted moisturizer.

But I know that those same girls would not date a boy with a unibrow. They just wouldn’t. It doesn’t happen, but I bet you wouldn’t say anything to Justin Bieber for putting on tinted moisturizer ’cause trust me, honey, he did not always just wake up like that.

So if we can make exceptions for our favorite stars, why can’t we make those same exceptions for our boys right here? Would a guy who chooses to make himself look the way he wants to look make the rest of society question him as a male? If the movie stars are the créme de la créme of what it means to be a man, why is it unmanly for other men to wear makeup?

And the strangest part to me is that men are truly making it big in makeup. Most of the makeup trends that we obsess over were started by men. A man does Kardashian’s makeup for gosh sake. Kim Kardashian is looked to be the “it” girl of makeup in our society. Even when I just say Kim Kardashian’s makeup, almost every single person reading this already knows what I mean: the super-elaborate beautiful makeup that looks so flawless you would never guess that she is actually a real person and not a temptress out of a Grimm’s tale to lead men to their deaths. Maybe that was too far, but I think you catch my drift.

A man makes good money for doing that, but when we think makeup artists, we think women and gay men. Women and gay men do not pop out of the womb with a mascara wand in their hands and a superior eye for color that makes them better at makeup — just like how boys don’t pop out with a hammer and already know how to fix all the problems in the world.

Men can actually be quite good at makeup, just like a woman can be good at things typically seen as a man’s role.

Makeup is using different tools and colors to change someone’s appearance. It can be anything anyone wants it to be. It is an art form, but sadly we teach boys that it is something they are prohibited from exploring, something feminine that they can never attempt, and because we teach men it is not OK, that means women learn to judge the boys that do.

I’m not saying that any of us are to be blamed. This is how culture formed us to think about these things, but as young adults, we are at the points of our lives where we can make the most changes in ourselves.

I’m not saying that if you’re a boy you need to go out right now and drop 300 bucks at Ulta and watch three weeks worth of beauty bloggers on Youtube, and I’m not saying that if you’re a female this basically means that you are doomed to a life of makeup.

One of the best things about makeup is the fact that it comes with it’s freedoms. Freedoms to wear it and to not wear it. What I am asking is that we learn how to stop judging others on their choices when it comes to makeup.

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