Borrowed From The Girls
Mainstream brands are bringing the boys to the yard. But Medina Azaldin wonders whether make- up should even be gendered.
It’ s 2018 so we ask the hard question: Is make-up really not gender- neutral yet?
Every f i ve years, I bring out all of my mattifying primers and golden highlighters, reach f or t he most f ull coverage of bases and actually t ake t he t i me to contour ( which I almost never do). You’d t hink nights out and my wedding would be cause f or glowing up. But no, I save t he f ull routine and then some f or — get t his — t he i mmigration office.
While I can proudly say I ’ m t hrilled with my recent I . D pics, I can’t help but to f eel a l i t t l e sorry f or t he men getting t heir photographs t aken. I am blessed to have all t he concealers at my disposal while guys wear t heir spots and scars l i ke t he scarlet l etter. Before you @ me, please know t hat I ’ m all f or skin/ body/ sex positivity and you absolutely do not have to wear make- up at all. Ever. Make- up i s a choice, a choice t hat I f eel f ortunate to have, and one t hat everyone should have. But years of i nternalised gender expectations have t aught young boys t hat certain t hings, l i ke makeup, are t r aditionally f eminine.
Why i s t his so, t hough? Men i n Ancient Egypt l i ned t heir eyes with kohl while 18th Century French males were no stranger to f ancy wigs and powder. A huge number of make- up artists and hairstylists are men, plus, plenty of men sit on t he boards of beauty companies. Are we saying i t ’ s only okay f or boys to be i nto make- up when t hey’re telli ng women what to buy and how to wear l i pstick? Thankfully, t hings are slowly changing so t he beauty universe i s open f or to embrace.
Cases i n point: Covergirl appointed beauty i nfluencer James Charles as i t s f i r st male ambassador i n 2016 and Jonathan Van Ness ( a. k. a 1/ 5 of t he new, well- l oved Queer Eye squad) have been educating straight men on how to use beauty products. Chanel also announced a make- up collection t argeted to t he sirs i n our l i ves. Named Boy De Chanel, t he press release read: “Beauty i s not a matter of gender, i t i s a matter of style.” This toyed with t he crux of t he release, which clearly stated: “Chanel l aunches i t s f i r st make- up l i ne f or men”.
Personally, I don’t see why a beauty collection needs to be gendered anymore. A l i p balm, i s a l i p balm, whether i t comes i n a pl ain bl ack t ube or a bright pink one. I t ’ s t i me to recognise beauty as a safe space t hat’s open to all, no matter your gender.
Make- up made by a man, for all to enjoy: M. A. C Patrickstarrr Eye and Lip Kit, RM232
Singer Troye Sivan blurs the line between genders + norms
CLEO’s Beauty pixie Medina Azaldin